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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Zone 5 – Ottawa – Networking in High Technology in the Nation’s Capital

By Kensel Tracy
Canadian Bureau Chief

Have you ever wanted to meet the key marketing industry players in your business category and were unable to find the right group? Well here is one the key happenings that is taking place in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.

ZONE 5 a high technology networking group and has been actively helping technology marketing people build their networks and relationships for the past 8 years. Originally formed by the Ottawa Carleton Research Institute (OCRI) in 1999 to capitalize on the high technology boom in Ottawa, which was then classified as Silicon Valley North, the event has grown and managed to keep its members and adding new member each and every year.

ZONE 5 was originally setup as a one off networking event, which brought suppliers, consultants, knowledge based companies and government organizations together to meet and exchange information in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. As the group grew the networking part of the meeting was combined with knowledge based seminars and public speakers who now present at each meeting. The event has developed a professional reputation for presenting some of the regions best speakers and highly recognized local experts in the technology field.

Zone 5 brings together a cross section of the Ottawa’s 126,000 members of the technology community. By joining OCRI and paying a membership fee, approximately 1819 members of the community are entitled to come to ZONE 5 events. Guests can come and pay a guest fee while members are entitled to come a monthly ZONE 5 event the second Thursday of the month held over the lunch hour.

The agenda allows 45 minutes to meet, great and eat, in a tightly controlled area, which allows participants to be in close proximity, a drink in one hand and a sandwich in the other with your eyes focused on the name tag of the person in front of you. The rules are simple; get to meet as many people as you can within the 45 minute networking session.

Upon the call to order, participants are then led into a small theatre where information sessions are presented by some of Ottawa’s top success stories, which can include new marketing campaigns, products, and events, which are delivered in a format of sight and sound. Usually professionally produced video, power point and music highlight each presentation. At the end of the presentation, back to that tiny little area once again for 30 minutes more networking, coffee and desert. Everything is wrapped up by 2:00 pm.

ZONE 5 has had a loyal following and its growing. It proves that if you provide enough good information, a highly targeted audience and a way to network and interact, that good networking is still a part of every business category.

Next Month – BNI Canada and what’s happening in the Canadian Market.


Kensel Tracy is Senior Partner with the Corporate Coachworkz Inc. and is the Marketing Business and Personal Coach helping advertising, sales and marketing people grow and prosper and can be reached at . Check out his website at

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