by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Staff Writer
On December 8, CapitolHillSeattle.com (CHS) and Dibspace.com teamed with more than 50 Capitol Hill businesses, service providers and entrepreneurial types for the Capitol Hill Holiday Hoopla. The free party, held at Pravda Studios, was well attended by nearly 700 Seattleites looking to discover new businesses on Capitol Hill.
"The Capitol Hill Holiday Hoopla was an astounding success," Dominic Canterbury, CEO Dibspace.com told SGN. "If I were to put a rating to it, I'd say five stars!"
In addition to the business aspect of the Holiday Hoopla, a number of non-profits were in attendance, as well as entertainment and plenty of food and drink.
Hoopla was a joint venture between CHS and Dibspace.com, according to Justin Carder, publisher of the popular Capitol Hill blog. Carder says he'd seen the Dibspace.com guys around all the time, but when they showed up to a "CHS meetup" they began making plans for a bigger party.
"I brought the grassroots and indie Capitol Hill business connections," Carder told SGN, "Dominic [Canterbury] brought entrepreneurial spirit and startup-style marketing."
According to Carder, "The guys from Dibspace are a part of the 15th Ave E. fabric."
Dibspace is a virtual currency for real stuff, says Canterbury. Businesses like it because it's a powerful way to get new people through their doors while earning "Dibits" to pay for everything from electricians to web designers, he said. Canterbury says consumers love it because it's easy for them to earn Dibits and get fantastic deals.
Transactions on Dibspace are based on Dibits rather than dollars. Though Dibits aren't cash, the pricing is the same; if a participating business normally charges $100, they would charge 100 Dibits in the Dibspace.com site.
Canterbury says Dibspace is "launching big on Capitol Hill." He said people will soon be able to use Dibits to pay for everything from restaurants to rent.
The partnership between Dibspace and CHS for the Holiday Hoopla, according to Canterbury, couldn't have been better. "Justin Carder was the perfect partner for this event," he told SGN. "Carder has more love and dedication for the neighborhood than just about anyone I know, and not only does he know the neighborhood inside and out, he really knows how to get things done."
One of the best things about living on Capitol Hill, according to Carder, is getting to know the people who make a local business work. "It's not easy to build that day-to-day relationship," he said. "It takes a lot of time." With events such as the Holiday Hoopla, Carder says, "We're trying to jumpstart those one-on-one connections."
The connection certainly was made at Hoopla. From start to finish, the event was packed with people visiting each booth and getting to know the business owner or representative. Additionally, Canterbury saw the Dibspace.com Dibit system in action as potential customers traded Dibits for everything from cupcakes and ice cream to massages and pictures with Santa Claus. While the Capitol Hill Holiday Hoopla wasn't your normal Christmas party, it was a festive way for the community to come together and receive gifts from local businesses, listen to music, mingle and celebrate Seattle's Capitol Hill Neighborhood.
Carder promises that the December 8 event may have been the first, but certainly won't be the last.
"There will be more Hooplas," he told SGN. "We learned a lot putting this one together and the response was so fantastic that we should be able to make it bigger and better - we have some fun things already planned for the next party."
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