Event Camp Twin Cities 2011 – Recap & Replay

The greatest thing about Event Camp Twin Cities is the amount of passion and energy that the people of our community contribute to this event during the event. Our attendees don’t just come to the event – they contribute and add to the event.

More than 40 people contributed to the success of this event. Some were speakers. Some created badges and logos. Some created videos. Some donated goods & services. others provided financial support. Some taped down power strips on the floor, while others took photos. Some asked for permission. Some just did it (like the video above). And, some came as extra hands and said – I am here to help. Give me a job.

Here are some other video and photo contributions of attendees from this event:

> 13 videos created by attendees during the event.

> Amazing Onsite Photo Collection Created by Ruud Janssen

Vote For Your Favorite Great Event Camp Challenge Video

The Great Event Camp Challenge teams battled to win badges, complete challenges and to produce a case study. Seven of the teams created videos as their video response to the challenge. Please watch those videos and vote for your favorite by “liking” the video on Youtube. There are some great ideas and insights in here that are worth checking out. The winners will be announced at Event Camp Europe on September 9, 2011.

Watch Videos

Voice of the People

Event Camp Twin Cities ended last friday. The blogosphere is full of thoughts, ideas and opinions on the things that we did right, what we did wrong and how we could have improved. Some comments are positive and some are negative. Google #ectc11 and you will find a ton of articles. (or see several posts below)

You know what I think about those opinions? They are ALL correct.

Each of us comes to this event from a different place. Each of us is looking for something different from the event. And, each person will take something different away. Some will be happy and some will be upset. Both perspectives are right.

When you have people that are willing to share their ideas, opinions and points of view, it shows that they care. It shows that they care about this event and the Event Camp concept. Otherwise, why waste your time? We are reading and listening to these voices. You should too. It will make all of us stronger.

Cece Saloman-Lee and Cameron Toth aggregated several of the blog posts and online comments from this event. They make for interesting reading:

Watch the Replay Videos

We are going to be producing and distributing summaries of all sessions from the event. These will be coming out over the next few weeks. In the interim, most of the sessions were captured and posted online.

Watch a Replay of the Event Streams to catch any sessions that you might have missed.

Final Thoughts

Our event is about inspiring you to try new things in your event. That’s our goal. We want to show you new ideas, formats and technology and let you decide if you like them.  Then, ask yourself these questions: how would you implement this in your events? How would your team do it better? When should you get started?

Thank you for participating live in Minneapolis, Online, in a remote site or by watching the replay after the event. Hopefully, we inspired you to try something new at your next event.

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Event Camp Twin Cities Learning Journal

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Access Event Camp Twin Cities on Facebook

Event Camp Twin Cities on Facebook


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Team Names #ECTC11 Challenge

List of Team Names:
Heroic Productions
Sonic Foundry 1
Sonic Foundry 2
The Conference Publishers
etouches 1
etouches 2
Active Network Events
Active and RegOnline
Red John Line
PWP Today
EventMobi 1
EventMobi 2
McNamara Alumni Center
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Event Camp Twin Cities is Ready…are you?

Innovation, Experimentation and Collaboration are hallmarks of Event Camp Twin Cities.

For 2011, we are excited to have you explore what Event Camp Twin Cities is all about.

That’s not all that we have up our sleeves!  Expect our speakers discussion leaders to shine a spotlight on several fresh ideas and new thinking for events.

Join us! Register Today!

The direct link to the Livestream can be found HERE

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The Ingredients of a Successful Mobile Strategy

The following is a guest post by Jenise Fryatt.

Register for Event Camp Twin Cities in Person or Online

Bob Vaez has been at the forefront of event mobile technology almost from the beginning. With more than 10 years experience managing and developing some of the worlds advanced systems for startups and Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley and Toronto, he got to know the technology pretty well.

Then in 2009, after attending a major tradeshow, the combination of inefficiency in using printed show guides in one hand and the capability and ease of use of smartphones in the other led Bob to the creation of one of the first device-agnostic mobile event apps in the industry. EventMobi is now one of the most widely used mobile event apps enhancing attendee experiences and providing value to event organizers, sponsors and destinations alike.

As founder and CEO of EventMobi, Bob will be sharing tips on event mobile strategy in a session at Event Camp Twin Cities this week. I recently asked him a few questions about this topic and what he will be sharing during his session.

JENISE: What is a mobile strategy?

BOB: Every once in a while we encounter a new technology or tool that disrupts the way we do things. Just a few years ago using your phone at a meeting or conference was considered rude and annoying to the people around you.

These days smartphones and tablets are devices that let us capture information, take notes, share content, look up important facts and figures and are definitely here to stay.

If event planners are going to encourage, and take advantage of such tools to enhance attendee experience and sponsorship packages, mobile strategy needs to be carefully planned and executed.

In order to be successful, the right technology should be selected to match the requirements, demographics and budget of the event. Furthermore,  effective communication about the technology sets the stage for high usage and adoption of mobile tools to ensure optimal benefit for everyone at the event.

JENISE: What are the ingredients of a good mobile strategy for an event? 

BOB: It’s important to remember that mobile apps are just another piece of technology that can be used to accomplish your event objectives. So it’s imperative to start with the event experience and the main event goals and objectives before diving into selecting a mobile app.

A complete mobile strategy needs to take into account the resources, timeline, sponsorships and budget of the event, as well as expectations and experience level of the event audience with mobile technology. These requirements along with the main objectives of the event will determine what features should be included and how the mobile technology will be used at the event to enhance attendee experience.

JENISE: How can planners avoid a bad experience when applying a mobile strategy?

BOB: Envision the day after the conference or event and work backwards. Ask yourself: how many people wanted to use the mobile platform by the end of the event? What were the benefits of using the platform and how did you encourage usage?  Were your sponsors happy with the level of exposure you promised them? When did you launch the app and how was it communicated? What was the profitability from the app and how much time and money was it worth spending?

If you plan ahead by thinking backwards and align a series of realistic expectations, you can prepare your attendees, sponsors and staff for what this new tool will bring to the event and what kind of change in budgeting, planning and logistics everyone should expect.

Really ask yourself “why am I creating this mobile platform?” The answer should not be” “because everyone else is doing it.” The real demand for adopting a mobile strategy should come from attendees and sponsors of an event. Avoid making decisions based on the “new and shiny factor” and instead focus on the potential benefits of the platform: sponsor visibility, reduction of printed material, greater attendee engagement and of course a tool that helps move your events or meetings into the 21st century.

Finally, many planners have seen mobile strategies backfire because they did not check mobile coverage at their venue. This is regardless of the technology choice such as native app or web app or a hybrid HTML5 solution. If you are going to encourage social media sharing, use any interactive functionality of mobile devices, or ask for audience participation a good WIFI or 3G data access is a must.

What do you hope participants will take away from your presentation? 

I think it’s mission accomplished if attendees leave the session feeling more knowledgeable about the process and what questions they need to ask in order to implement a mobile strategy for their event. We will cover the basics such as “Why and when do I need a mobile app for my event?” as well as the more in-depth questions regarding the technology choices, usage numbers and useful features.

Jenise Fryatt’s blog Sound n’ Sight covers events industry thoughts and features with an audio visual and social media bent. Jenise is also co-owner/marketing director of Icon Presentations Audio Visual for Events located in Southern California. She describes herself as an “events industry cheerleader” who is also a yoga and improv devotee trying to stay in the present.

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Driving Human Connections with Mobile Devices and Games

The following article is written by guest blogger Jenise Fryatt. 

With a passion for emotional design, and the re-engineering of face-to-face interactions using social gaming, Ellen Dudley has a lot to say about harnessing the power of mobile devices at events. She will share her insights at an Event Camp Twin Cities session entitled “GameUp Your Events With Mobile Technology.”

Ellen left her biomedical engineering job in 2009 to design and organize events that would spark connections between people. Now, as co-founder of CrowdScanner, she experiments with technology to stimulate discussions between people in gatherings.

CrowdSanner’s psychological mobile games and visual design installations provoke people to hunt for what they have in common with others, and start conversations in fun and interactive ways.

I recently asked Ellen a few questions about mobile devices at events and her upcoming session at ECTC.

JENISE: Mobile technology at events has certainly come a long way: I’ve seen use of smartphones at conference sessions banned as well as evangelized.  Where do you think most event organizers and presenters stand now on this issue?

ELLEN: We are in a challenging time of transition. Not every attendee at an event is on the same wavelength in terms of smartphone uptake and usage so organizers have to create, manage and control content in both new and old forms, to make sure that all attendees feel included. Presenters have to come to terms with talking to a sea of laptops, and embrace back channels of conversation.

But with every change, there is huge opportunity. It is a risk to ignore, and a short term solution to ban smartphones – they are not going away. We are finally at the stage where enough attendees are using them to warrant more customized technology to enhance the event experience, but we need to experiment. That’s why EventCamp is so important. We need to keep updating and defining what needs to be improved, and focus on developing solutions with technology that make the event experience better for all involved.

It’s a time to be optimistic about how much more awesome an event can be.

JENISE: Without banning them, how can event planners keep smart phone use from being a distraction during sessions?

ELLEN: As an event planner, you are used to defining and directing the event experience and leading participants. They trust you, and follow you, so it all comes down to creating a mobile strategy, and implementing it.

Smartphone behavior has shown that we have a constant need and desire to be connected, which can now be somewhat satisfied with technology (whether this is a positive or otherwise remains to be seen). So just as you can meet your attendees’ needs to eat at your event, instead of letting them eat elsewhere, so too can you choose to meet their needs to be connected and engaged, by letting them share their thoughts, ideas and experiences with other attendees at the event, instead of letting them mentally leaving your event during a session to connect and share with others, elsewhere.

This need for connection i.e. your mobile strategy, is about asking yourself, how am I enabling attendees to connect and share with people at this event? How am I enabling them to feel involved?

A simple thing to do during sessions is to use twitter #hashtags, which work to a certain extent to keep attendees sharing with those in the same session. Creating an event social network lets attendees connect before and afterwards. Smartphone games can enhance networking sessions. Just as you need to find a caterer you trust, you need to find suitable technology to keep your attendees connected, present and immersed in your event.

JENISE: What kinds of gaming elements can be used with mobile devices to keep attendees engaged in an event?

ELLEN: Games are a great way to reward behavior, to entertain, to build morale and educate attendees, and create memorable experiences. Games can make something that’s hard, easier to do, by making it fun. If you can identify something that is lacking or could be improved at your event, that’s a good starting point to build a game around. It helps if you choose something that you know attendees will really benefit from.

Gaming elements can be light and dispersed throughout an event as an effective way promote certain behaviors; or they can be immersive, and can be a powerful tool to keep attendees feeling connected and engaged with one another as part of your mobile strategy. Just as there is a time for content, or a time for food, there can be a dedicated time for immersive gameplay.

It’s always important to make sure that everyone can play, if they wish to, and it should always be opt in.

JENISE: What do you hope participants will take away from your session?

ELLEN: I want you to have the desire to dive right in, to embrace a mobile strategy and get excited about the potential. I also want to empower you to make demands on us technologists to better serve your attendees’ needs. We can build amazing event technology together.

Jenise Fryatt’s blog Sound n’ Sight covers events industry thoughts and features with an audio visual and social media bent. Jenise is also co-owner/marketing director of Icon Presentations Audio Visual for Events located in Southern California. She describes herself as an “events industry cheerleader” who is also a yoga and improv devotee trying to stay in the present.

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