- Crowdsource the content.
- Create a safe environment for experimenting.
- Add lots of opportunities for collaboration.
- Toss in some energizers to keep energy levels high.
- Blend in face-to-face, virtual and hybrid formats.
Presto! You've created Event Camp, an innovative approach that companies should seriously consider for corporate meetings and conferences. While every Event Camp is unique, they use sure-fire strategies to deliver relevant and meaningful content.
Event Camp East follows the model in Adrian Segar's book Conferences that Work. Content is crowdsourced at a round-table on the first day. Participants introduce themselves, identify what they want to learn and pinpoint their areas of expertise. The program committee builds a proposed agenda and matches speakers/facilitators based on identified areas of expertise.
At an informal evening reception, participants vote with dots or stars to shape the final agenda. On the last day, through a facilitated reflection session, participants identify take-aways and next steps.
Event Camp West Coast (Re-named Event Camp Vancouver for Fall, 2011)
Tahira Endean of Cantrav Services Inc. was so pumped after attending 2 Event Camps virtually and a 3rd in person that she's part of the 14 member committee shaping Event Camp Vancouver. Twitter #eventprofs chats are being used to crowdsource content and identify speakers. A week in advance, a survey will be distributed to participants to put the final touches on the agenda. Round-table introductions will give the group a chance to identify last minute burning issues. Hallway time (longer breaks) and space has been built into the agenda to make room for emerging content.
Hybrid & Virtual Components
Event Camp East Coast in Washington, D.C. and Event Camp Vancouver are scheduled for November 4 - 6, 2011. Both camps and the virtual attendees will participate in parallel Challenges and Solutions sessions. On the last day, through a virtual session facilitated by Liz King, all participants will share their solutions.
Technology also makes it possible for companies with offices in multiple locations to incorporate virtual and hybrid into business meetings.
Tahira indicated that "Event Camp produces a deeper level of engagement. It's not just an exchange of business cards. People are starting to collaborate and work together on projects."
Event Camp is just what many companies need to replace dreary and dreaded meetings and conferences. Based on the 6 Event Camps to date, employees will leave energized and excited about how to apply what they've learned and collaborate in new ways.
Photo Credits: Tahira Endean