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Post by Corinne Kessel on August 31st, 2011 · Comments Off
By Corinne Kessel, Principal
Last week I had my first experience at Event Camp. I admit, it was a little less romantic than I had hoped, but left an indelible imprint in my thinking nonetheless.Event Camp Twin Cities was basically a live innovation lab for experimenting with new formats, new presentation methods, new technologies, new applications for social media and new ways of collaboration for hybrid events and conferences. Summary: Event Camp was about looking for new ways to effectively connect and engage.
I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t truly sure what I was signing up for, but Tahira said it would be good for me. I am a fake plant expert, and technology is hardly my friend. Event Camp seemed like the perfect place for me to buddy up and make a new acquaintance. I attended Event Camp virtually through the Vancouver Pod (one of 7 small groups of people that gathered in different global locations) lead by Laura Tetzlaff and hosted by the Art Institute Vancouver. Our team name and motto referenced Vancouvers lovely Peaks ‘N Valleys, so lots of boob puns “busted” through our conversation early in the day. Irresponsible people gathered in a responsible venue.
Technologies failed, 7 Pods clustered on one Skype call did not work, there were issues with the 20 second delay on live feed, and so on. Mostly very high level AV issues that I would have simply dealt with by tilting my head and batting my eyelashes and saying “I’m so pretty.” What was attempted was extraordinary, and the next time it is tried, it will be a wonderful experience when it works seamlessly.
I admit, I was frustrated, I was overwhelmed. My Pod was mostly in disarray for the first day as we tried to deal with technology overload, flipping back and forth between trying to engage in person as a Pod, virtually with the other Pods and following the main conference sessions broadcast from Twin Cities, following the Twitter feed, being mesmerized by the lovely virtual emcee, Emilie Barta and then participating in the Great Event Camp Challenges (a series of social based challenges to complete as a team in order to earn badges – it’s not camp if you can’t earn a badge or two).
Brains hurt. Voices were raised. But everyone hugged before we left.
The risks were great. I am thrilled to have been a part of such a radical attempt at event innovation. Things failed. But so much was learned. If it had all gone smoothly – it would still all be magic to me. Since so much went wrong, I have an understanding of what is involved and engaged in learning with my Pod and event professionals around the world trying to understand how to make it all work together.
There has to be an inexpensive and effectively scalable way to have remote audiences in different locations experience an in room experience. I sure as hell won’t be the one to figure it out, but I certainly want to be close to the person that does! Kinda like Greenscape – we want to be part of bringing the outside in.
Thanks Event Camp Twin Cities Team that put this experience together.