Event Camp a view from outside

I got involved in what has been described as an 'un-conference' at the weekend as an outside viewer and contributer at Event Camp 2010 in New York. This was a grass roots gathering of like minded professional event organisers who had collaborated to get together for a one day conference all about Social Networking in Events.

There were guest speakers and open discussion sessions as well as some social time - there is a great description of the live event here - http://ow.ly/14VG5

As a remote attendee as was able to watch the presenters on video through a live stream and was able to follow the discussions, comments and information from the 200 or so on-line followers on Twitter - there was a live feed from Twitter at the event and the facilitator was monitoring the Twitter feed for questions and relevant comments - so someone 4,000 miles away was able to ask a question of the presenter and another was able to ask for the camera to be repositioned during one presentation. After some of the sessions there were live interviews with the presenters, just for the on-line audience - these were a great tool for helping the viewers to feel more involved.

While the presenters did their thing, the twitterers were adding links, comments and experiences about what was being presented. One of the best examples was this diagram, featured on the PowerPoint and linked on Twitter almost immediately afterwards - it's a really useful tool to see all the different sites and services being employed by web users in the global conversation...


The overwhelming takeaway from Event Camp as a remote delegate was the fantastic opportunity it presented to engage informally with peers and professionals from different background but sharing a common interest - crucially, not through a structured trade association or involving travel, selling or cost.

I tend to concentrate on the experience rather than the content here - the content was excellent, challenging and in places inspirational - there were plenty of things to take away and go and do differently - well done to all involved in putting it together.

In many ways it reminded me of my first real internet experience on the Compuserv Group sharing with eventprofs before the internet explosion destroyed that sort of direct connection. Let's hope this sort of collaboration is here to stay.