Thursday, February 17, 2011

Everyone's a Champ at EventCamp

I never went camping when I was a child. I never really wanted to because of all the bugs. Aside from the allure of fireside s'mores, I had a great appreciation early on for the comfort of a nice bed. My friends could keep their My Little Pony sleeping bags, I'd take 600 ct sheets or higher, thank you very much.

Making the rubber chicken drink coffee at EventCamp. Don't ask.
They didn't make me sleep in a sleeping bag. My first evening was spent at bar in Chicago throwing out song lyrics to an award-winning songwriter and rubbing elbows with all-stars in the social media world, like Liz Strauss and Chris Brogan (who politely asked if he could hang my coat when I got there). The rest were mostly all-stars in the events world, including many dear friends. The best of the best in the events industry from all over North America came to Chicago for an EventCamp experience that I will never forget.

 If you would have told me when I was 12-years-old that I would be at something called an EventCamp sharing a room with a brain & learning expert and spending the weekend at a place with a special room called "The Sausage Room", and with an American Gladiator Champion, several award winning authors, and a host of wildly creative people; I wouldn't have thought you were a liar...but I would have been very interested in finding out what I was doing as a career. My point is this: EventCamp National Conference deepened my already strong commitment to the online events community.

A special thanks to: Christina Coster (holla!), Michael McCurry, Jeff Hurt, Dave Lutz, Jessica Levin (hello doll!), and Mike McCallen for putting on a great show! Additional thanks goes to all of the speakers who inspired me...Brandt Krueger, Hank Wasiak, Erika St Angel, Chris Brogan, Liz Strauss, Lindy Dreyer, and everyone else who knocked it out of the park.


  1. Hi KiKi! Glad you had a fun time at Event Camp. I'm wondering if anyone there asked an important question that we need to confront: do we really need this many events? I'm all in favor of doing everything we can to make events better, but the implication of a concerted effort at improvement is that some will be better and others won't. At some point, then, we need to eliminate those events that aren't working and move those resources to other platforms for associating and learning. Did this conversation come up?

  2. The event was better because you were there! And that is my favorite picture ever!

  3. Your neato even if you can't spell my name. But honestly I can't spell yours either. It was great seeing you as always!

    Your friend



  4. @Jeff DeCagna Interesting question. I think the answer boils down to fulfilling the attendee's needs and doing so in a way that meets or exceeds their investment of time and money. EventCamp was created to fill a gap that others weren't filling. Many of the speakers are outside the industry who help the participants think differently about how to create deep value.

    Because the conference is truly non-profit (built to break even), many of the speakers donate their time and registration fees are about 1/3 of what they should be. There seems to be more trust and transparency, cuz no one is at the podium asking for your future report. It's genuine.

    From a content perspective, this event pushes the envelope by helping participants apply social technology and strategies to extending a community beyond those attending an event. It is accomplished by engaging virtual participants and building community beyond the show dates.

    Attendees will decide which events continue or perish by voting with their time, PD dollars and opinions.

    KiKi, great seeing you last weekend. I think you were the only camper that consistently wore heals. That must go hand and hand with the thread count preference!

  5. Dave, thanks for your comment. I was on travel over the weekend, so that's why I'm a couple of days late in replying to you.

    My question was not directed Event Camp. I'm fine with efforts to improve the quality of events, and if Event Camp contributes to those efforts, that's a good thing. My point is that we could do a great deal to improve the quality of all events run by associations if we were able to take a harder look at whether all of them are really needed.

    Leaders are responsible for making wise strategic and financial decisions on behalf of their organizations, and if they defer those decisions until customers vote with their feet, they've waited too long. What's more, in most cases, it's not the attendees who are making these choices, but their employers and it is an increasingly hard sell.

    Associations need better balanced learning and knowledge creation strategies that acknowledge the realities created by a faster, busier and more mobile world. Fewer events will reduce complexity, free up resources to invest in alternative learning approaches and help make the best events even better. The default position that organizing yet another conference, seminar, workshop or meeting is always the right choice no longer applies. Associations need to adapt and act accordingly.

  6. It was great to have you there Kiki. I never wanted to go to camp either when I was young. But Event Camp is fun, now we're all campers.


Thanks for your comments!