The throwaway line is that EventCamp is the meetings industry conference where the cool kids come out to play. But that doesn’t nearly do justice to the wisdom, experience, and dynamic ideas that make EventCamp such a fascinating place to be.
What I like best about the EventCamp series is that it just. Never. Quits. The most successful meetings connect the dots between the issues and expectations that participants bring onsite, the days they actually spend together, and the future that begins the moment they get home. Few meetings follow that model, but EventCamp is helping to change that: by bringing together some of the smartest ideas in meeting design, and by actively building bridges from before to during to after.
Who would have thought that a loosely-knit group of volunteers could carry off three regional events in nine months, with a national coming up in February? That EC Twin Cities, in particular, would stand as such a bright, shining example for anyone who wants to organize a hybrid meeting that works? Or that the EventCamp series as a whole would emerge so quickly as a model of flexibility, from the wide-open access at Twin Cities to the accent on audience privacy at East Coast?
We were proud to sponsor ECTC by producing live “news tweets” while sessions were under way (yes, that was us working from the ECTC Twitter account), then delivering the longer news capsules and summary reports that organizers circulated afterwards. In Philadelphia, we’ll have a team of four writers capturing the unconference content as participants create it. It’s the kind of sponsorship we look forward to, because we know we’ll bring home a bunch of new ideas and strategies to help our clients get more out of their meetings.
The organizers who make EventCamp work bring the mix of dedication, skill, and creativity that I expected to find when I became a meeting professional. This is not the only flash of brilliance I’ve seen in 25 years in the industry, but it’s one of the very best. So at the risk of sounding like someone who obsesses too much about words (SURELY not)…I think we’ve got it wrong. We shouldn’t be asking why any of us would come to EventCamp East Coast. The real question is: Why would anyone willingly miss it?