Why The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

by Adrian Segar
(updated for EventCamp East Coast 2011)

A number of people have asked whether EventCamp East Coast #ECDC11 will be livestreamed. The answer is a qualified “no”, and since this is a different choice from those made at the original EventCamp in New York City and then Chicago and EventCamp Twin Cities I thought I’d explain why.

We’re concentrating on the face-to-face experience of the local audience at EventCamp East Coast for three reasons. Two of these factors are straightforward, while the third requires clarification.

The first reason is philosophical. Traci Browne and I—want to create an effective, uncomplicated event. Serving a remote audience well, as was done at the recent EventCamp Twin Cities, adds a significant level of complexity, not only to the organizer’s workload but also to the demands on presenters and the local audience to integrate the two audiences successfully.

The second reason is a matter of logistics. We two organizers enjoy busy professional lives, and possess a limited amount of time to make EventCamp East Coast the best conference we can. Creating an excellent remote audience experience (we wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less) would significantly shift our focus from other important components of EventCamp East Coast.

The final reason is event design related and, perhaps, the most fundamental. The Conferences That Work design that we are using adds a default requirement of confidentiality to what happens during the conference. Let me explain what this means and why we’re doing this.

The thought of providing confidentiality at a conference may seem strange or counterproductive, especially these days where event sessions are routinely streamed and videoed for anyone who wants to watch. But in fact, there’s always been a need at some meetings for a commitment to confidentiality.

The classic example for a need for confidentiality is diplomatic meetings, where, to make best progress, participants need to be sure that what is said isn’t broadcast to the world. In this case, the reason for off-the-record conversation is to benefit relationships between the institutions that the diplomats represent.

But there’s another reason why confidentiality can be useful when people meet face to face; the personal benefit of the participants.

Perhaps the most well known example of events that provide this kind of environment are the 30 years of Renaissance Weekends, where participants “CEOs, venture capitalists, business & social entrepreneurs, Nobel Laureates & Pulitzer Prize-winners, astronauts & Olympians, acclaimed change-makers of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Wall Street & Main Street, Republicans, Democrats & Independents” agree to the following policy:

All participants are expected to respect Renaissance Weekends®’ tradition of the candid and welcome exchange of diverse opinions, safeguards for privacy, confidentiality, and non-commerciality, and family ethos. Comments, behavior, or public references which could compromise the character of Renaissance Weekends® are unacceptable.

In my experience, all peer groups can benefit from this kind of environment. For example: more than once I’ve been told by different doctors I know that they regularly meet with a small group of their peers to confidentially discuss professional issues. In each case, the doctor I was talking with said, in effect, “There are some things that I can only talk about with other doctors.” The Conferences That Work format extends this kind of possibility to any peer group, and I believe that providing this opportunity can be important to any group of people with a common interest.

At every Conferences That Work event I’ve run, there are some sessions where the attendees decide not to share the proceedings publicly—in a few cases not even with other participants at the event. A common example is a frank discussion of the pros and cons of commercial tools and services available to attendees. And it’s not uncommon for a session or two to delve into work- or industry-related issues where attendees are looking for support and advice from their peers. Although these sessions are in a minority, it’s impossible to reliably predict in advance whether a specific session will turn out to require confidentiality.

All sessions at Conferences That Work have a recorder assigned to them, who makes notes or otherwise records the session. Because of the default requirement of confidentiality, unanimous agreement of the session’s attendees at the end of the session is needed for the recording to be made public.

In conclusion, it’s likely that the recordings of most of the sessions at EventCamp East Coast will be made available publicly, but they won’t be streamed live. So if you’re interested in fully experiencing EventCamp East Coast, please join us on site at the National Conference Center! I hope this article has explained why we’ve made these event design choices, and welcome your comments and questions.

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How EventCamp East Coast Changed My Life

Peer Session Signup

Post By Jenise Fryatt
Posted here with permission
Original post on Eventprov.com

The picture on the right, captures a moment that changed my life.

It was during the peer session sign up portion of Event Camp East Coast last year when Gary Brown asked me, “If I write it down, will you lead a session on improv?”

It was my first time attending an unconference and Event Camp East Coast was specifically targeted to professionals in the events industry. I didn’t know Gary. I had just met him during the roundtable orientation in which we all had to share what we were hoping to get from the conference and what our fields of expertise were.

I’d shared several things, among them that I was interested in using what I’d learned as an improvisor for team building and leadership training. Continue Reading

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My Homework for Event Camp East Coast – Getting into the Right Mindset

Paul Cook of
Planet Planit

Drawing ever closer to Event Camp East CoastI felt that it was time to have a think about just what I could be getting myself into at this event.

After all, it is a peer conference and who knows what that really means?

But, I trust Traci and Adrian and I know that they will be doing their very best to make this a hugely rewarding experience for all participants.

I have carried out some of my own research and discovered that this event is not for the faint hearted.

There are no speakers as such and there are no set topics as that all happens on site when we arrive. There is no hiding away quietly and hoping that you will not be spotted. No, this is a full on immersive event in which many challenges will be discussed and shared amongst the group.

The opinion on how to solve a problem is not down to one speaker or even a panel of speakers but it is down to everyone involved in the discussion. So opinions will differ, people will have strong views and different experiences but that is good as the goal here to use the wisdom of the group as a whole.

In this kind of experience there has to be real honesty and trust and from what I understand this worked very well in 2010. There is homework to do as Traci and Adrian want us all to think about our challenges ahead of time.

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I’d like some Continuing Education Hours with that session

By Greg Ruby

So you are joining us for EventCamp East Coast?  Great – we are happy that you will be joining us!

Do you hold the Certified Meetings Professionals (CMP) designation?  Do you need some continuing education hours for when you need to recertify?  Are you thinking about sitting for the CMP exam and are trying to figure where you are going to get all of those continuing education hours so your application will get approved?

Good news!  Many, if not all, of the sessions that will be given at EventCamp East Coast can be used for continuing education hours to help when it becomes time to fill out your certification paperwork. Continue reading

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Brain Researcher Andrea Sullivan on Why She Loves Event Camp East Coast

Brain researcher Andrea Sullivan was introduced to peer driven conferences last year when she attended Event Camp East Coast, an unconference that followed Adrian Segar’s format “Conferences That Work.” She was so impressed with how ECDC allowed her to easily make many helpful connections and benefit from the expertise of fellow participants that she agreed to help organize this year’s event, which takes place in Washington D.C. Nov. 4-6.

As President of BrainStrength Systems, a learning and performance organization specializing in brain-compatible learning design, leadership development, and performance improvement Andrea knows a thing or two about designing brain friendly experiences. She has introduced brain-compatible learning programs into many organizations, including Fortune 500 companies such as Merck, Aetna, and Northrup Grumman Corporation.

In the meetings industry, Andrea both consults and speaks on how to design meetings and conferences so they are effective, engaging, and conducive to genuine learning.  She also provides presentations on Brain Food for planning menus that energize people and their minds to contribute to an outstanding meeting experience.

She recently agreed to answer a few questions about Event Camp East Coast and why it will be a brain-friendly experience for participants. Continue reading

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My 3 Compelling Reasons for Going to Event Camp East Coast

Paul Cook of
Planet Planit
A simple post based on my personal feelings for taking the time to go to Event Camp East Coast 2011.Will I see you there?

In a few weeks time it will be the turn of Event Camp East Coast and Event Camp Vancouver to take to centre stage in the Event Camp world.

Now unfortunately, I cannot physically attend both as they take place over the same dates. But, due to a desire to link the two events for a small period of time, there will be an opportunity for participants in both ‘event camps’ to work together on the Sunday afternoon.

Anyway I am heading to Washington DC to the East Coast event. I know it will be good as the event planners ( Traci Browne and Adrian Segar ) were part of the original team that put the 2010 Event Camp East Coast together.  Read More…

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A Think Tank For Event Innovation

At EventCamp East Coast we believe your event doesn’t need to be high tech to be innovative.  You just need attendees who are innovative thinkers.

Eventprofs often say they wish more event were filled active learning sessions where everyone has a say, not just the speaker or panel.  EventCamp East Coast has that.

Eventprofs often say they want more white space in events to process what they’ve just learned and talk about it with other attendees.  EventCamp East Coast has that.

Eventprofs often say they want to attend events where there is more time to create meaningful connections with other like minded event professionals.  EventCamp East Coast has that.

Eventprofs often say they want participant driven events where they decide what’s on the agenda.  EventCamp East Coast is that event.

EventCamp East Coast is all of these things.  But we want to push the conversations on event innovation beyond anything you’ve had in the past.  We don’t want to discuss the easy stuff…we want to come up with the best ideas anyone’s ever thought of.  For that we need attendees who are innovative and not afraid to speak up with a half-baked idea that just might work.  We need attendees who will challenge the status quo.  We need attendees who say, “why not?” when someone says, “you can’t do that.”

EventCamp East Coast will not be broadcasting to a virtual audience so if you want to be a part of it, you need to register now.


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It’s Happening Again!

Yes, that is right…EventCamp East Coast is back for 2011! This year our event will be taking place just outside of Washington, DC at the National Conference Center just minutes from Dulles International Airport.

Date:  November 4-6, 2011

Where: The National Conference Center
18980 Upper Belmont Place
Leesburg, VA 20176
(just minutes from Dulles Airport outside Washington DC)

Format:  We will be using a similar format to last year’s event…but with a few twists…check out the draft program for more information!

Fun:  We are planning some fantastic evening fun for all attendees…you are not going to want to miss out on this experience so save the dates on your calendar and be sure to follow us on twitter so you don’t miss any important announcements! @EventCampDC and follow the hashtag #ECDC11.

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EventCamp East Coast final evaluations

by Adrian Segar

As is customary for Conferences That Work, we are publishing all the (anonymized) evaluations for EventCamp East Coast. So often, this information is restricted to conference organizers. I think this kind of transparency is important for any event, as it provides participants with feedback on how their experience compared with their peers, publicizes the positive and negative responses to the event, and sets the stage for the whole conference community to discuss ways to make future events better.

Continue reading

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Closing Personal Introspective and Group Spective

At the closing session of EventCamp™ East Coast, participants first went through an exercise to help them explore changes they might make in their life once the conference was over. They then shared their personal thoughts on what they’d gained onsite, what they hoped to do with that knowledge when they got home, and how they would know when they had succeeded. Continue reading

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