By Greg Ruby
I had my first introduction to FourSquare last year during the 2010 PCMA Annual Meeting in Dallas when I was hanging out with my fellow Godfathers. Jeff Hurt was reminding us to check in everywhere we went that night and I was feeling left out as I did not have a smart phone at that time. By the time EventCamp rolled around the next month, I had me a smart phone and was addicted to FourSquare. Fellow EventCamp attendee Paul Salinger and I were slugging it out over the three days to hold the mayorships of the Roger Smith Hotel, site of the inaugural EventCamp.
Want to play FourSquare along with some of your fellow campers at EventCamp East Coast? First off, you will need a smart phone (iPhone, Droid or Blackberry) and have downloaded the FourSquare app. Secondly, where do we check in at? First, check in at the National Conference Center, site of this year’s conference. Someone will create an EventCamp East Coast venue, so check in there as well. Knowing this bunch of attendees, I can imagine there will be some impromptu gatherings at local restaurants and watering holes, and you will be able to check in these locales as well.
Whoever checks in the most at a venue (only one check-in per day counts) is rewarded by becoming the “Mayor” of that venue. It will be unlikely that any of the campers will check-in enough at any place while we are in town to become mayor, except for the EventCamp East Coast venue that is yet to be created. The mayor is only awarded after someone has checked in at a venue for a second time, so we should not have a mayor until Saturday morning at the earliest.
At the time of the original EventCamp, I was still very much a newbie and not that familiar with the various badges that FourSquare could reward users. Not anymore! There are a couple of badges that can be earned while you are at the conference and two other badges that can be earned in the metro Washington, DC area. So what badges can I earn while at EventCamp?
There is the PLAYER PLEASE badge that is earned when you check into a place where three of your friends from the other sex have already checked in. So ladies, become friends with at least 3 guys who are attending. Likewise, guys become FourSquare friends with three ladies who are attending. Your friends must be checked in before you do in order to earn the badge. Several of us who attended EventCamp Twin Cities were able to earn this badge during dinner after the conference.
The next badge is going to take an effort from a majority of the folks attending EventCamp to earn. The SWARM badge is earned when you check into a place where 50+ folks have checked into a venue, so we need participation from almost everyone attending to help folks earn this badge. There has never been enough check-ins at any of the previous six EventCamps to create a Swarm, so let this be your challenge at the National Conference Center!
If your schedule allows you the opportunity to do some sightseeing in the metro Washington area, there are a few additional FourSquare badges that can be earned.
Follow the History Channel on FourSquare and check into three venues they recommend on their page. It could be tough to earn the HISTORIAN badge – if only there were some museums or monuments in the Washington area to visit….
Enjoy your time at EventCamp East Coast and explore some of the metropolitan Washington area if you have the chance.
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.
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
Paul Cook of
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?
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.
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