White Paper 2 – Get Your Green On


How incredible to create an experience that not only provided so many infromational posts and engagement among live and remote participants, but also generated TWO white papers! The first on the meeting design of ECV11 is just below this post, and the second by Judy Laine and Shawna McKinley along with our partner QuickMobile can be found here.


White Paper on ECV11 Meeting Design

When we began this experiment we call Event Camp Vancouver, we had many objectives, and we achieved much as a group. We learned lessons from the seven Event Camps that had taken place before us, learned from their innovations and experiments, and built on some and added some new twists. There was so much thought, time, effort and energy put into what was a highly successful experience, and so many learnings along the way we simply had to share these.

In this paper we will walk you through the intentional meeting design elements we incorporated and how we began with low-tech, high-touch sessions to build trust among participants and then evolved into a high-tech, high-touch hybrid event on the second and third day.  Incorporating best practices in sustainability, social gaming and event technology we were able to create a meaningful experience and introduced a number of elements that meeting and event professionals could experiment with and may be able to include into their own events.

Going through the process of re-examining why we did what we did clarified what worked well, what we can improve and how we can grow from this experience.We hope you find this useful and welcome your comments.

ECV11 White Paper

Mobile – Your Event Planning Advantage

ECV11 mobilityWhat does mobile mean for events now? QuickMobile’s specialist in event app solutions, TrevorRoald, shared his perspective at Event Camp.

Mobile in its many forms means as the Organizer, you have more ways to connect with face to face and remote participants before, during and after the event.  For the participants this is from the comfort of anywhere they and their mobile device are.

Mobile increases engagement as you now have additional channels for discussion.  Mobile discussions can work to bring together groups or individuals that may not connect face to face, even if they happen to be at the same meeting – particularly larger meetings where participants can get quite spread out.

Should you add in gamification elements created using your mobile app, as an organizer you can develop content in a way in which it enhances learning and deepens understanding of the information you are sharing.

Mobile is not the future, it is now. The majority of participants across all sectors and from most of the world has access to mobile devices and it is now an expectation that when you attend a meeting you can be connected not only to home but also to where you are.  We want to connect to the people we are meeting (and could meet IRL if we know they are there) and mobile adds to this experience.

You also have the opportunity to significantly cut your paper production as all the detailed information required can now be uploaded via the mobile devices (native app or web based programs) and you can save money on this as well as be more flexible in your programming as the deadlines for updating print vs updating mobile are very different.  During an event you have the ability to adapt rapidly to the changes that inevitably happen as you can immediately update your program – speaker or room changes as examples – and push the information out to participants.

Mobile builds community. Pathable is an excellent example of a tool to do this and their systems allow integration across many platforms, making it very user friendly for your events.  If you are considering mobile – now is the time to delve into it!

For more info, you can also check out the presentation from EventCamp Vancouver.

Bell… the possibilities

Technology for meetings has evolved exponentially in the last decade.  Our clients’ expectations and our guests spoken and unspoken requirements have changed as well. We are so fortunate that when groups are hosting meetings at the Vancouver Convention Centre, that with some advance planning there are many cool ways that you can meet and exceed the new needs of the guests.  Here are some of the ways we enhanced Event Camp Vancouver with the existing technology in the building. ECV11 used one specific space within the Centre and Bell was able to isolate the monitors in this space.

#ecv11 game

One of the check in points - infomation uploads to the Bell Leaderboard

  1. Collaborators could all be recognized on the existing monitors so no additional standard sintra or coreplast signage was required
  2. The program of what was happening was tim
  3. ed to change outside of the room on the digital signage, handy as we relied on this with no paper program printed
  4. The internet bandwidth allowed us to host a seamless hybrid meeting where we not only worked with MediaSite to stream out the meeting live, we also skyped in presenters and the Montreal pod in real time (they also have amazing video conference capabilities, we just didn’t have anyone on another end to test this out with)
  5. The wifi, now expected by many has capabilities to serve even the largest meeting and its needs and we had people tweeting, gaming, blogging and all their normal use without issue for the duration
  6. The digital signage at the entrance of each room we were using could also show the twitter stream (which we chose not to have distracting inside the room so having in the foyers worked well)
  7. The leaderboard for the Get Your Green On game integrated into the overall program was updated from the mobile app and sent automatically to specific screens set to track this
  8. Kiosks throughout can also be branded and be used as a tool for a variety of functions from surveys to sponsorship
  9. BONUS – Bell set up a QR code on the screen that uploaded an EventCamp Vancouver postcard that could be sent from any smartphone with a scanner app – really how cool is that!?

More importantly though, as the planner we found the team at Bell to be both thoughtful and proactive throughout the process, offering suggestions on the best way to use the technology to enhance the guest experience.

There is naturally a cost for the services required and if a planner starts early in the planning process to identify the opportunities and to budget appropriately you may find that you can save in other areas.  This may include reducing some of the traditional paper products (signage, programs) and may also give you added benefits such as the use of QR codes, you may not have considered before. You may find there are layers of benefits to your meeting, including sustainability initiatives matching those of your own organizations. The opportunities are interesting.

Check out this video too.

Sharing Links – Brain Friendly Learning

At the same time as EventCamp Vancouver was taking place, EventCamp DC was also happening. Here is a great blog post following that event that looks at brain friendly learning.  For those of you with us in Vancouver, you briefly saw brain expert Andrea Sullivan present with Chef Blair Rasmussen on the brain friendly food we incorporated into Vancouver. Having had the opportunity to experience some of the tips included in this great post, I think many of you who joined us in Vancouver would agree, we did have a brain friendly meeting!  Check out this great recap of tips from @brainstrength as encapsulated by EventProv’s @jenisefryatt below.


We would love to hear your comments on how you think we did in Vancouver on using these principles.


Environment built for learning

1715 Acts of Green! Wow!

By Judy Kucharuk & Shawna McKinley

Thank you to EventCamp Vancouver participants who Got Their Green On! A more detailed report of the Get Your Green On Game design and outcomes will be shared soon, but in the meantime: the results! Drum roll please!!

Total acts of green: 1715

Total game players: 78 (67 at event site, 11 virtual)

Top-scorers – Virtual:

  1. Jill Drury
  2. Nancy Zavada
  3. Wendi Haughty

Top scorers – Event site:

  1. Kelly Clarke
  2. Paul Salinger
  3. Jo-Anne Rockwood

Some cool facts about the game, along with Camper photos from our Gallery:

  • By reaching for reusable drink containers game players conserved 169 liters or 46 gallons of water – enough to fill 338 of the bottles provided by Patterson Brands!
  • 52 game players brought their own lanyards to camp. That’s about a 60% lanyard reuse rate!

Here is my reused lanyard, which is also made from cornstarch and is biodegradable

No lanyard....using my necklace

  • All onsite attendees received 4-minute shower timers for the game challenge and 76 showers fewer than 4 minutes were recorded (give or take a few who may have been really hard core and not showered at all, or showered with a buddy!).
  • 120 fair trade coffees and teas and 95 vegetarian or vegan meals were recorded. That’s an estimated 15% veggiesaurs at each meal during the event.
  • Many EventCamp participants opted to take transit, carpool, walk or bike to their event site or remote pod, eliminating 178 single-vehicle trips.

And a big shout out to remote attendees. By participating remotely you avoided enough carbon dioxide emissions to fill 110,000 party balloons! Your remote footprint was about 7kg of CO2 per person, compared to the 1,100 kg of CO2 that would have been emitted by coming in person.

We had Campers join us virtually!

Andrew Walker joining us from the UK!

Acts of Green also resulted in $1500 raised for the BC Cancer Foundation. Thank so much to MeetGreen and Paul Salinger for their challenge donations!

Huge thanks to all collaborators who assisted with the Get Your Green On Game: Quickmobile, Westin Bayshore, Vancouver Convention Centre, Greenscape Design and Bell.

ECV11 Update! The Game is Afoot!

By Judy Kucharuk & Shawna McKinley

Skits, surprises and sustainability were on the agenda today at Event Camp Vancouver! For those of you who missed our session some important updates:

ECV Sustainability Team Shipwrecked!

Yes, Sustainability Skippers Judy Kucharuk and Shawna McKinley were found ship-wrecked in Stanley Park today, debating which sustainable seafood was the best to catch first in order to stay alive. That’s until Quickmobile’s James Hsu and Trevor Roald threw them a line and hauled them into the SS EventCamp at the Westin Bayshore. Much hilarity and Gilligan’s Island-inspired karaoke ensued.

Get Your Green On is LIVE!

That’s right. The challenge is on to find the greenest camper at EventCamp Vancouver! Remote and onsite registrants can play by downloading the event application from the iTunes store (if you use an iPad or iPhone) or going to the mobile web site (for laptop and other mobile device users). Log in with your previously emailed username and password. Detailed instructions on how to play are found here, as well as in the Game tab in the app.

Game Legacy Challenge Announced!

EventCamp Vancouver game-players were challenged by Judy and Shawna to collectively perform 1000 Acts of Green over the course of the event. To provide extra motivation they also announced that for every individual Act of Green toward this goal MeetGreen will contribute $1 to the BC Cancer Foundation. MeetGreen also challenges other meeting professionals in the #eventprofs community to match their donation! If you want to respond to the fundraising challenge let us know in the #ECV11 Twitter community.

Oh, and a little bit of background on sustainability at ECV!

6 months ago Tahira approached us to help integrate sustainability into Event Camp Vancouver.

Our challenge: How to achieve that when EventCamp is not a typical model for sustainable events? We’re used to the traditional approach you’ve likely all heard before: RFP about sustainability, contract for it, slap it on a web page, measure, evaluate, document. Well, as you can imagine with a collaborators model (RFPs? What do you mean, contracts?) we needed to reconsider this approach!

So our focus shifted to consider some of the very, very basic aspects of sustainability that are relevant to any event:

  • What is the context? The city? The attendees? The objective?
  • What resources do we have and how can we best use them to address important things like climate change, pollution and waste?
  • What do stakeholders want to achieve and how committed are they?
  • What can we control and what can we influence?

Fortunately, we’ve had a great foundation to work with. Tahira made it very clear that collaboration and sustainability were going to be themes of EventCamp early on. Many collaborators were also already integrating sustainability into what they do. Both of these enabled a collaborative conversation to go beyond basic sustainable business practice, to engage in new ways and to visibly highlight these steps.

At ECV there is little we control except our individual actions, so we’re really in debt to collaborators for what they’ve voluntarily offered to do to support our effort. We thank them for engaging and hope you all will, too. As important as their engagement has been, our success now is most reliant on how we can encourage each of you to get engaged here onsite!

Which brings us to the innovation in event sustainability that EventCamp Vancouver is offering: The Get Your Green On Game!

Those of you who are familiar with ‘green’ events know there is a lot of pressure on the planner and supplier to make more sustainable choices. Many of these decisions are invisible to attendees for the most part: recycled content in carpets, water conserving fixtures, kitchen composting, local purchasing, etc. Our goal is to shift the focus to empower attendees to notice these efforts by suppliers and planners and to make sustainable choices themselves. We believe that through individual acts of green by attendees, that the choices planners and suppliers make can be amplified to make an even bigger difference. Not only in terms of footprint, but maybe more importantly in terms of legacy, such as the charity challenge dropped my MeetGreen today.

The Get Your Green on Game helps to reinforce the very important personal actions of our attendees. The game has also been designed to encourage attendees to “Stop, look and listen” and by doing so, they will be rewarded with additional points. Looking at our surroundings with fresh eyes, through a green lens, noticing all of the great sustainable actions (perhaps for the first time) that have been undertaken by our collaborators, is important.

We are excited about this project and have enjoyed the process immensely. Thank you to Tahira for trusting us with this project and thank you to Quickmobile for all of their hard work.

Now……get out there and “Get Your Green On!”