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.


69 Event Marketing Ideas

Collected by Shawn Cheng

EventCamp Vancouver challenges

Collaboration in Action

One of the sessions during EventCamp Vancouver was focused on the challenges currently being faced by Event and Meeting Planners and on finding solutions to these.  Shawn collected these on behalf of his Collaborative Group to share with all of us to learn from.  (and they didn’t even mention a great commercial!)

Marketing Ideas we come up about attracting people to your conference/events:

  1. Email Blasts x3
  2. Website x4
  3. Word of mouth x 6
  4. Social media x3
  5. Social Media: Create an event Facebook page x5
  6. Have speaker tweet/ Facebook the event
  7. Facebook sharing
  8. Blog
  9. Social Media: Linkedin x2
  10. Social Media: Tweets x3
  11. Posters x4
  12. Post Card
  13. Flyers in mail
  14. Media (press release) x5
  15. Partner promotion
  16. Work-related Education/ Training
  17. Promote at events that has related interesting
  18. Groupon Offers to event
  19. Ensure your message is clear x2
  20. Check rates, venue consignations
  21. Be clear about your target audience x4
  22. Email notification & reminder x2
  23. Have interesting speakers or topic that can attract people
  24. School (university) x3
  25. Community x3
  26. Promoted at venue’s website
  27. Website: Evites
  28. Website: Eveentbrite
  29. Promoted at Shopping Mall
  30. Promoted at related association’s website
  31. Local community centres
  32. Media: Radio x2
  33. Cross Market w/ partners’ website
  34. Promoted at Grocery store
  35. TV commercial x2
  36. Facebook event invite x2
  37. Internet
  38. Signage
  39. Direct invitation mail x2
  40. Follow people with interesting related to the event topic
  41. Go to event held year prior to promote your event and create excitement x2
  42. E-Distribute a video/post at YouTube…unique invitation x2
  43. Celebrity endorsement
  44. Referrals source
  45. Testimonial
  46. Web presence (site) with event info
  47. Endorsement by industry expert
  48. Share photos in the social media
  49. Special interest group/event
  50. Advertise (trade papers)
  51. Play game x2
  52. Tell all your friends/family x4
  53. Family participants
  54. Education
  55. Location
  56. Networking
  57. Industry association
  58. Gamification x2
  59. Sponsors x2
  60. Know your audience
  61. Create relevant contents and share to people
  62. Open discussion on social media
  63. Send s note to all author on topic
  64. Have great ideas and people would come
  65. Web link on all commercial
  66. QR code
  67. Include brand/ topic ppl are familiar with event topic
  68. Sell items
  69. Hard copy invitation to attendee database

Technology at the VCC with Bell

This is a short interview with Kiki L’Italien and Greg Davey of Bell that talks a little about how technology is being used in the centre, and how they help you save paper, money on creating, shipping and setting signage, and allow you to incorporate social media easily into your meetings using technology already in place in the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Check it out!

On being a Social Media Concierge

At Event Camp Vancouver we had both Liz King and Marc Smith of Amuse Consulting as hosts that were specifically related to the remote audience and who acted as the link between the remote and live audiences.

Here are his thoughts on the experience, and we think it is a great read!

Social Media Concierge

Marc Smith, Social Media Concierge

Takeaways from Remote Host Liz King

We were thrilled when Liz King @lizkingevents agreed to be our remote host supporting our remote audience and keeping the conversations moving.

First the takeaways from the attendees

Then, the lessons learned as a remote host  – thanks for sharing these!

Thanks again Liz – until next time!

Liz King Event Camp Vancouver

Liz says Hello Event Campers

Technology: Ideal In Its Place

Host Committee Member, EventCamp Producer

Tahira Endean, CMP

ECV11 Technology

Campers at Work using the technology and people power

As we began planning EventCamp Vancouver there was an overriding sense that this would follow the model that focused on innovation, Social Media and technology, following the vision laid out when these began. The fantastic thing about Event Camps however is the ability for the host committees to model innovation in the way that best suits the current EventCamp, so all eight have been quite different, and all valuable to the participants for various reasons.

Case in point, while ECV11 took place at the same time as EventCamp DC, Traci Brown and Adrian Segar stood by innovation, but focused this via a true peer conference strategy as found in Adrian Segar’s Conferences That Work, a book that shows how and why a peer conference can be optimal for small group deep-dive learning and relationship building.  In the end, both events worked on many levels.

In this post we will look closely at the methodology and technology at EventCamp Vancouver.  First, we believe the point of technology is
to support the message.   It cannot overwhelm the message, but its power to enhance learning when used to its maximum potential is irrefutable.  Below are the tools we used and why we used them.

1. Registration Website.

This gave us a place to direct potential  participants to where they could find out more information on what they would gain from attending, and ultimately to register.  Running on the fantastic etouches platform we were able to build the site within their space, manage the payment process, link to our social platforms including the Pathable community, and provide reports in a variety of ways.  In short it was simple for both the participant and the organizer.  The one requirement was a website designer to build the webpage within this and thankfully Eric Lukazewski from Echelon Design supported this process, creating a simple and clean space for finding information.

2.  The EventCamp Vancouver mobile app developed with QuickMobile allowed us to do the following

    • Eliminate paper agendas
    • Manage a community – you could see everyone who was attending both face to face and remotely.
    • Run a game that would encourage sustainability and show our participants many ways that they and our supplier partners could all contribute to making any event more sustainable, enhancing learning
    • Create a gallery where anyone with a smartphone could upload and share photos
    • Recognize our  collaborators and make it easy for participants to find out more information about them

3. Virtually Eliminate signage

    • With the support of Bell, the in-house digital and internet provider at the VCC, we showed off their kiosks, a tool that allows event planners to do a myriad of things including providing program information and collecting evaluation information if you chose
    • Imagine not having to produce paper signage for every meeting room – we had one sign.  The rest used the electronic screens outside each meeting room – saving on production, preparation, shipping and setup – imagine the possibilities!
    • Direct Impact Media produced both our logo loop as well as our collaborator recognition and we were able to run these on the screens in the room several times during the
      meeting providing one form of recognition in a green way

4. AV Basics

Ideally, a show of this magnitude has a Producer (Tahira), a Technical Director (Fred), someone to seamlessly call the show throughout without distractions, A1, V1, vision mixer, camera operators, LD and lighting op – wait basically without our collaboration with AV Strategies, Sonic Foundry, and supported by the infrastructure of Bell, lighting from Riggit and added details from Direct Impact Media, this would have been a meeting with a flipchart!  All of us are grateful for the  experience  created that used technology to support the messages.

From the front of the house, this was a standard setup.  A nice stage provided by Scene Ideas and enhanced with sustainable florals from Full Bloom Flowers, simply uplit, two screens for the audience and a comfort monitor for the presenters, along with suitable furniture for the presentations from LoungeWorks (more on how they created this environment in another post).

We also had a plethora of wireless handheld and lav mics so the audio  feed would be properly captured for the livestream (and archive), a podium with laptop feed for when it was needed, music playback, video playback, ppt /  keynote slides, skype specific computer for remote presentations, feeds to the live stream from all of these outputs, a camera feed from the room, and a team of experts to setup and seamlessly operate  the above (did I mention the 4am move in?) who not only know exactly  what they are doing, they make suggestions that make the show better, and make the right decisions that will provide the best audience experience.  They come with all the right pieces, and most
importantly the knowledge and the attitude to adapt to on-site changes.

5.  Hybrid Meeting – Connecting Globally

Without  technology and the support of Bell, we would not have been able to share the  fantastic educational offerings with remote participants. WiFi for all the participants allowed those that chose to join the Twitterverse could.  With participants from countries across the
spectrum we felt very fortunate to have this option for event professionals.  We were also able to get their feedback, thoughts and opinions on subjects ranging from collaboration  to hybrid meetings to the challenges we face as an industry, and to have a  diversity of thoughts allows the collective information to be so much  stronger.  It is the partnership of Sonic Foundry and their MediaSite that allowed not only the live streaming but also  the ability to archive and catalog the information, so you can go back and see  it when you have the time.

6.  Presenter Opportunities

The VCC with its partner Bell is fully set up and able to do video conferencing  from any room in the facility. The challenge we ran into was that those on the other end did not have mirroring technology, so we returned to the default of Skype. This allowed us to bring in presenters that were simply not able to travel due to their already busy schedules, but whose thought leadership we recognized would enhance the experience. This happened in real time so we could easily interact and ask questions in real time of these presenters.  Thank you to Ruud Janssen, “Pink Deb” Roth, Mary Boone, Liz King and Heidi Thorne for making the time to share with us.

7.  Hosts – Live, Social Media Concierge and Remote Hosts

With three hosts, Glenn Thayer live, our Social Media Concierge Marc Smith in Vancouver and Liz King in New York City engaging with the remote audience we were able to share and collect more timely and relevant information and to interact in more meaningful ways with the remote audience.  Twitter is a great medium for encapsulating timely snippets and creating a cohesion of the information being shared into ways you can apply now or later, and their ability to drill down to the meaningful posts made the experience richer.

Ultimately, when technology is used to enhance learning, engage the attendees, provide information in a more meaningful way as it touches on more than one sense, allowing our brains to process the data in ways that connect the dots and make it applicable for us, then using technology is the right choice.   When we add in the added benefits outlined  above, the right use of the right technology is something you should be considering as you develop your initial plans and budgets for your meetings, beginning with your objectives and discovering your options.  Let the learning begin!

Collaborator – The Producers AV Team

In the next few weeks we will continue to post information about our partners and today we would like to thank AV Strategies and tell you a little about how they supported EventCamp Vancouver.

To plan an Event Camp that is a hybrid format requires involving the people who truly understand the demands of not only supporting a hybrid meeting, but a hybrid meeting for event producers and meeting planners on both the face to face and virtual side.

We were not only planning to live stream out information, but we were also bringing in four separate presentations via Skype over two days as well as creating interaction with our pod in Montreal.  Added to the complexities we were also partnering with MediaSite by Sonic Foundry and both live streaming and  capturing content for later cataloging and distribution and all the feeds needed to work seamlessly. Don’t forget the whole time the world is watching and live tweeting about the experience so we will know immediately what they think.

Did I mention that on top of this the venue was moving out another  large meeting and our load in for everything both technical and non-technical for the 830am live stream is at 4am? With the day running until 5pm?  (read no sleep for this team… again)


learning in action at EventCamp Vancouver

The good news? It all worked!  Every presentation, slide-sharing, trying out the pirate – pad for the collaboration session, the q & a sessions, the right music for walkins and small session background, lighting, the random videos that were pulled up, the  live interaction with Montreal… what an awesome experience for all our participants.  While it seemed simple, it took good planning, knowing ahead of time what the expectations were and at the end of the day having the right team to support the efforts.  Thank you.

The archived programming can be found here and we again thank our collaborating partners Sonic Foundry for their support.