2012 is set to be the year of experimentation for event people!

2012 is set to be the year of experimentation for event people!

The Showmanator Says… 2012 is set to be the year of experimentation for event people!

So are you ready for the roller coaster ride?  It’s time to shake it up!  Do things differently …. go hybrid … run an ‘un-conference … manage a virtual audience …  integrate digital media platforms to create lasting communities.  If you don’t, you can bet your bottom dollar (pound, yen, euro etc) that your competitors will!

But if that’s all gobbledegook to you, don’t panic!  There’s an easy answer.  Try an Event Camp this year.

A what? That’s right, an Event Camp.  This international movement is spreading like wildfire through drought-stricken bush. Event Camps were established to connect event professionals with the latest and greatest trends (hybrid, un-conference, virtual, digital media, communities etc).  Sounds like every other event you’ve ever attended or organised?  Think again!  Instead of just talking about the issues, or worse, zoning out as other people talk interminably about them, the Event Camp format means everyone involved ‘lives’ them and can test what works, what’s easy, what’s fun and, frankly, what might never apply in their own situation but is just cool to know about.

Event Camps emerged out of a twitter group that follow the #eventprofs hash tag.  That collective of tweeps put on the first event, following the design of the geek equivalent, Bar Camps.  As a result, Event Camps have a more laid-back networking feel to them than traditional association type events – and often some ‘unconference’ elements, where participants design the content and flow of the day.  In addition, they’re hybrid events with one main centre and various satellite ‘pods’ or smaller live groups and a following of virtual participants who connect using Twitter and view sessions via Live Stream.  Phew!

Typically speakers are international, and connect via Skype or present in the room.  The presentations spark conversations and collective thinking about what’s coming next in the event world.

Event Campers are owners or staff of event management companies, event technology evangelists, event social media experts, professional event and conference organisers, marketers and suppliers to the event industry.  They’re likely to be purchasers, event designers and owners in their own right, and probably a little younger than the usual PCO type crowd – 25-45.

Can you see yourself in that audience?!  If you can, then make your New Year’s resolution to experiment with events.  Even if you can’t, get your head round what else you can do to shake it all up and do things differently.  Most of all, do it before your competitors do.

SmartShow is part of the team making the first Event Camp of 2012 – Event Camp DownUnder – come to life in Sydney, Auckland and of course, online.  We’re experimenting with events this year and hope you will too.  Better still, take the bull by the horns and join us by registering here:  www.eventcampdownunder.com