Interview with Kevin Richardson of Freeman

exploding Interview with Kevin Richardson of Freeman

Today we have an interview with Kevin Richardson who is a friend of the show and a social media maven. We talk about the explosive change in the landscape of events and hybrid events.

The Meeting Planners podcast source for what’s new and exciting in meetings and events industry!


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Event Camp #ec10 MeetingsPodcast Show 49

eventcamp2010 150x150 Event Camp #ec10 MeetingsPodcast Show 49

Today Meetings Podcast show talks about EventCamp at the Roger Smith Hotel which happened at the beginning of this month for the eventprofs! Transcript will follow soon! The Hash Tag was #ec10 if you want to do a search.

Related articles-

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What Meeting Professionals Can Learn From Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines

kevin smith too fat to fly kicked off planejpg 96b111afde2b7d48 medium 150x150 What Meeting Professionals Can Learn From Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines

What event professionals(#eventprofs) can learn from Twitterer Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines (blog).  Full story here(news)

All Customers have a voice these days,  just like your attendees do. Kevin Smith felt like he was wronged by Southwest Airlines and he told his twitter audience. He sent out more than 200 posts to his twitter followers.  His twitter audience (1,669,340 people) also has an audience which makes his message grow exponentially.  If I retweet his comment it goes out to my 3000 or so followers and so on and so on.  Of course he is a celebrity and has some rabid fans which makes his twitter stream the equivalent of a bullhorn on the internet.  The problem for Southwest Airlines much like if someone dislikes your event that person can voice their opinion.  So it is mucho importante to listen to your audience.

This might be the dawning of the return of good table manners, and maybe the importance of treating all people with respect and dignity.

How you can avoid this type of situation and what can you do for damage control?

I think Southwest was listening and tried to appease Kevin Smith during his twitter stream story as it was unfolding. They said they were sorry which is the main thing to do in situations like this. Damage is done. Move forward. Then recitify the problem or explain why it happened,  how they will try and fix the problem in the future.  It’s really not about who is right and who is wrong at this point. Basically treat it like living a zen or is it a buddhist lifestyle – you can’t control the past or the future but you can control right now. So do it.

Make sure if you are holding an event, you listen to your staff, sponsors, speakers and most of all your audience, whoever they might be. It is not a one way world anymore. There is a constant dialouge going on and you must be in these conversations.

Another interesting aspect I found as a podcaster is that Kevin Smith refused to do interviews about the subject.  He told the media to listen to his podcast which is called Smodcast.  Which is also an interesting twist to the story and application for you to think about to reach your audience. (podcasts,videocasts, streaming)

So make sure to watch the conversations. Use radian6(paid), tweetchat,, google alerts etc…

Love to hear any stories you might have about listening or not listening to your audience.  Any experiences to share?

How do you listen to your audience?

 What Meeting Professionals Can Learn From Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines

MeetingsPodcast Show 48 More Cardboard!

Today’s show Jon talks about staging and scenic in some of the shows he has done in the past month.

DSC 0451 Medium 300x199 MeetingsPodcast Show 48 More Cardboard!

Laguna 2010 B Large 300x199 MeetingsPodcast Show 48 More Cardboard!

Mike McAllen of Grass Shack Events & Media

Jon Trask of Alliant Event Services


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Hearts of Darkness: A EventCamp Stream Apocalypse

Hearts of Darkness: A EventCamp Stream Apocalypse

or  7 Tips for Live Streaming your Event or Meeting

fire 300x199 Hearts of Darkness: A EventCamp Stream Apocalypse

I am not sure if you have seen the documentary movie that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems–nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.  I had one of those moments as 3:30 am rolled around the night before EventCamp New York City last weekend  for Event Camp the first meeting for the Eventprofs twitter group.  The internet kept dropping out and the streaming camera cable was wrong. So we were out trying to find a electronics store which was open and had the correct cable.  In my fireman days I would have rated this situation pucker factor 6 or 7 because I didn’t want to let the eventcamp team down for anything. To put it in perspective, crawling into a burning building gets a rating of 5 from me.    But eventcamp was a great learning experience and I am glad to have gone through it.  I already have another streaming  scheduled next month for a client so like it or not this was a great situation to learn.

Here are some tips and tricks of what I learned live streaming EventCamp last weekend:

Having no budget sucks and is not conducive to providing an excellent virtual experience for a live stream of your event especially for a group of meeting professionals. They see details.

Careful about Union Hotels. Better okay it with the union or they may shut down your whole show or event.  It has happened.

Technical Site Survey: I tell my corporate clients that this quick site trip can save them hundreds if not thousands of dollars to find little nuances that dont show up on a website of from a hotel event manager.  It should have been a huge red-flag to me when the Roger Smith Hotel did not return phone calls when I asked about technical questions. Or when they had no room drawings.  I should have hopped on a plane and did a quick technical site survey. (again no budget sucks) So make sure the venue is a good fit for your event and of course a live stream.  Where the Roger Smith Hotel is the adopted Social Media Hotel, our audience are meeting professionals and as I said they see details.  icon smile Hearts of Darkness: A EventCamp Stream Apocalypse I do have to say the staff at the Roger Smith is very friendly and I would stay there again on business or for a vacation and they did donate the rooms for our event so I cant be too picky.

Rehearse: Rehearse with the stream at the venue if possible before the event.  This just takes a camera, a laptop, the venues internet and someone away from the venue on a cell phone watching the stream.  Double check internet speeds.

Power: Just because there are plugs in the wall does not mean they work.  Be careful the plugs may all be on the same circuit so you might not be able to use all of them at once.  Think sound, lighting and video… lots of plugs.  For event camp we made the case for perfect sound for our virtual attendees.  The rooms were so small we really could not bring in lighting trees.  Plus our power issue made it challenging.    I know from a many years of video podcasting if you cant hear the content you wont watch the picture.

Internet: Make sure you know the know Internet speeds in the venue and have a dedicated internet hard line to the virtual streams computer. Not a shared line with the rest of the attendees. Actually, you should have third line for the presenters in case they are pulling from the web for part of their presentation.    This weekends stream we were using a combo wireless/sprint card/ shared hardline to run the stream, twitter plasmas and for the wifi for the attendees. it actualy worked pretty good except when it dropped out and we had to restart everything.

Have a good strategy and goals in place for the virtual audience. I am thinking having a show flow and cue sheet that cues what is happening live and for the virtual audience. Make them feel special. We attempted to do some interviews with presenters after they spoke. Also in conjunction with twitter you can receive questions and try and fix issues with the stream – which we tried to do.

I will try to never do a live stream again without the right venue, equipment and service from the companies providing the equipment. I came away fired up about how great the Eventcamp team was our great #eventprofs community but frustrated that it could have been so much better for the virtual audience.  Yet thats why I love this business.  The next one is right around the corner.

So just as Francis Ford Coppola’s  made some pretty good movies after Apocalypse Now I think our eventcamps will just get better and better. I think this is a great option for events to engage a virtual audience along with the face to face audience.

Did you see the EventCamp stream?  Love to get any feedback on how we can make it better.

Event Open Sessions or Closed Sessions? You Make The Call

Which of these ideas do you like better? Which works better for you and your audience?
A closed session or an open session?

Open -Samuel J Smith at Eventcamp 2010 New York

Closed- The Audience Conference

Where I get the gist of what the audience conference is doing and it really shows how much event technology is taking over events and meetings.

Why Online Video is So Important for Events and Meetings

online video 300x199 Why Online Video is So Important for Events and Meetings

If you’re not incorporating online video into the promotion of your event, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Video views have grown from 114.3 million in 2006 to over 200 million by the end of 2008. Imagine what it is now in 2010 with all the Flip Cams and faster bandwidth. More and more, people would rather “watch” than “read” content on the Internet. What a great way to communicate your message.

Online video has the ability to engage, educate, entertain and inform people better than any other medium. If given a choice to read a page or watch a 2-minute video, wouldn’t you choose the video over a long page of words?

As human beings, we’re naturally attracted to visual scenes of other people. Video grabs us. Viewers thirst for stories, people and relationships and brands through which they can live vicariously. They absorb video through their eyes and ears and process the info with their brains and hearts.

This past weekend I was one of the producers of where we utilized video with some silly pre-event videos to get the audience excited about the event. Then onsite we used one of our sponsors to stream video and audio to our virtual audience who joined us via twitter. Livestream, plus a small DV Camera captured and archived the sessions, interviews for later viewing.  This also build excitement and will carry the message and information of the event for the months in between events helping keep the community information flowing.  It is making more and more sense not to miss these opportunities using all types of video for your event strategy. So try to incorporating online video into the phases of your event. You’re missing out on a great opportunity if you don’t!

8 Online Tools for Event Camp

I just wanted to highlight the tools we are utilizing for EventCamp in New York City this Saturday February 6th 2010.  It has been fun for me to play with these tools. Owning a meeting production company I can see more and more companies, conferences who will want to utilize hybrid events, the backchannel, and streaming solutions to promote and get as many people involved and content to as many people as possible.  Challenges for streaming… The Roger Smith Hotel is all wireless no wired internet so could give us a problem. We will see.

Livestream- Sponsor of EventCamp and it is really a robust live streaming solution.  I have in the past used ustream but LiveStream is the Mercedes of streaming.

Twitter- Event camp is utilizing twitter for the virtual audience to keep abreast of the live event, plus is being used as a backchannel for the onsite audience as well.  Many of the live audience has connected through Twitter already.

Twebevent-  A very cool tool that we are using to combine the Livestream and Twitter so the virtual audience can attend virtually and be part of the backchannel conversation from one browser page.  Only downside to this is the ugly Google ads but a great free tool.

Conference 2.0- An eventcamp sponsor is where our community page is held.  You can connect with attendees, look at the schedule and join in with the forum board.

EventBrite- An eventcamp sponsor is a great option for registration for your event. Eventbrite really can help events of all sizes manage, promote their events.

tumblrChristina Coster set this up with this blog software for eventcamp it is our landing pages.

Live Tweets- A sponsor of Eventcamp which is a great solution for live stream projecting your twitter feed.  For events it shows pictures in the stream plus a great filtering service for those unflattering tweets.

animoto- Is a cool little way to put your pictures in a collage.  Also a very cool way to do a sponsorship loop. Or a happy face candids video to close out your event!  I also throw it into a editing software and then save it as a quicktime file so we can loop it on any screen.
Here is the unfinished video sponsors loop- but we are still adding them.

If you want your logo in this loop contact me. Their is still time.

 8 Online Tools for Event Camp

Hook your Audience With a Captivating Video Opening

Hook your Audience With a Captivating Video Opening
captivating Hook your Audience With a Captivating Video Opening

As a corporate production company for meetings we are often asked to come up with a captivating opening video for our clients. In your videos, you only have a few moments to hook your audience. Here are some tried and true techniques you can use to make sure you capture the attention of your audience right away. You MUST have an opening that hooks and holds the viewer. Ways to do this:

• Pique curiosity
• Promise a big benefit
• Ask a question about a problem the product solves
• Establish a problem and provide solution
• Tap into audience’s core emotions and desires

Remember, the closing scene always needs a call to action. This means usually sending them to a specific URL, or introducing the upcoming speaker, the days message or conference message as a whole.

photo credit: kelsey_lovefusionphoto

Extra Update Interview with Maarten Vanneste Author of Meeting Architecture

Please click the above Play button to listen to the interview

The Meeting Planners podcast source for what’s new and exciting in meetings and events industry!

Mike interviews Maarten Vanneste Author of Meeting Architecture at PCMA Dallas 2010. I apologize for the low volume on this podcast in advance.

More about Maarten
His company– Abbit
His Book- Meeting Architecture

Even more on Maarten–>

Mike McAllen of Grass Shack Events & Media

Please leave us a question or comment, which we will try to address on the show ASAP!
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