On today’s show we talk with Greg Ruby from Greg Ruby Consulting about being a virtual attendee in the USA for an EventCamp being held in Europe. We also discuss Google hangout and upcoming EventCamps in Vancouver and Washington DC.
Speaker 1: Welcome back to the Meetings Podcast. This is Mike McAllen of Grass Shack Events & Media and today’s guest is Greg Ruby from Greg Ruby Consulting and what else did you say your company is called, Greg?
Speaker 2: Ruby Enterprises.
Speaker 1: Ruby Enterprises from Baltimore. Greg, thank you for joining me.
Speaker 2: Thanks for having me here.
Speaker 1: I think most of the people that listened to the show know about the famous Greg Ruby so we won’t have to really go into your background and you. How many times have you been on the show now? You’ve been on it several times.
Speaker 2: I think this is my third time.
Speaker 1: Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Today a little bit about our experiences with Event Camp. The last time John and I and Elizabeth kind of basically tore apart Twin Cities because of our experience but you know in hindsight maybe we should have been a little nicer but it was just our experience of what we had and what we had the heat of the moment and I think we had valid points but you know I guess this is all learning experience.
Speaker 2: Oh, definitely. You have to try it and then you know welcome all issues.
Speaker 1: And I know you listened to it probably didn’t you or did you not.
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 1: And so what do you think? Do you think we were okay on that or I mean I’m sure.
Speaker 2: I agree with most of your comments. I might have waited maybe another hour after the Event Camp Twin Cities had ended before doing it.
Speaker 1: Yeah, because we’re a little hot.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it’s always good to sat back, think a little bit of them [0:02:23]
Speaker 1: Yeah. Well, we thought we just go for it just because of that’s how we felt and really what we say doesn’t really have a lot of effect on the grand scheme of the galaxy that we live in.
Speaker 2: You know but that’s and I agree with most of your comments that were spot on.
Speaker 1: Yeah, so anyway but they did do it again and I’m really thankful that they did. You know it’s great that they keep doing these event camps. People do and then so that brings us to Event Camp Europe.
Speaker 2: Yeah, there’s a lot of things that can make me wake up at four am on the morning on a Friday to attend a virtual session.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: I just want those.
Speaker 1: Yeah, and I got to be there earlier so it was…
Speaker 2: Oh, what was it for you like one am?
Speaker 1: It was like one, yeah. I had gone to bed at about 10. I am an older man now so I go to bed around 10 usually and I get up at like six so now I get up early but I actually set my alarm and I didn’t really tell my wife what I was doing because I knew she would you know we’d have to have a little discussion about what craziness I’m involved in with this Event Camp stuff but I did get up at one, came downstairs, crack myself a beer and sat down to watch. But you and I had kind of organized beforehand to say hey, let’s try out the Google Hangout and hang out together for it so it was nice that you were there when I woke up.
Speaker 2: Yes, to see early in the morning was a little of a shock.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Well, it was still evening really for me but everybody else had a coffee in their hand so I got a kick out of our group of people which really started out with Gerrit. Gerrit was the one who and did you know Gerrit before this? Have you ever met him?
Speaker 2: He was [smacking] me on Twitter during the Event Camp Twin Cities.
Speaker 1: Oh, was he?
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 1: So he was in Amsterdam. That’s right.
Speaker 2: Yeah. He was making fun of me wearing shorts and being on camera from the silly pod.
Speaker 1: That’s great. So you guys had — you could actually see them so we could never see you guys at the Twin Cities one. We can only see the lady who kept showing her chest. I don’t know where she was from.
Speaker 2: Okay, I think I knew who that was but to protect the innocent we won’t mention names here.
Speaker 1: Yeah. No, it wasn’t her fault. She just kept coming up to the because people were walking into our pod to check it out because we were in the hotel and we had invited all the hotel stuff besides the other people to come to it and they kept coming in and so on the screen on I guess on our plasma that they had sent out. I don’t know. I don’t remember why was that? No, we were all in there I guess weren’t we?
Speaker 2: Yeah, to be honest the event was so small from where I was sitting. I could basically just make out the table and see that there were people there.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: But that wasn’t approachable.
Speaker 1: But she kept coming up I guess she was doing something behind her webcam so she just basically had her chest in front of it the whole time so everybody was laughing and not laughing at her but laughing. She didn’t know it was happening but they were all — people were coming into the room and going out what is this camera here because she happened to always have her chest under and we would just say oh, that’s the most popular pod. But anyway, so I digressed. I apologized. This has gone off on a regular conversation that we may have Greg. So who else was in our – we had Derrick Stomp and Derrick is he also in Amsterdam?
Speaker 2: I believe so.
Speaker 1: And then there was Babs.
Speaker 2: Yeah, Babs is also from the Amsterdam area.
Speaker 1: And then Melissa.
Speaker 2: Melissa who is based in London.
Speaker 1: She was in London, okay and then Tracy Brown. Tracy Brown from Philly. She was with us for a while. Cameron Toth was in there for a while and I’m sure I missed a bunch of it. I’m just talking about the time I was in there so.
Speaker 2: Yeah, [Kevin Bull] from the Seattle, Washington area came in once or twice the area. A lot of people were going in and out of our Google Hangout in the course of the afternoon.
Speaker 1: Yeah, and then you can only have like 10 people there at that time. Who — there was an office there too, right. Was that Melissa’s?
Speaker 2: That was Melissa’s group.
Speaker 1: So they had about 10 people, didn’t they? There seemed like there are a lot of people in that room.
Speaker 2: I would say maybe six to eight.
Speaker 1: Oh, okay.
Speaker 2: It might be a little bit higher maybe up to 12. It was nice because in the post scheme chat that we had on Twitter we discovered that the [0:06:57] [Inaudible] were actually been invited by Melissa’s company so it was by an invitational only pod.
Speaker 1: Oh. Oh. Oh. So all those people were not – were they were in her from her company.
Speaker 2: They were from her company or clients.
Speaker 1: Interesting. Interesting. So how was your experience with that or did you like it better than the pod? Did you get more out of it? I felt that I was listening to presentations more than I was on our pod really.
Speaker 2: I found myself listening to the presentations more and I felt more interactive than I would have been if I was just a virtual participant.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: It may feel like a pod for me. I can very easily see the [0:07:38] [Inaudible] sitting around the table joking and having some beverages and talking about the items.
Speaker 1: Right. Right. Right. Right. Yeah, it was really fun. I enjoyed it because it wasn’t just the main Twitter scheme which you could throw your comments into if you wanted Emily to ask question be involved but we can have our own little session going on in our Google Hangout. Now, if people got a listening habit tried Google Hangout I would really try it out. It’s kind of a really powerful little tool.
Speaker 2: Absolutely.
Speaker 1: I was trying to figure out how I could capture this for the podcast and capture it and there is a way tub it’s only on PC so I don’t have a PC I only have Mac. So I was kind of stopped by that and I thought I should get another PC in here just able to do things like that but anyway it’s really powerful. Cool. Google they’re doing everything aren’t they?
Speaker 2: Yes. One day they will rule the world I believe.
Speaker 1: And so what happened here at the event? Do you remember? What was your favorite session? Did you have a favorite one or?
Speaker 2: Oh, I enjoyed the session that Brian Kruger did about Event Tech.
Speaker 1: Yeah, and I missed that. I was sleeping during that not because of his presentation but I went to bed. Actually I went to bed and came back.
Speaker 2: Good recovery there. Good recovery. He just hit on a few points. It was a very casual program and he wasn’t using a lot of big words that will confuse it to you or me. So I found it very easy to follow along.
Speaker 1: So they had some problems too there with their technologically that they couldn’t get a Wi-Fi I guess that was their problem.
Speaker 2: Yeah, I was online for the entire virtual session. There were hardly any issues being a virtual participant that I saw. There was once or twice the feed was so slow but I understand that those onsite there was a limited number of internet access so if you are late arriving you may not be able to get on till someone else had load out sort of like our Google Hangout.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s too bad because you know it’s too bad that we couldn’t talk to more of them or them interact with us but I guess it was such an old building. I mean really old.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it was built like 1376 I believe from reading the press clippings.
Speaker 1: Yeah, so kind of an interesting place to choose but I mean that’s here nor there but it’s more for the live audience I guess.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it was event ROI week which this was the second year I believe. So there is a history of doing meetings related events there just maybe not this technical of an event.
Speaker 1: And the whole event ROI week was held at this.
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 2: Oh, interesting. Interesting. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that. That sounds like and I do remember one of the speakers who I enjoyed and I’m blanking on his name right now but I’m gonna look it up right now. He was talking or talked about ROI basically. I think no, he did the PechaKucha.
Speaker 2: PechaKucha. Yes, that was Elling Hamso who is the founder of the event.
Speaker 1: Oh. Well yeah, because he was interesting and that his slides he said — oh, I just figured we couldn’t see his slides because we were watching it virtually and I was really enjoying his talk and then he said oh my slides aren’t working and I didn’t spend time fixing the slides you know hey, you were doing fine without any slides.
Speaker 2: Uh-hum.
Speaker 1: It goes to show you, you don’t really have to have slides always.
Speaker 2: No, this was the second time I’ve seen him do a PK presentation. He did one his first ones at Event Camp Twin Cities last year in 2010.
Speaker 1: Ah.
Speaker 2: He’s a great presenter. Really knows his stuff.
Speaker 1: Where’s he from? I mean is he a European guy? I mean.
Speaker 2: He’s European. I wanted to say Switzerland but don’t hold me to that.
Speaker 1: And at Twin Cities did he come out for it?
Speaker 2: No, he was part of the Switzerland Basel POD.
Speaker 1: Ah, very cool. Very, very cool. Yeah, I really enjoyed the whole experience I have to say I really did.
Speaker 2: It was a blast.
Speaker 1: Yeah, it was pretty fun. It was good. I was surprised that people I saw some blog posts that were like or a blog post that was just didn’t like it. They said it was horrible but you know I don’t think that person has the spirit of Event Camp much like I had after Twin Cities.
Speaker 2: I’ve seen two blog posts from folks and they were both from onsite attendees, the face to face crowd.
Speaker 1: Yeah, there were some valid concerns that I sober up. The one blog post was called it was a blog post what was the name of that? I’m trying to remember it now don’treadmyblog.com.
Speaker 2: Uh-hum.
Speaker 1: And I just like that title where he was at Event Camp Europe and left after an hour. So I’m just carrying some of his comments. Another gentleman on Twitter at William Events did a blog post on his company Gallus Events. Maybe possibly they didn’t understand the theory behind Event Camp where it is an incubator for ideas.
Speaker 2: Uh-hum.
Speaker 1: And wanted to be a little more hands on why you should do hybrid events rather than.
Speaker 2: Yeah, I think you say was someone being preached at.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah, I know and you could see that could happen. People aren’t really getting it. It’s interesting to me. I was thinking more and more about how kind of the hybrid thing takes away from them I think at the face to face sometimes in these situations because there isn’t the money to throw at to make the interactions as good but the hybrid interactions you know we’re basing it all on Skype and there’s the delay and it just seems like it’s never kind of really dialed in that you can do. If you have a little bit money to throw out I think you can make it work a little easier or just have people Skype in is just fine. You know if you Skype in a presentation it seems to work fantastic. It’s when you go back and forth that they run into some problems.
Speaker 2: Very true. That’s one of the things at Event Camp. They’re trying to show you what can be done but they’re doing it on a very limited budget.
Speaker 1: Yeah, and that to me is sometimes it’s kinda defeating it for companies maybe not but you know the ones that in the past you know we’ve done you know these kind of you know satellite uplinks for years that have worked perfectly you know. So now this technology is trying to do it to show that it can do it for free. In a real business context I don’t think it’s really — can do this.
Speaker 2: Exactly.
Speaker 1: Yeah, anyway that’s a problem. That for Event Camps kind of think maybe they should really just dive in locally and not be so maybe live stream it but don’t try and go back and forth. Like this experience. I really felt was good. They didn’t need to come to us. We could ask Emily Questions.
Speaker 2: Uh-hum.
Speaker 1: You know and she would always answer mine.
Speaker 2: And to me I’ve had some participation with all the various different Event Camps. This one felt much more professional to me than some of the other ones which were a little bit lack or a better word Kumbaya.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: This seemed very focused and driven. I think they did a great job with it overall.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I do too. It’s funny to say the Kumbaya thing because I think that is a big problem kind of with it for people. I mean I know that as one of the founders I felt kind of alienated from everybody just because maybe we’re a little too self-congratulatory in how we ended our — it just seemed kind of that way but I’m more of a behind the scenes guy anyway I don’t ever wanna be seen I’m better in black and in the back.
Speaker 2: Yes, that’s true.
Speaker 1: I have a face for podcasting and I like that better but I thought maybe that was nice about this one. It was just there wasn’t a big deal.
Speaker 2: I did think it was interesting that the event organizers did take a small portion of the program to just come on stage and talk about their experiences.
Speaker 1: Uh-hum.
Speaker 2: It was a nice perspective that I think that for some of the audience.
Speaker 1: Well, I think people should do more of these. I mean I like the idea. I love it but I don’t think it should be such a big deal. That’s my — I mean I was trying to do that for Silicon Valley. I wanted it to just very more of a camp you know where you come but it didn’t work out that well for me but I think it would be great for that to be that way like you know Greg Ruby could have an Event Camp you know. It doesn’t have to be a giant one but you could bring in some cool speakers and people could come in but that’s in a perfect world for Mike McAllen not for everyone so I understand that.
Speaker 2: Definitely. Definitely.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: That’s the nice thing about Event Camp you can have different formats and play around with things.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I agree and there’s so much technology out there like Event Technology that we don’t talk about and that’s something that I think is really something that could be thrown out there at these. I understand that we’re trying to make better meetings but there is all this cool technology out there that we could really you know have because you go to like an MPI or PCMA and you go to the trade shows which they don’t really have any more I guess but you can’t never fine like do cool technology. It seems like its all venues and you know there should be an outlet for that to learn more about all these new cool stuff that you can use.
Speaker 2: Oh, definitely. But as former events guy I appreciate having the things for me.
Speaker 1: Yeah, that’s true too. That’s true but you know those last ones I went to and walking through there it felt like it was just all venues and that was good because a lot of big meetings planners need to find venues for their meetings so I mean I understand that but I’m a production guy and I’m a member too so there was stuff for me.
Speaker 2: You can play with all the toys though.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I wanna play with toys. Anyway, okay. Well, so I think the other thing that we should talk about is the other Event Camps coming up and you’re involved with one of them.
Speaker 2: Yes, I’m gonna be involved with the 2011 version of Event Camp East Coast. It’s gonna be held outside of Washington DC. We’re gonna be using the hashtag ECDC Event Camp DC for short. It will be held at the National Conference Center, November 4 through 6. We’ve added another day on to it.
Speaker 1: Cool.
Speaker 2: So it would be two-and-a-half days or so.
Speaker 1: Wow. Wow. That’s a long one. And is it gonna be done in the same way it was last time?
Speaker 2: It will be a pure [conference design] however on the last day, Sunday, after we do the more introspective and some PechaKucha sessions we are gonna be having a reach out to Event Camp Vancouver virtually so we’re gonna go cross transcontinental to make it a little bit different.
Speaker 1: That’s fun. That’s a fun idea. And so Event Camp Vancouver is also happening in — is it the same dates or?
Speaker 2: Same three days. November 4 through 6.
Speaker 1: Wow. So that’s very cool. Very, very cool.
Speaker 2: And I know they have all kinds of stuff planned too also.
Speaker 1: Yes.
Speaker 2: Planned also. Yeah. It should be a fun weekend.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. Do you have a site up or anything yet or is that.
Speaker 2: It will be wwweventcampeastcoast.com.
Speaker 1: Okay. And is it up yet or is it?
Speaker 2: It is up and running. Registration actually opened on Monday.
Speaker 1: Oh, very cool. Congratulations. That’s great. You guys got that going and I don’t think the Vancouver guys have theirs up yet they might be up by the time this is posted but I guess they’ll be Event Camp I’m hoping Vancouver.com.
Speaker 2: Agreed.
Speaker 1: But they are in Canada so this is another good one that’s getting more of a worldwide more and more of a worldwide.
Speaker 2: Yes, it’s going international now.
Speaker 1: International.
Speaker 2: I’m waiting for Event Camp Cancun.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah, well maybe you and I should do that and have it. We can plan it up and see what we will come down.
Speaker 2: It would be a good thing.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I think so. Alright, Greg so where can people find you if they wanted to get a hold of you and hire you and work with you and…
Speaker 2: Ah, on my website. Its gregrubyconsulting.com or you could email me at [email protected]
Speaker 1: Great. And you are Greg Ruby on Twitter also.
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 1: Excellent. Alright, Greg, thank you and I look forward to talking to you again.
Speaker 2: Thank you. It’s been great.
Speaker 1: Okay. Bye. Bye.
Speaker 2: Bye.
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