Home/hybrid / virtual/Are You Thinking Outside the Room?

Are You Thinking Outside the Room?

Bruce MacMillan wants MPI members to look at their meetings and events in a new way. He wants them to look at new ways of connecting people to ideas and content. He wants them to start thinking outside the room.

That’s the message that he brought to MPI Members from Minnesota and Wisconsin at the Midwest Regional Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, today. I hope that he continue to share this same message with all chapters around the world.

Bruce brought more than theory. He brought three “A” list events that would inspire anyone.  I have summarized each event below – so you can be inspired too.

SAP’s Sapphire Now

Luca Favetta and his team outdid themselves with this event. They built a hybrid event that linked two hub cities of Frankfurt and Orlando and integrated thousands of people online. They used TV studios to create additional content and connect people to a broader audience.


Cisco GSX

In 2009, Cisco’s Global sales event was in danger of being cancelled. Instead of cancelling the event, they created a virtual event. They pulled together over 19,000 people and created a remarkable case study in the process. They created interactive games, like the Threshold, to get thousands of people involved and participating.



TED does four things to connect people to ideas and content outside the room. First, they use an 18 minute format for their presentations. Second, they regularly publish videos on their websites. Three, they have TEDActive which is a simulcast event for people that could not attend the real TED event (See Interview). Fourth, they have the TEDx series of self organized events that help connect people to the content.

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.7434917&w=425&h=350&]

Bottom Line

We have the tools to connect people and ideas to larger audiences around the world. The events above show you what you can do with gazillions of dollars. There’s a big secret that most people don’t know about. You don’t need a gazillion dollars to create innovative and engaging experiences for remote attendees. At Event Camp Twin Cities we proved that you can create engaging experiences with a lot less money. A lot less. (if you don’t believe me checkout the case study: Watch)

Are you thinking outside the room?

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is the Managing Director of Interactive Meeting Technology, LLC. He wakes up every morning to save the world from stuffing attendees in chairs for hours on end at events. Oh, and he has small children who usually want some breakfast.