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Creating Mad Event Science

Each year 3M spends over a billion dollars on R&D. One Billion dollars! They have thousands of people working on solutions to new problems, refining existing products and just creating mad science.

Event Camp Twin Cities is an innovation lab for the meetings industry. A tiny one. The event is about sharing ideas and building relationships first and foremost. We generate awareness for new ideas, create new product trials for our partners and showcase thought leaders – or crazy people that want to test new ideas!

[wpvideo vdCmPX4L] We don’t have a billion dollars or a million dollars or a hundred thousand dollars. Event Camp Twin Cities is put together with duct tape, bailing wire, a little inegnuity and a truck load of passion. Our financial and in-kind partners and volunteers are the backbone of this event.

When Ray Hansen and I created this event – our premise was simple. Let’s create a safe space for people to try things that they can’t (or won’t) try in their own events. Let’s find thought leaders that don’t know that they are thought leaders and give them space to share their ideas. Let’s use social media and hybrid technology in ways that most people dream about (or blog about). Let’s get as many people involved as possible. If we can do all of that – hopefully – we will inspire people to go try something that they learned about at our event.

The First Event

In 2010, we showed our attendees Learning Journals, Pecha-Kucha, Business Games, Mass Collaboration, Story Slam, Glenn Thayer’s New General Session Model, alternative seating, etc. Most people had never heard of these concepts. Then, we wrapped the event in a hybrid experience that was unlike anything most people had ever seen. We had 550 people online and they stayed all day.

The event was a wild success. Here are some press articles that do an excellent job of painting a picture of what happened in 2010 and what this event is about:

While all of that press was great and made me feel good, do you know what really got me excited?

It was the blog posts, emails and phone calls from people that said – “we are trying _________  because we learned about it at Event Camp Twin Cities. Thank you.”

The Next Event Camp Twin Cities (August 25-26, 2011)

Event Camp Twin Cities will be special again this year. We are putting together a great program with over 20 content sessions loaded with fresh ideas, strategies and case studies. The event will take place in nine physical sites – all at once and all integrated. Those locations are Minneapolis, Amsterdam, Philadelphia, Toronto, St. Louis, Vancouver, Silicon Valley and two in the headquarters of two corporations. And, we are integrating a series of gaming challenges that are tied directly to the event content.

Never underestimate what a small group of committed people can do with duct tape, bailing wire, a little inegnuity and a truck load of passion. We are creating mad event science at Event Camp Twin Cities. It’s going to be a great event. It’s one that you won’t want to miss.

Reserve a spot for yourself today at

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.