This week, I attended InCommon’s BaseCAMP. It’s a virtual event, like most events in recent memory. Virtual events have come a long way and the InCommon folks take advantage of Zoom and Remo to make their goal of “Learn. Share. Belong.” a reality. This was the most interactive online conference I’ve attended so far.
Here are some observations about why that was, in no particular order.
- Zoom was set to Meeting mode. Attendees could turn on their cameras and microphones when they wanted to.
- Presentations were live and speakers loved questions. Attendees asked questions in zoom chat. Either the speaker paused and asked if there were questions, or a monitor read questions at a natural pause.
- BaseCAMP ran Monday-Friday, 11-5 Central. The last optional hour and a half was on Remo (more about that below). BaseCAMP left time in the morning to do regular work.
- Sessions were 50 minutes. Between every session, there was a 10 minute break. The break was just enough time to get a drink and have a bio break, but not long enough to get started on other work that got interrupted once the next session started.
- During the breaks, they screen shared a duck race so people knew when to return. It also gave people something fun to watch and comment on. I don’t know what software they used, but costumed ducks swam as a timer counted down and one won at the end.
- Remo preserved the “hallway conversation” aspect of face-to-face conferences about as well as possible.
Remo is another conference product that is based on multiple rooms. Attendees see all of the rooms and who is in each room. BaseCAMP configured Remo to look like a series of campfires. Each campfire was numbered. When an attendee joined a campfire, they could speak with everyone there. This was a better format than zoom because zoom doesn’t show who is is what breakout room.