Friday, September 02, 2011

Video Discontinued - Communicating Effectively Using Social Media - #Ectc11 Pecha Kucha

WATCH MY PECHA KUCHA BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOWMy presentation starts 57 Minutes and 50 Seconds into this Full Day of Video from Sonic Foundry Media Site. Communicating Effectively Using Social Media begins at 57min:50sec (Full Program) CLICK for Sonic Foundry Video#ECTC11 INTERVIEW - @CameronToth & @LCatRandall by @glennthayer (Video at 01:55:10)

Video Discontinued

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Event Camp Sponsor and Tech Response #ectc11

My Response to Brandt Krueger's Blog Article Entitled On Sponsorship- Initial reflections from ECTC11 and the ensuing comments.
linking Facebook to Name-Badge

SPONSORSHIP – Sometimes sponsors join a cause or event because they want press and increased business. Sometimes sponsors make a donation to a cause or event because they believe in what the event producers are trying to do.
TECH – The tech on Event Camp Twin Cities 2011 was simply amazing. Check out a few of the tech innovations that worked:

  • RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) FACEBOOK TAGGED NAME BADGES – These were used to “LIKE” Sponsored areas on site.
  • GAME DYNAMICS: Encouraged “Sponsor Named Teams” to create or locate social media profiles and also create different multi-media presentations. Very hands on and participant driven. There were pieces that any event could use to its advantage.
  • VIDEO: From high end webcast to pre-recorded challenge videos – videos were really executed very well for a low cost event. We are continually reminded that video is the future. Sam and Ray pushed us closer to that future.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Event Camp Twin Cities 2011 Media and Blog Aggregation #ectc11

Updated 9/8/11 at 9AM

EventCamp Physical
Program and Journals
Event Camp Twin Cities 2011 took place August 25-26 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota Campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Below you will find all the links I have come across so far:
(Please send me any links that are not listed here and I will include them)

Main Web Site:
Event Camp Twin Cities | August 25-26, 2011 Minneapolis, MN USA

Event Web-Cast Replay:
REPLAY Event Camp Twin Cities 2011 Recorded Webcasts are AVAILABLE NOW
The future is so bright we had to wear visors!
They were very handy for the
Buffalo Wild Wings Reception.
Blog Posts
  1. The Great Event Camp Challenge! | by @LizKingEvents
  2. On Sponsorship- Initial reflections from ECTC11 by Brandt Krueger 
  3. Event Camp Twin Cities | RegOnline Product Blog by Michelle Nikolayevsky
  4. Dissecting Innovation at Event Camp -etouches by Jim Alkon
  5. Meetings in mind: A renaissance of meetings by Sanne Jolles
  6. Continuing the Conversation: Keeping Conferences Alive. by @JessicaLevin
  7. EventCamp Twin Cities 2011 Hybrid Innovations | Virtual Edge Institute by @CeceSalomonLee
  8. Personal Lessons Learned from Event Camp Twin Cities 2011 by @CeCeSalomonLee
  9. My First Time at Event Camp - by Corinne Kessel 
  10. Minnesota's Hospitality Journal: Event Camp Twin Cities: Active Network Q&A by Ellie M. Bayrd
  11. Tips for organizing Pecha Kucha sessions | Conferences That Work by Adrian Segar @ASegar
  12. #ECTC11 Connecting with the lessons to be learned - VIDEO COMMENT from Amsterdam | by Anonymous 
  13. ECTC11: Experiences of a Remote Attendee - Engage365 by Derrick Stomp
  14. Engaging Your Remote Audience  by @EmilieBarta
  15. Takeaways from EventCamp Twin Cities 2011 - The Big Ideas Blog from Omnipress by Sara Olbrantz
  16. Reflecting on Virtual Attendance of ECTC11 by Emma Gabrielson

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

MPI World Education Congress 2011 (#WEC11) Blog List

UPDATED 8/11/11
A listing of relevant #WEC11 blog and article postings.
MPI's 2011 World Education Congress took place in Orlando from July 23 to July 26.

"Let’s get a few statistics out of the way first:

  • More than 3,500 Hosted Buyer appointments with 225 participating supplier companies
  • 6,579 unique visitors to the WEC Live Online experience
  • A #WEC11 twitter transcript that is nearly 250 two-sided pages long
  • 55 participants in the Clean the World CSR project alone (seven total projects)"

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Twitter: How to get started and gain a healthy following?

A LinkedIn Question Via Rick Cram:

QUESTION: Cameron, what do you recommend to newcomers of Twitter, in terms of what to do first, how to get started, and how to gain a healthy list of followers?

1. When you sign up for Twitter use your name (@firstlast) or a catchy (easy to write) Twitter Handle.

2. If you choose to use a brand name make sure you note who is tweeting from the account on the profile.

3. People like following people so be a person first and a brand second.

4. Whether you post a picture of yourself (preferred) or a logo/brand image make sure it represents you well.

5. When you tweet, treat your Twitter stream like a magazine or newspaper.  Your tweets should be 80% interesting and relevant content targeted towards your main audience with only 20% or less of your tweets talking about yourself or your brand.

6. When listening to see what is useful and relevant follow hashtags like #eventprofs for Event Professionals and #assnchat for Associations.  Use these hashtags in your tweets to be seen by these relevant audiences.  When onsite at a conference make sure you follow and tweet the hashtag for the conference(i.e. #WEC11).  Strike quickly when the opportunity arrises to follow popular discussions to discover and follow your relevant audience.  If you are relevant to them they will follow you back!

You can also use tools like Twellow but you will get the most out of Twitter by actually interacting, sharing, promoting others and fostering relationships that start online and continue off!

Here is a resource to find Twitter Apps: TwitterEye

I hope that is helpful.


Highlights from Malcolm Gladwell's Book "Outliers"

No time to read Outliers yourself?  Or maybe you actually care what I think?  Either way I will be posting my highlights from Outliers as I read through.
August 9, 2011
Highlight from Chapter 1:  The Matthew Effect

This chapter provides evidential support for how rich getting richer and the poor get poorer. The Matthew Effect, essentially, is the effect of accumulative advantage.  From sports to school your life is guided by arbitrary things like your birthdate, socioeconomics, proximity to opportunity, etc.

A young person who wants to play a sport will benefit or suffer depending on the team selection cut date.  If you are 8 to 12 months younger than the same boys or girls in your age group you are at a huge disadvantage when competing for prestigious sponsored teams.  The same goes for educational access.  If you are entering 1st grade with students who are 6 to 12 months older than you than you are highly likely not to be judged as intelligent, as gifted or as ready to be given special advantages that "smarter" students receive.

Gladwell suggests that sports and schools group incoming students by age blocks and not just by arbitrary cut off dates that can severely effect student outcomes.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Guide Was Missing #WEC11 (Updated 8-6-11)

Cleaning up always solves problems.  I am here cleaning my desk at 4AM on a Sunday morning.  I just came across my conference guide for Meet Different.  Aha!  That is what the World Education Congress was missing.  Yes, we had an App for that, but it was not as good as the Meet Different Conference Guide.

First it lays out the theme.  Where BOLD Meets Business.  Word for word, not the best slogan but it looks pretty cool so that gets you jazzed.  Open it up and you have conference at a glance.  Much better on 8.5 by 11 pages than a cellular phone.

I know it is not particularly green to be asking for a carbon rich glossy conference guide but we have to find a happy medium.  I turn a couple more pages and I see the conference map of Moon Palace (Which was huge).  Guess what else was huge.  Orlando Conference Center and the partner sites around the hotel. Attendees could have used a really nice map in their hands where anyone and everyone could reference it.

The daily schedules are much easier to interact with when laid out on paper as well.  What is the solution?

How do we get rid of the need for the conference guide but still provide that quality experience?

Print the conference guide online in PDF Format.  Develop it but never print it.  That way attendees have access through laptop, business center or mobile devices to see the full scale docs.

In addition to that also invest (let me say that twice).  INVEST, in a fully operational and truly awesome app.  Do not use something that is even just a step above cookie cutter.  If you have a huge conference spend the money, focus the sponsorships on that killer app.  Your attendees and your sponsors will thank  you because it will become a part of the positive story.

I enjoyed the app but it had so many limitations and bugs that you complained about it more than you thought it was cool.

Any thoughts on Conference Apps vs. Conference Guides?  Please post below.  Thank you!

Here are a few photos of the Z-Cards and the MeetDifferent Conference Guide.
Meet Different Conference Guide Map of Resort and Conference Sites

Meet Different Conference Guide

Meet Different Conference Guide Map of Resort and Conference Sites

Meet Different Conference Guide

Meet Different Conference Guide

Meet Different Conference Guide
WEC Z-Card Program Descriptions

There were four separate cards "Friday-Sunday", "Monday", "Tuesday", "Maps/General Info" -- One thing you lack up front is a table of contents.  Looking for a particular program where do you look.  The WEC App was a potential solution. 

WEC Z-Card

WEC Z-Card (I did not look at this map until conference was over.  oops.)

WEC Z-Card Map

WEC Z-Card - More fold out Program descriptions.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Networking: 5 Lessons from MPI's World Education Congress 2011 #WEC11

Meeting Professionals International Annual Conference took place on July 23-26, 2011.  Planners and suppliers converged on Orlando's conference center to educate themselves, promote business interests and have a generally good time.  The conference offers some great speakers, many business opportunities and some great parties.

Networking is such a large word.  It is used to describe many things.  But it is a huge skill that is needed for successfully gaining Return On Investment (ROI) for a meeting that can easily cost an individual or business upwards of $2000.00 per person to attend.  

One of the ways that MPI continues to support its members is by providing education that allows its members to communicate and subsequently network with their peers, clients, and potential clients better.

A few of my lessons:

#1. Asking questions

It is usually very difficult to start a conversation.  But there are simple truths in this world like the fact most people like showing that they are knowledgeable.  From "what sessions have you been in today?" to "what vendor have you used that you really enjoyed working with?" the answers tell you something about the person you are speaking with.  Your super power is defined in how well you can listen and find the points of interest that can extend your conversation.

Conversation Keys: 

A. People enjoy talking about themselves.  They also enjoy hearing their own name so be sure to say "Karen, please tell me more about your involvement with that great event."  This also helps you to remember people's name so submit your dialogue partner's name into the conversation as often as possible.

B. People enjoy someone who listens.  So if you can't focus, find your focus before continuing a conversation otherwise the people you are speaking with will be really turned off.

#2. Take Action

How do you find the right people to connect with?  Ask the right questions!  Take action and openly pursue your goals with honesty and integrity.  Be honest with people about who you are looking to connect with and listen as the suggestions flow.  Listen and then take action!

#3. Think You Can

It is so easy to psyche  yourself out.  We create our destiny.  If we believe we can't, we are right!  If we believe we can, we are right!  Tell yourself you can talk with people.  You can record their information and you can pursue your business goals.

#4.  Love People

This is really tip #1 but this is probably the hardest suggestion at least at times for people to follow.  You know who is influential in your market.  You may not like, love or even have an opinion one way or another about the person you need to speak to but I would argue that you need to love them anyway.

Speaker Sue Hershowitz-Coore who is a regular presenter/educator at MPI International meetings talks about loving the room as a presenter and loving the person you are speaking with for sales and personal connection.  Simply by "caring" (possibly a good substitute for the word love if love is too strong for you) about the person or people you are speaking with they will perceive you differently.  When you make the extra effort to care and love the person you are speaking with people take notice and appreciate your attention to detail and you caring attitude.

#5. Keep Moving

For a large convention like MPI's WEC there are over 2200 people at the conference.  You will not meet everyone.  But one way you can meet more people is to make sure you do not sit with the same people all the time.  Make a conscientious effort to sit with someone you have just met and all of their friends.  They will help to introduce you around.  If they do not, it is definitely not time to be shy - Introduce yourself!  

I have often felt that once I made a few friends maybe I was obligated to stick around.  My feeling on this is ask people what they are doing next.  Discuss your goals together.  If you have matching priorities than continue on down the hall or reception line with them.  But, if you have differing agendas then you have just got your permission to leave and no one feels disrespected or guilty.

Networking is an art.  It is definitely not something I have perfected and your ideas would really be appreciated.  I desire to be an ever more effective networker.  

BONUS TIP # 6 is to introduce people to other people you know.  This generates good will towards yourself and is generally a very nice thing to do.

Please leave your comments below and I hope to see you at a meeting soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Google Goggles: Augmented Reality (Updated 8-6-11)

When will be able to effectively google the world?  Do you know what Google Goggles are?  Here is a link to the site:

I was never forced into taking a Botany course throughout my public school experience in NYC.  As a matter of fact I don't think I even had the option in school.  I perhaps, could have sought opportunities as a high school student with the parks department but the urge never struck me.

Now as I live in Valhalla, NY in Westchester County I live in a watershed green environment.  The Kensico Dam is within walking distance I have a huge yard in the back of my house and a healthy lawn in front as well.

With absolutely no Botany experience I have no idea what plants names are and very little clue to what type of care would be best to grow what I like and weed out what I do not.

For example, the tree in my front yard is blooming but I have no idea what is called.  Here is a picture can you tell me what it is?  I have included a close up of the flowers which are now in bloom.
Tree in front of my house.  What type of tree is it?
Flowers from the same tree.  What are the flowers called?

Here are some more pictures from our family walk this morning.
#1 Unidentified Tree

Tiger Lily (Identified by a blog reader - Augmented Reality)
Hydrangeas (Identified by Association Headquarters)
My Kids!  At least I know their names! :-)

Black-Eyed Susans (Identified by Association Headquarters)

I am anticipating that we will have an app like google goggles that will one day be able to identify a rose and the difference between harmless ivy and poison-ivy.  Right now Goggles works on things like books and, as Lindsey Rosenthal has proven, wine labels.  Goggles also is very interesting to use with business card as it can save the business card to your contact as well as google the person on the spot.  The latter feature is probably the more useful as I prefer CamCard on Android to capture my business cards in my contacts.

Who will provide "photo plant search" first?  It is certainly an app that I would buy, as I am very curious about what is growing around me.

Here is a great article on how Augmented Reality may soon be making QR codes irrelevant.
"Augmented Reality Kills The QR Code Star" |

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How Tech Changes the Importance of Education

By: Cameron Toth

Simple Jobs

The phase out of humans for simple jobs like cashier and beverage/snack vendor has already begun.  Jobs that were traditionally filled by low skilled labor are being simply erased by technology.  Banks of checkout lines at Home Depot and your supermarket now utilize one higher skilled employee and technology to replace what four cashiers would have done before.

Machines sell you DVDs, snacks, beverages, ice cream and iPods.
Stand Alone DVD Rental Unit in Texas
Get Your Ice Cream Here
Forget your iPod and/or headphones? Pick them up here.
If you are not a creative thinker with needed skills including basic technical knowledge that allows you to customize programs and hardware you will be cleaning toilets until a machine replaces that job as well.

A note on bathrooms:
With robots that clean carpets and hard wood floors already in existence it is only a matter of time that you will have bots that are fully able to clean on a 24 hour basis eliminating the need of cleaning staff and having the added bonus to bathroom clientele of an always clean fresh smelling bathroom.  Examples of robotic innovations in the bathroom already in existence are the sensor-flush, automatic air dryers, sensor faucets and automatic air fresheners.  Before you know it there will be a hologram that offers you a mint and directs you to not waste paper resources unnecessarily.

Arts Education Becomes Especially Important 

Children from a small age must become comfortable with technology as an assistant to living and learning.  Music, dance, and design, creative writing will be the valuable commodities of the future as common tasks like auto repair, landscaping, construction, become computer and robot driven.  Emotion and talents that evoke emotion will always have a market place in human society.

As math, science, physics and all natural sciences become accessible to everyone on the planet via an internet connection it will be necessary for anyone seeking to retain a financially independent life to have a college level understanding of those topics as well as be able to communicate.  Right now these skills automatically earn you a higher income but as we approach theoretical events like the "singularity" the welfare state may be the only refuge for a person without these basic skills.

Computers will be so advanced that they will replace so many basic tasks that only the most talented humans will be retained by companies to manage machines and create new tasks and products.

From farming to supermarkets, from textiles to synthetic metals, from material mining to material design - human hands will be involved less and less.  While this paints a picture of despairing times ahead of more and more people standing in unemployment lines or rising up against the tech elite it doesn't have to be that way.

When people can increase efficiencies and manage resources a million times more effectively than we do now there will be excellent opportunities to shift our labor focus to human caring and businesses that center around improving world wide living conditions.  Our society is all about servicing each other.  As advances in medicine, urban design and food production continue so will our ability to ease human suffering around the world leading to an age of arts, advancement and universal exploration of the natural world on our planet and beyond.

The Question Now

The question now becomes "If the poor do not receive arts education in the current age of budget cuts and Science and Math education focus what competitive advantage will they have in the future?" The answer is absolutely none.  Let us hope for a cultural awakening or at the very least communities that fill the gap in arts education until government leaders start understanding the reality of the future that awaits us.

As you can see I am trying to make a point with this article.  Please help me to communicate this idea better or show me where my logic could use a little help.  As always, thank you for reading!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How To Buy A Smartphone

Aim for a fast 3G/4G phone with a good amount of memory.

I moved from a G1 to a G2 and the speed and memory were huge improvements and truly make a smartphone fun.

Make sure your phone has one of the big three operating systems (OS).

Apple OS, Android (by Google) and Blackberry OS are the standard.  You are basically taking the risk of having very little compatibility with other devices or apps if you are on another system.  When everyone else has the next hot app and you want it too; if you do not have Apple or Android you are automatically probably not in the running.  Most business apps consider Blackberry in their marketing plan so if you are on a Blackberry device for business than you will probably be set!

Decide Whether You Need a Physical Keyboard.

iPhone is an excellent piece of technology but the lack of physical keyboard is a big negative.  I loved the G1's keyboard and the G2 has actually been a step down.  The G1's physical keyboard had separate buttons for the number keys.  While the G2 has included nifty buttons like "@", ".com" and ".www"they have made the numbers an "alt" function of the top row on the QWERTY keyboard.  This is a pain when putting phone numbers in texts or writing out emails and passwords that include both letters and numbers.

The good news is that on screen keyboards are getting much easier to use.  My suggestion is play with a working phone for a half an hour before you buy it.

Find a phone to suit your multimedia needs.

Do you have an iPad?  Do you have a Kindle?  Do you have a blackberry for work and a regular phone for personal use?  Do you want your phone to search the web, take notes for you, provide a distraction with video games and videos?

Or - Do you just want to make phone calls and have a very smart database for your contacts?

My G2 links to my Gmail account and syncs everything with the "cloud" just the same way and Apple phone would sync with "Address Book".  I had my G1 stolen in Mexico in the middle of Carnival in Huejotzingo (try saying that three times fast).  Three days later I opened up my replacement phone back in the states and all my contacts, apps and emails were back in place like my phone had never left my side.  I love my Mac and the Time Machine feature for the very same reason.  I killed the hard drive on my MacBook once and re-uploaded all my data files, media and presentations from Time Machine the next day to a new hard drive (free from the Mac Store) in time for a presentation that night.  I lost some pics I had saved the day before just before I lost the hard drive but everything else was in place like I had never damaged my computer.

Credit to Complex Magazine for General Outline of this Posting.

My Smart Phone HTC G2 

Full disclosure: I was not paid or compensated in any way to write this posting.  I am a T-Mobile Customer and, as far as I know, I pay full price.