CreatorCamp Ottawa: a huge success (behind the scenes part 4)

In part three of this series, we overcame some usability and technological challenges.

The rest of the planning revolved around promotion of the event. Besides blogging and Tweeting about #CCyow2010, we promoted the event through word of mouth. A couple of reminder emails were circulated to registrants. Those emails included a nudge to bring $10 to donate to the Ottawa Food Bank. [UPDATE: We raised $340!!!]

I made arrangements for a representative of the Ottawa Food Bank to attend the beginning of Creator Camp to collect and carry the money away, rather than having to take the collection and deliver potentially hundreds of dollars during working hours. By the way, I made the the initial request for a representative on Friday, three business days before Creator Camp. While the Food Bank was able to accommodate us, they apparently request 7 days notice.

By the way, we chose financial donations rather than canned goods so it wouldn’t be necessary for one person to haul away a small mountain of heavy containers.

We received about 25 registrations on the day of the event. That was attributed to an announcement I made at Social Media Breakfast Ottawa. Newly published author CC Chapman had just spoken to 140 people and I had the opportunity to put in a plug.

We estimate about 40 of the 65 registrants participated in Creator Camp Ottawa. The vibe was great. The presenters shared experiences and suggestions; participants seemed engaged. I furiously took notes (Click here to download a PDF of my Creator Camp Ottawa 2010 notes–and doodles–which may mean nothing to you if you weren’t actually present to hear the discussions).

The presenters were fascinating! Amazingly, each session reinforced a common idea of start. Here’s the list with their topics/titles and my personal standout takeaway from each session…

  • Louise Legault-Hatem: inner creative genius in impromptu situations (success comes from trusting your instincts and abilities)
  • Tom Hofstatter: “Run with scissors”… focusing creativity by imposing boundaries – and removing distraction (committing to the idea is the hard part, accidental and self-imposed limitations contribute to the creative process)
  • Alison Gresik: 4 things you need to know to write a book — or finish any big project — next year (find the big yes and act on it)
  • Sue Murphy: The role of hiatus in the creative process (sometimes you need to give up something you love to renew your passion for it)
  • Christopher Griffin: Accidental inspiration and creativity (get rid of the preciousness of the materials/project)
  • CC Chapman: Photography as a creative activity (take and share pictures of anything/everything every day)

The venue was fantastic; the environment naturally creating a “theatre in the round” which the speakers used very well.

If I could change only one thing about Creator Camp Ottawa 2010, it would be the music. Being a popular pub, Patty Boland’s played music through the house speakers. Apparently they have it wired in such a way that turning off the music on the second floor (where Creator Camp was held) kills the music on the main floor as well. While the staff turned the music down for us, it was still a bit of a challenge to speak over it. To their credit, the speakers were so engaging, it was easy (for me) to tune the music out.

SUMMARY

Here’s a quick review of key decisions, actions and lessons during this summary period:

  • Promote your event at others (if possible)
  • Make giving to the local community a part of the event
  • Have a representative of the charity to be present to collect the donations (one less thing to worry about)
  • Arrange to kill the music or hold the event where music won’t be an issue
  • Encourage participants to run their own Creator Camp events
  • Trust the event to turn out just as it was meant to

Thank you Bob, CC, Andrea, Sue, WTL and Patty Boland‘s for their ideas, support and contributions to making Creator Camp Ottawa happen.

Huge thanks you to the speakers and participants for making the event necessary and successful.

Watch for a post-CreatorCamp discussion with me, Bob, Andrea, CC and Julien on the Canadian Podcast Buffet.

Now it’s your turn!