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Toronto CaseCamp, 24 Hours Later

Crossposted with Eli Singer.
CaseCamp has launched! With a crowd of 70 out on Tuesday in Toronto and 26 people already signed up for Montreal (awesome work taking point on this Mitch), you can be sure this is the start of something. Thanks to everyone who participated, volunteered and presented.
The next Toronto event will be announced soon, but first, what is CaseCamp going to be about going forward? I think CaseCamp’s value is as an open and independent forum. Our challenge is finding the best ways to nurture those discussions for the overall benefit of our community.

The presentation rules were meant to do just that, but after Tuesday night it was clear that some of these rules were too limiting. How can we improve them? *Add your comments to this post,* chat with Mish and Michael, edit the wiki rules page, and/or drop me an email.
While you’re on the wiki, I encourage you to contribute to the general discussion and case suggestion pages for next time.
Finally, several people suggested that we need a CaseCamp launch press release. Please help write the release if you were out Tuesday night and are on the PR side of the business.


  1. Ken Schafer - One Degree
    Ken Schafer - One Degree June 15, 2006

    Eli, you did a truly outstanding job on CaseCamp. It’s totally amazing how this came together so quickly and was so well supported.
    It took AIMS probably six or seven events before we got to this level back when we started it in 96. Of course there are more Net marketers now but to me the big difference was the ability of social tools like your StikiPad wiki, blogs, and e-mail to get the word out so widely and so quickly.
    Well done sir!
    As for feedback, I think you need to be TOUGHER on rules. Take a page from David Crow’s DemoCamp approach and be draconian in sticking to the guidelines.
    To steal from 37signals, “constraints are good” so I’d keep the 5 words or a picture rule for slides, but I’d let people use as many slides as they can get in in 15 minutes. Constraining WHAT is on the slide will force presenters not to read PowerPoint (how painful for all involved). I can go through 100 slides in 40 minutes with my presentatikon style which is very “conversational” so there might not be the same value in constraining around the quantity of slides.
    I’d also suggest “clients only” for presentations. I guess a vendor/agency could stand up WITH the client if they wanted some support, but I think stories should be told from the client perspective not the vendor perspective. Case in point, Kate’s presentation was VERY different from Eloqua’s because Eloqua can’t slag the client and it isn’t in their best interest to slag the vendor either, but Kate could easily do both!
    I’d love to hear more feedback from those who attended and also from those you DIDN’T attend. Why weren’t you there? What do you need to convince you to come out next time?
    A final question – how many people can you have in the room before you can’t share openly anymore? This was a big problem with AIMS. Once we got past 120 people in the room everyone went to standard presentation mode instead of just opening up and spilling the dirt.
    Ken – One Degree

  2. Eli Singer
    Eli Singer June 15, 2006

    All interesting thoughts Ken.
    I like the idea of upping the number of slides but keeping the wordcount down. My fear would be chart after chart after chart. Perhaps a caveat to that rule.
    With regards to total numbers at an event, there’s probably a ratio of attendees to number of presentations. If the total group doubles for the next event, we could probably add four more presentations and run sessions concurrently. That said, it could get rather large and maybe it’s better just to cap the next event based on space.
    I’m undecided about the vendor / client connection. Perhaps some others could weigh in on this one. We may be getting to a point where we’re talking to ourselves.
    Next time I’ll be tougher. I’m looking forward to it 😉

  3. Kate Trgovac
    Kate Trgovac June 16, 2006

    A couple of thoughts ..
    I was speaking with a fellow presenter today – she and I both thought that actually 3 cases would have been better. We’d have both liked more time for Q&A b/c that’s where some of the insights happen.
    On the didn’t attend question, there were still a number of folks (clients & agencies) who didn’t know about it. I would suggest that all of us who did attend do a quick scan thru our contacts and send a few judicious emails.
    Also .. we need to make sure we get this discussion thread over on the suggestion page as well.
    Finally .. thank you for my new tagline: Kate Trgovac, she slags both the client *and* the vendor!

  4. Andy Strote
    Andy Strote June 19, 2006

    First, a big thanks to Eli and everyone involved to pull this thing off. A masterful job and a great beginning.
    I tend to agree with Kate that 3 would be enough. I somewhat disagree with Ken. Don’t think it needs to be just clients. I liked the Eloqua presentation and found it very informative. I don’t mind vendors or agencies as long as they present case studies, not pitches, and that they keep the audience in mind. I.E. give us the straight goods, not a pitch.
    As for constraints and rules, for me, I truly believe the only one that needs to be strictly enforced is the 15 minute one.
    And yeah, longer Q&A is good too.
    The “how many people” question? 100 is a good number. Maybe purposely limit it – keep demand high and encourage intimacy.
    Thanks again to everyone involved. Great start!

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