Tag Archives: events

Riff: Event Wrangling & Community Magic

(CC) Randy Stewart, blog.stewtopia.com. Feel free to use this picture. Please credit as shown.
If you are a person that I have taken a photo of, it’s yours (but I’d still be curious as to where it is).

A riff in reply to a conversation with Isabella Mori and others (FB iirc) about the notable conference/event/happening called Northern Voice and the reasons it sparked such goodness.

My thoughts about what makes events successful and satisfying: 

It starts with people wanting to be “part of something bigger than themselves” but then must be coupled with the reality of “getting things done” from logistical standpoint.

This is where communities so often struggle/fall apart with diverging visions – once dreaded money enters the scenario, the fun dissipates.

With this is mind, I find the best solution is finding ways to do things for “cheap and cheerful”… like in someone’s cabin, outside in a park, whatever venue is free, or no venue at all (as we did for True North Media House during the Vancouver Olympics).

As far as this organizational wrangling goes, (and this is something Northern Voice did so well), is having well-delegated committee to move things along.

I do know that there was different strong opinions within the organization, which can be useful, but as soon as any organization starts going to much into the “philosophical” boundaries of the event and/or starts pandering to sponsors, rather than letting the event happen organically (“event” being used very loosely here and could be replaced with campaign, activation, happening, be-in or whatever), the magic dissipates.

Northern Voice was magic because of the freeform parts like “Moose Camp“ and there was an element of randomness which was embraced rather than resisted.

Sponsorship was lightweight and clear and not over-bearing, and the fact that “almost anyone” could be a presenter was super important as many people had their first chance to express some selves in front of a crowd at that event.

This is a big difference from the various models of “sponsors get to speak” or a bunch of free speakers and then paying some out-of-town knucklehead to show up and do their stump speech and fly out immediately afterwards. #NotAGuru

The other part is of course is the undefinable “moment of time” which provides a container for the magic to happen.

In this case, we were obviously on the verge of something new and undefined and unbearably interesting. Certainly this timing is hard to duplicate except when the gut/heart/head all tell you the time feels right – and looking at these warm sentiments expressed by such lovely people here, maybe this is a time in which something is needed (again).

“It” will be different sure, but the difference makes it unique for its moment in time and the community which builds around it.

And remember, this doesn’t have to turn into an organize/branded/annual/sponsored event. It can just be a “potluck/salon/hang out” with wisdom sharing baked-in.

My experience wrangling suggests: Keep *it* lightweight, as simple as possible, focused on the one critical thing (personal expression or what have you…) rather than let the organization organize for the organization’s sake and get bogged down in the *business* of the organization.

Start-up Storytime at Giftbit

daveostorytime
Dave tells stories from the suitcase at Giftbit – art’d up by a lovely employee who’s name escapes me at this moment

In 2016, I presented a “Lunch and Learn” to the staff of Giftbit (formerly Kiind) about social marketing, culture building, community sparking, and start-up life – also managing events and improving copywriting and oh yeah, media relations.

In brief, I wrote out a batch of topics on paper cards, tossed them on the table and invited the assembled folks to choose. As such, the talk is spontaneous, fast-paced and offers a load of practical advice, interspersed with anecdotes from companies at which i toiled including Hootsuite, Elastic Path, Raincity Studios and various others endeavours.

Bring your own sushi for: Start-up Storytime at Giftbit Lunch and Learn (192k mp3, 1:23:13, 119MB)

Topics: 

  • Living on the isle of Guam and Dave’s first experience with the internet.
  • Startups and working for Hootsuite
  • Localization & competitive edge
  • Startup advice: Mouse & magnifier metaphor (Amplify brand, build assets, learn customer vocabulary)
  • Tips on creating a media kit
  • Working with the media
  • International markets
  • The power of the inexpensive video
  • One hug at a time
  • How to deal with crisis
  • Customer Stories
  • Different solutions for different audiences (Japan uses cash,
  • Indonesia smart phone user density)
  • Events not sucking
  • SXSW and swag
  • Fuck stats make art
  • Be your own user
  • Fostering a strong company culture
  • Thanks for sushi

Notes:

A staff member recorded the talk, edited out some bits and glued it together, plus created this wonderful graphic art piece of me in action.

I am no longer an employee of Hootsuite and this talk was done as “me” not as “me from Hootsuite” and does not reflect official company point-of-view etc. Govern yourself accordingly.

I am on advisory board of Giftbit and own some shares. Was also compensated with sushi for the talk.

Also: yes, there are “cuss words”, several.

PS Some of the clips exist on Giftbit’s Soundcloud channel, specifically:

Of yeah, Giftbit is:

Giftbit is reimagining digital gift cards.

Our platform and infrastructure makes digital gift cards more cost effective, simple, and smart.

As a B2B marketplace for selling, sending, and purchasing digital gift cards, we deliver fully-branded, trackable digital gift cards that allow you to send incentives and rewards by email or by a unique link to a recipient. For all gift cards that go unclaimed, funds are returned to your account.

Mobile Social Media Tips for Events Video with DaveO

I shared a few handy tips for using social media in general – and HootSuite specifically – for events including using lists, tracking hashtags, geo-location and so on.

DaveO Talking Social Media and Events with Brown Paper at SXSW 2012

After my “Crowd Sourcing Like Tom Sawyer” talk at SXSW 2012, i conducted a barrage of interviews, delivered hugs and high fives. Included amongst the artifacts, is an interview with Kelsye Nelson (then VP of Via Brown Paper Tickets) about using social media for events.

Dave Olson from Hootsuite: Building Community with Events

Shortly after my “Crowd Sourcing Community Projects Like Tom Sawyer” spiel at SXSW 2012, i sat for a quick interview with Brown Paper Tickets who are providing a remarkable service for bands and fans. I talk about building community with events online and through social media.

Featured Vancouverite Sharing Ideas with Travellers – Inside Vancouver

This profile was published in Vancouver Tourism’s Inside Vancouver blog on Dec. 14th ias: This Week’s Featured Vancouverite: Dave Thorvald Olson with photo by Kris Krug

Hometown:

I grew up in Whalley, and now live in Lynn Valley, but have done a lot of worldwide traveling in between.

How long have you been a Vancouverite?
On and off since I was 4 years old, and I’m 40 now.

Occupation:
I’m community and marketing director for HootSuite.com—a social media web tool for Twitter that is used by both Tom Waits and Barack Obama.

Favourite place in the city:
The Varley Trail named after the Group of Seven painter and WW1 battlefield artist Frederick Varley—it’s a short loop through in the rainy woods near my house—you can extend around Rice Lake to see remnants of early logging culture along rushing river dotted with memorials to loved ones.

Best way to spend a Saturday in the city:
Sleep in, then dim sum in Chinatown at New Town or Floata. Find a street festival on Miss604’s blog or in the Georgia Straight, roll there by transit and dig the music and snacks. Seabus to Lonsdale Quay and either pitch and putt golf at Murdo Frazer or Ambleside, or stroll across the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge. Head back by bus through Stanley Park for Kintaro ramen on Denman Street, have a quick nap, regroup at New Amsterdam Cafe, and head to a concert at Rickshaw, Malkin Bowl, or The Railway Club (depending on taste), then meander home smiling for sure.

Favourite Vancouver artist:
Dan Mangan—this singer-songwriter is everything good about Vancouver to me: understated, sincere, charming, and a wee bit scruffy. Catch him on the rise. See also: Geoff Berner and Jeremy Fisher.

Top insider tip for visitors:
Explore Vancouver’s counterculture history including sites where the Grateful Dead played free shows, Tommy Chong met Cheech, and Jimi Hendrix practiced guitar at his Granny’s house, as well as the site of the legendary punk club The Smilin’ Buddha or at the new Empire Field on the site where Beatles and Elvis both played. Oh yeah, the Museum of Vancouver is a hidden gem at Vanier Park.

Dave and Roland Talks Social Event at New Town Bakery

Dave O and Roland Tanglao riff about social media conference and events while enjoying some Cantonese style grub. Topics include: Northern Voice, Open Web and other upcoming Social Media events.

Dave & Roland Talk More Social Events Over Ramen

Dave and Roland hang out in a Japanese cafe in Vancouver and discuss all the upcoming social media related events coming up including: SxSW (all 3 parts), and plans for podcasting, photographing, making Drupal and lounging.

Tasty Asian Night Market Joint – Choogle On! #53

Tasty Asian Night Market Joint – Choogle on #53
Tasty Asian Night Market Joint – Choogle on #53

Long weekend outing starting with a beer on Commercial Dr. and a fresh sack of stinky weed – with Herr Meister Funbov and Cousin Herb – before heading off to the Richmond Asian Night Market to sample okonomiyaki, bacon treats, bubble tea, cheap products, Chinese singing and discussing the uniting force of meat on sticks, then finishing the movable feast with a big joint with 4 kinds of kind bud at Trout Lake Park. 

Tasty Asian Night Market Joint – Choogle on #53 (30:01, 24MB, .mp3)

Continue reading Tasty Asian Night Market Joint – Choogle On! #53

Gnomedex Recap with EMP Action – Gnomedex 06 #4

Admitting my affection for the GoGos at the final night party of Gnomedex at Experience Music Project, I check in with Jay aka Cosmo G Spacely the Unabonger, Jacob from Arkansas and the lovely Dingo to recap the event whilst lounging at the bar.

Topics include:
* PT’s (of Make Magazine) rapid hardware hacks
* Ethan Kaplan’s (at the time at Warner Brothers) views on the music industry and REM stories
* Some disagreement between veterans including Dave Winer and some upstarts about the “way things should be done”
* Tara Hunt and Chris Messina (then of Citizen Media) and the advantage of keeping companies small (i.e. 80 10lb spider monkeys vs an 800lb gorillas)
* Werner Voegels (CTO of Amazon) introducing the concept of cloud storage and delivery
* The variety of companies here between big and small, and absent and here, including Yahoo, Google, Intel and the love of Flickr
* Meeting new friends including Jacob from Arkansas who shares a birthday with Cosmo
* Kum By Ya singing
* Dave Dederer (ex Presidents of the United States of America) jam session
* EMP’s Sci-Fi exhibit
* Props for Chris Pirillo
* etc.