Skip to content

Nacho Mamas Deep Fried Hybrid Event on A Stick

If Hybrid Events had fun recipe names, then the Event Camp Twin Cities hybrid event recipe would be called Nacho Mamas Deep Fried Hybrid Event On a Stick.


Because it sounds unhealthy, irresistible and something that you should try at least once! I imagine it just like the photo below.

Fried Snickers Bar on a Stick. Photo credit: linksmanjd

Why should you try Nacho Mamas?

Good question. Has anyone ever said this about a virtual event that you have organized?

At 6:00 pm when the camera stopped rolling and the event closed down, I realized for the first time I was alone in my office.  I looked around and wondered where the 174 people had gone.

Or what about this:

It blew me away. For the first time ever, this was officially a hybrid event that works.  It was the whole package. I got way more than I expected. If I had to pay for it – I would have.

If you aren’t getting that kind of feedback, then maybe this recipe is the kick start that you need. It is tasty, irresistible and keeps people coming back for more.

Here is the recipe, so you can go out and create your own Deep Fried Hybrid Event on A Stick. See the finished product.


Team Roles

1 Virtual Event Design Consultant / Project Manager

1 Virtual Emcee: The Host of the Remote Broadcast

1 Tech Director: Calls the show, video camera shots and switches

1 Twitter Moderator: Captures questions, comments and ideas from the audience

1 Soundbyte Tweeter: Tweets Out Speaker highlights under the event’s Twitter ID

1 Main Session Cameraman

1 Studio Cameraman

1 Mediasite Tech: Manages video, audio and VGA feeds going into Mediasite system

1 A/V Tech: Manages the House signals

1 A/V Tech: Manges the Video and Audio Switches for Remote Audience

Equipment and Technology

2 Cameras: One for the main room and a second for the studio

2 Camera Tripods

1 Riser – to make the tripod sit over everyone’s head

2 Studio Microphones (These are linked to webcast – but not house sound.)

3 House Sound Microphones

1 Media Site Player (this is the webcasting gear)

1 Video Switcher

1 Interview Studio (Table, Chairs Backdrop, Professional Lighting)

1 Twitter Hashtag

1 Event Twitter Account

1 Webcast Player (Mediasite provides this – but can be configured)

1 Intefy System (Virtual Front Door that shows video, schedule plus twitter streams

1 Hosting Server for Storing and Hosting Streaming Video

3 Laptops for Virtual Emcee, Twitter Moderator and Fact Based Tweeter (if not the same person)

Various and sundry cables to connect and power everything


Create A Virtual Agenda

Take your event agenda and mix in a virtual introduction, virtual shows and planned interviews. With your rolling pin, neatly roll out the virtual conference agenda until it integrates nicely with your regular event agenda. Be sure that most of the breaks and meals are filled with lively content for the virtual audience.

Next, chop the agenda up into a run schedule and add in different points for group time. Take those chopped up elements and sprinkle in various people (virtual emcee, twitter moderator) and places (Studio, main room and man on the street).

Put the programming in the refrigerator to gel for a few days.

Design the Virtual Experience

Next, sketch out the virtual experience. Sketch out the sights, sounds and mouse clicks that people will experience while moving from your Virtual Front Door into your Event’s Virtual Living Room. There may be several steps and screens – understand them all. Be sure to look at experience, performance, usability and intuitive interface when choosing vendors.

Plan & Equip Your Physical Spaces

Now, you need to assemble the elements that will go into your studio, main room, etc – the tech, decor and people. Be sure that you compare these pieces to your agenda to make sure that you have not forgot anything — you want the flavors to gel together when you deep fry it. If they don’t match you could be in trouble. Then, go find your vendors to execute.

Assemble and Deep Fry

Wrap your virtual emcee, virtual experience pieces and physical on-site elements together in your programming. Insert a stick to make sure that your solution is fully portable (that you can embed it on other websites).

Now, Deep Fry that Bad boy for 60 seconds. Let it sit for 20 seconds (the webcast delay), then serve with a big smile and a group of social sharing buttons.

This recipe serves 550.

If you are making a double batch, consider adding two different twitter moderators. The first is a twitter moderator that responds to comments. The second is a twitter moderator that only tweets out speaker highlights from the main event into retweetable soundbytes.

Bottom Line

There were many people, processes and technologies that went into creating and implementing the Event Camp Twin Cities virtual experience. It was the combination of all of these elements – along with compelling content – that got people to engage in the event.

If your hybrid or virtual event or technology or process had a cool food name, what would it be? and why?

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Way to wrap some comprehensive, technical info in a very delicious-sounding package, Sam. As a friend, ECTC participant and volunteer, I have eagerly watched you and Ray create this masterpiece and believe me I’ve taken notes. I hope to use what I’ve learned to help our clients create events that do at least some of what ECTC did. There’s a reason everyone is still talking about it.

    Thanks so much for generously sharing the HOW. Results of your efforts will, no doubt, be felt in our industry for some time to come.

    September 25, 2010
  2. Great to see such amazing revolutionary thinking that takes us to a more practical level and allows us to literally peek into the future. I do think that much of this article will/should be the basis for an entire new industry. The pain of leading, learning and listening will make you an important force in the business of “programming of human interaction.”

    September 26, 2010
  3. @Jenise – Thanks for your kind words AND for taking notes during ECTC10. Hopefully, you used the cool conference journal – those were awesome! If you need any help convincing your clients, please let me know. These are ideas worth trying and I would be happy to help.

    @David – Thanks for your generous compliments. We could have never done it without your support and the support of BizBash. Looking forward, we need more people to be able to see and experience these new formats, technologies and ideas – before they become mainstream and a regular part of event design. ECTC10 was just one small step in that direction.

    PS – I should have mentioned that we have Kiki L’Italien from Delcor to thank for the recipe format. She encouraged me to try to write this up as something fun rather than a boring case study. (We will still do the boring case study, too)

    September 26, 2010
  4. Great food analogy Sam.

    It really is fun to see the experience from the various angles. The photo’s that were just published and your overview above sums up some great output of a conference that has proven to break the sound barrier of what hybrid represents in 2010.

    Looking forward to collaboratively posting the case study around the PODs soon. Those were an experience in themselves…

    These new formats takes truckloads of creative thinking, immersion 3D planning, lateral thinking and journalistic post event reporting. With the fruition of #ectc10 you are making efforts and delivering results that will not go unnoticed!

    Look forward to the next steps, grüezzi from Basel, Ruud

    September 26, 2010
  5. Sam,

    Thank you for the delicious overview and delicate details that went in to producing an incredible event. We often are asked by our clients for “tips” on how to produce a more engaging hybrid/virtual event and I now have a great reference to share with them. I was honored to get to present at the event and appreciate the opportunity to share what the Intefy platform can do in front of all those who attended. I have to give Emilie Barta big kudos as I believe she is the special ingredient that made this event so special for the virtual audience. Event managers, if you are going to splurge on one element in attempting to produce a hybrid event, make sure you splurge on the virtual emcee. If you’re really a good chef you’ll hire Emilie!

    For those who are “proof is in the pudding” types and want to see actual stats, here you go: (interesting to see the international participation) (city participation)

    Lisa Qualls
    (I did my best to keep within the spirit of your recipe approach! LOL!)

    September 29, 2010
  6. Hey Sam–

    Another addition which we have been playing with /producing lately is posting the sessions just as they end. Maybe a microwavable portion for immediate on-demand consumption. Plus doing some editorial with a blog post it is attached to on the conference website. So live stream ends, the session is cut and put up for an on-demand experience right after it is presented (or fried up :))

    Since working with LiveStream, who I blundered through at the NYC event camp- the live streaming space is changing and evolving at a rapid pace.

    Great post Sam…


    November 15, 2010

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. How To Design An Effective Hybrid Event [Webcast & Slides] « Interactive Meeting Technology
  2. Behind the inspiration « eventastic
  3. The cost of hybrid events | Conferences That Work

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: