blog: how does online commscamp compare with in person?

by Kate Bentham

CommsCamp at home – how does it differ to being in person?

I’ve been lucky to be involved in CommsCamp since it first started back in 2013.

I’ve travelled to Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Doncaster, carrying tins of tiffin to use as a bribe to talk to comms professionals and to encourage them to part with money for a chosen charity.

That couldn’t happen during 2020. I had to stay home. We all had to stay home. But thankfully CommsCamp stayed home too.

So how did #CommsCampStaysHome differ? To be fair, there wasn’t much difference, apart from I wore my slippers and sat on my sofa looking into a screen, whilst eating cake

  • There was still a pre-event curry and drinks social event, with the added bonus of a quiz.
  • There were over 300 comms professionals who attended over two mornings.
  • Job titles were still left at the door, it simply doesn’t matter if you have years of experience or just starting out, your opinion is valid.
  • There were still people who were new to CommsCamp and this is great
  • All sectors were represented, from local government, to education, to the emergency services to housing, and the voluntary sector.
  • There was still no agenda, but a great variety of ideas pitched and a grid of nearly 50 different conversation sessions over the two days, all set by those attending.
  • The rule of two feet still applied. It was still ok to leave a session and head into another room.
  • Connections were still made, email addresses still exchanged, faces were still put to names.
  • It was still free to attend and always will be.
  • There was still a heavy cake theme (it’s all about the cake), we even issued the exclusive Commscamp Cookbook and the breakout rooms where cake themed.
  • There was still a cake baking contest with a star baker prize at stake.
  • Comms people are still good people and managed to donate over £1000 to The Christie cancer charity for which we thank you.
  • Attendees received a tea towel which wasn’t a tea towel but a strategic communications channel.
  • We still had a fantastic team of volunteers who worked to pull this together with guidance from Dan Slee and Emma Rodgers.
  • We still had some brilliant sponsors and we are very grateful for their continued support.

So yes, CommsCampStaysHome had to be different but it was also its brilliant familiar self and I can’t wait to do it all again in September.

Kate Bentham is the Official Cake Monitor at commscamp

Picture credit: Nigel Bishop

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