a virtual trip to #commscamp14

It's never possible to get to all of the events we'd like to. But sometimes you can get benefits from an event from the comfort of your own office or home.

by Emma Leigh

Before I go any further, I must make a confession, I was lucky enough to get a ticket to #CommsCamp14, hurrah I hear you say, so why the flip is this blog about a virtual trip to CommsCamp? Unfortunately, the day before I was unwell and unable to make the journey. Right up until 7.15am on Monday morning I was challenging myself to make the train, but, alas it wasn’t meant to be.

Gutted, though not truly beaten, I decided on the next best thing. I had been avidly following @johnpopham and his posts about live streaming the day, initially out of interest, as I would love to live stream my own events. However, as the time crept towards 10am on Monday, I decided to log in to see just how this would work.

Now for most people, watching a live stream or a webinar is a simple process of plugging in your headphones and away you go. For me, this is a massive challenge as I am deaf and wear a cochlear implante. While I won’t bore you with the workings of an implant, headphones are a bit of a non-starter, however, following surgery an implantee is provided with a huge box of tricks, 101 different cables to connect up with a plethora of electronic devices. So, eager to get involved I hooked myself up to my ipad (I had tried via my NHS PC, but the powers that be had decided to block live streaming…)

So, 10am arrived, I plugged in and went to www.johnpophamlive.co.uk and hey presto, there was @danslee doing the introductions, and all of a sudden I was kinda there too!

The buzz of the room was translating itself perfectly despite connecting cable and implant. I smiled as the introductions were done, I joined the ripple of laughter about cake (I so wanted a piece of the rainbow cake), and found myself almost virtually picking out which unconference slots I would attend.

So, how was my experience as a virtual attendee? Whilst it will never be 100% the same as actually ‘being there’, thanks to the #commscamp14 tag and live streaming, I could join in the conversations (I tweeted 35 times during the day), empathise as the internal comms session turned into a bit of a confessional; and read the notes which @wedge who kindly shared via Evernote.

My top take-aways and best bits as a virtual attendee were:

From Deeson Creative

From John Plougman

and from Dan Slee

So roll on CommsCamp15, in person or virtually, I hope to be there.

Special thanks to @johnpopham and all the crowd funders who made this happen.

Emma Leigh is Public Engagement and Communications Manager, NHS South Cheshire CCG.

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image via Wikmedia Commons