In the aftermath of Camp Ven what is there to say? Did it achieve anything or was it all for nothing? What could we have done better and what things did we do at it’s best? The good thing writing a blog post a couple of months later is that it’s made possible to see some of the effects of the happening. Some of the participants have got connected in very business direct ways. Cv.erige and Dirma have gathered in a sponsor collaboration helping each other on their entrepreneurial journey. Cv.erige and the other Landskrona based company Moob has also started to help each other out by spreading the word about each other. Mikael Ernhake from Moob held a presentation on how to succeed in social media at E-commerce Park. The same Mikael also did an exhibition at Mindpark/THINK Open Space. One of the participants representing TechBBQ Copenhagen gave away festival passes for everyone interested. And THINK Open Space, Mindpark and Minc Malmö held an activity at the TechFestival focusing on female entrepreneurship. With this in mind, the belief is that there’s a lot of other, more subtle effects. From our own point of view, our network of connections grew bigger than expected and we think that some of this contacts will be helpful in ways we can’t imagine right now, both on a business level, but also from a private point of view. So, why is that? The first night a some of us was brushing our teeth together and talking outside. The subjects extended between old childhood stories, business ideas, tips and tricks. And who were we standing there? Two young girls with a rising e-commerce company, a young CEO, another CEO, one lawyer, a man with a lot of experience from the startup world but with a completely different background, an investor and a person with an idea for a startup. Where and when else would you find this set of people in such a relaxed setting?
There was a survey sent to the participants afterwards. On the question “Would you recommend the event to someone else,” one person said no with the reason “Too primitive. Raise the comfort bar and you will have lots of participants.” Something to really considerate! And something that we won’t change. What we really did wrong before the event was that we weren’t clear enough on the standard level. We had 52 participants and said no to a whole bunch. It was a good size, and we love to make sure that everyone gets a chance to actually have a good conversation with everyone. How large it can grow we do not know yet – but the most important detail of the entire event is the personal focus, which we do not want to lose. Something else to take along with us was that we should have shared a list of the participants or made them introduced themselves before the event. The mixture of people was pretty good. Both looking at an area of expertise, gender and age. And most of the people didn’t know each other from the beginning.
We made some small unnecessary mistakes, such as not having enough of healthier, more saturating, snacks between the meals. Shame on us! And the food was served too late in the evenings. Concerning the food otherwise, we got a lot of compliments that we decided to serve, almost only, vegetarian food. The exception was the crayfish party, something we ourselves think we should have had in another place just to get a change of environment.
It was an unconference, meaning that the content was created and decided by the participants together, using a grid with different time slots. To organize this a bit better we probably should have held gatherings before every slot where people could explain their sessions. And during day one we should have added a “free time slot” where people could have done things together (like going to the distillery or playing mini golf). More co-create activities had done well! E.g we could have created different groups to organise activities for the whole groups during and after the dinners. The location of the grid was also too far away.
So with all this in mind will we do it again? And the answer is of course yes. We love to help people get connected!