Design Rebel: Summer Camp

There’s nothing that says summer time nostalgia quite like summer camp. The one time a year that we got to get away from our family, socialize with our friends who lived in different states, learn new skills, and party every night. Sounds a lot like a conference if you ask me. So, it should come as no surprise that more and more meetings are taking lessons from summer camp and applying them to their meetings. Here are just a few examples of how you can turn your conference into a nostalgic trip to summer camp for your attendees.

campfire_session_WEC_audience_peer_to_peer-1024x682Campfire Sessions

Campfires have long been a source of light and warmth, conduits of conversation and inspiration. Many conferences have used these sessions when they want an interactive session, set in a laid back environment, peer-to-peer discussion. The facilitators should drive the discussion but not the content. The content should be created by participating attendees in real-time.

This is an excellent way for your attendees to learn from peers through sharing their own experiences. The interactive peer-to-peer format is also an excellent opportunity to naturally network with others. When planning a Campfire Session make sure that these are known to be less formal sessions in your event program, and explain that they will feel more like a friendly discussion. Even though it’s a less formal session you need to get a skilled facilitator that would be able to trigger and manage the discussion effectively. Encourage him/her to briefly present the main points and have a stack of questions to get people talking.


Smores are a great communal catering activity that is great for session breaks or outdoor receptions. And the great thing about smores is there are many ways to serve them. I’ve seen frozen smores, smores granola mix, and even smores cocktails. My favorite way to serve smores though, is the traditional way of roasting them over a fire. It’s a great conversation starter and a fun activity your attendees will remember.

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