What's an "Unconference"?
An “unconference” blows away the traditional trappings of a conference – pre-selected speakers, canned product pitches, pre-set agenda, everything pre-planned and only some of it relevant. Instead, the conference is created in real-time by the attendees themselves by proposing and voting on sessions that are of interest to you! As the agenda is built out, multiple sessions are offered simultaneously so that each person gets to build the conference experience that gives them the most value!
The goal of an unconference is to maximize the experience of the attendee – the only thing needed is your participation! Before coming out, think about topics that you might want to talk about for 30-45 minutes – what are you passionate about? Then write up a brief summary so that you can post it on the session board the day of the event. If you get enough votes, your session goes on the agenda, and you get to engage with a roomful of people equally interested in your topic!
How does this work?
The success of an unconference hinges on attendees who are actively engaged and who bring their personal passion to the event, offering to present or facilitate sessions based on their own interests.
Before the Event
Sometime before the event, think about a topic or two that you’re passionate about, and that you want to share with the other attendees. Big or small, complicated or simple, any idea is worth proposing – you never know what will resonate with the other attendees! Some people put together a PowerPoint presentation ahead of time, others just engage in conversation with the other people in the room, and some don’t present at all but facilitate discussions with their audience. There is no “right” or “wrong” – there’s just you, your ideas, and how you want to present them! If you want feedback on your ideas, we’ve got a Session Forum just for that – or, you can look at our Proposal Template for a preview of the session format.
The Morning Of
After a brief introductory address, time is set aside for people to post their session proposals. There are usually several themes to categorize sessions, so that people can focus on topics that are most relevant to them. Each attendee is given a limited number of voting stickers, which they attach to the sessions that they want to attend, or that they want to have on the agenda. At the end of the voting period, the session proposals are taken down, votes tallied, and the final agenda for the day is created.
The Day Of
Following an initial keynote session, the agenda will be available for everyone to review – there will be multiple sessions offered during every segment, so there’s always a variety of topics to choose from. Pick and choose from the events offered which ones work for you and don’t forget to use the “Rule of Two Feet” – if you’re in a session that’s not working for you, you can always step away to try something else on for size. The goal of an unconference is to provide you with the options so that you are in control of your own experience!
The After Party
What would any conference be without the after-party, a time and a place to get to know the people you’ve just met better, and to update that network of yours that’s so important. ProductCamp Seattle hosts an engaging, fun, and lively after-party every year, and we hope you’ll set aside time to wind down with the rest of us after a busy day of talking, learning, and meeting new people!
You propose topics, and you vote on topics.
Agenda is created day of based on attendee votes.
A user-driven conference, so come to participate!