Unconference

Unconference

As part of last year’s conference, we held an unconference downstairs from the main stage, in Lola’s Room. These sessions provided an outlet for the community to share ideas and discuss problems at a deeper level than we could on just the main stage of the conference.

This year, we will be repeating the unconference track, with the addition of some scheduled topics to help guide talk sessions.

If you’ve never attended an unconference, expect to interact closely with others from the community. Anyone from the community can suggest and lead a session on a topic, which could be a presentation, a group discussion on a particular problem, or anything in between.

Leading a Session

There is no stage in an unconference, talks instead focus on community interaction. While standard presentations can work, the format lends better to discussions within your group.

Whether you have a topic in mind, or maybe just a problem you would like to pose to the rest of the community, there is no wrong way to lead an unconference session. Here are a few ideas of how to structure your session, borrowed from Scott Berkun’s post on unconference sessions:

  • Group discussion - Pick a topic and facilitate a group discussion
  • The semi-talk - Use a short presentation to lead into a group discussion on a topic
  • Show and tell - Show off your latest project, a new tool, or anything else you are excited about
  • Presentation - Because sessions are meant to be small and inclusive, this is a difficult format to lead a session with. You cannot rely on slides, because you will not have a screen to present with. Feel free to present a longer talk, but expect more interaction from others joining the session and break often for questions and discussion

Schedule a Session

Attendees that wish to lead an unconference session have several options for signing up. We will have a board with all of the sessions for the unconference track each day, simply post your talk topic on the board if you would like to speak.

The first chance you will get to post your presentation is on Sunday, at our Writing Day event and preregistration party. If you don’t make it to the Writing Day event or preregistration party, be sure to head to Lola’s Room when you first arrive at the conference to post your topic.

We will start promoting the unconference sessions early in the day on the days of the conference, so be sure to post your topic early.

Sessions

Unconference sessions will begin after lunch both days, running until the end of the day. We will start the unconference sessions off each day with some time for focus on one of several topics:

Check out last year’s schedule.

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