What Is An Unconference?
We're proud to announce our Social Media Unconference at the College of Continuing Education at Sacramento State on Friday, July 20. While unconferences are not new to Sacramento, they are new to many Sacramentans. With this and future unconferences, we hope to introduce the concept to more of our fine citizens.
An unconference is a learning and sharing event created and led by the attendees. At the beginning of the conference, attendees gather to offer topics to discuss and explore and to select the specific topics to add to the agenda. Next each topic is assigned to a meeting space and a time slot. Finally, you attend the sessions you're most interested in.
If a session you are attending isn't what you expected or wanted, you are expected -- yes, expected! -- to use your two feet to go to another session where you feel you can participate and contribute. In fact, it's called the "Law of Two Feet," and is standard part of an unconference.
For an brief definition of the unconference concept, you'll enjoy this 89 second video presentation. If it's all the time you have, you'll enjoy watching it.
What Might The Agenda Look Like?
To help generate some interest and dialogue, we've set up a Listly with some potential topics for the event. While there's no guarantee that these topics will be on the agenda, there's also a very good chance that some of them will. In the true spirit of an unconference, actual agenda items are not determined until the beginning of the event. We set up the list because we felt it might help some who were uncomfortable with the concept to get a better sense of what to expect.
Themed Unconferences: An Unconference for Every Interest
Unconferences may be focused on any number of topics, thus the plethora of unconference names: PodCamp, BarCamp, REbarCamp, EduCamp, VinoCamp, WordCamp, BlogCamp, etc. Some of them are obvious -- vino, edu, Word(press). Others may need some defining -- REbarCamp focuses on real estate. Podcamp is centered around audio and video podcasting, blogging, YouTubing, and social networking.
Variety Is The Spice of Unconferences
Of course, our unconference will focus primarily on social media related topics, however, the beauty of an unconference is that the theme is not so rigid that fun and unusual topics cannot be included.
For example, Adam Kalsey, who took the lead in organizing Sacramento's first software and tech-focused BarCamp, a.k.a., SacBarCamp, provided a fascinating demonstration on how to roast coffee beans using a hot-air popcorn popper. It was a session enjoyed by many of the attendees and certainly, to me, one of the most memorable. The coffee, incidentally, was delicious.
So don't be afraid to take 'the road less traveled by.' It could be the most memorable.
Lastly, for unconference trivia, if the "-camp" part of the name reminds you of camping, you may be amused to learn that at the earlier incarnations of the unconference -- and still at some events -- attendees could camp out overnight on location at multiple day events. On that note, with a great big grin, I'm happy to ask you not to bring a tent or sleeping bag to our event. No provisions have been made for camping out at this event.
Attend The Social Media Unconference
On Friday, July 20, the Social Media Club, Sacramento, will host its first unconference. To attend, visit our Social Media Unconference registration page to reserve your spot. Space is limited.