Unconference Resources Page

This blog, Events Wrangling (EW), now has a static page for Unconference Resources. For those not familiar with unconferences, they are participant-driven meetings designed to have an entire event focus on generating the engaging and worthwhile discussions that often happen during “hallway conversations” at traditionally-organized conferences. (See three links at the end of this post for an explanation of the hallway conversations to which I’m referring.)unconference resources

The Unconference Resources page will be periodically updated to:

  1. More effectively explain, to people unfamiliar with unconferences, what these events are
  2. Be more useful to unconference organizers, session leaders and participants
  3. More persuasively explain unconference benefits to potential partners and sponsors

At the moment, on May 20, 2016, that static page is very thin on content. It was created today, and my goal is to work on it over the next couple weeks to get it to the version 1.0 stage.

Below is the tentative outline of the sections that will be on the Unconference Resources page.

Events Wrangler’s Guide To Unconference Resources

Table Of Contents

What Is An Unconference?
What Is Open Space Technology?
Unconference FAQ
Top 10 General Links About Unconferences
“Intro To Unconferences”
“Why Unconferences” or “Benefits of Unconferences”
What Are Unconference Sessions Like?
How To Lead An Unconference Session

What Is An Unconference?

What Is Open Space Technology?

Unconference FAQ

  • Why is an unconference better than a conference?
  • What is the general content focus of an unconference?
  • What kind of people would be interested in an unconference?
  • How do the individuals who participate know there is an unconference, and how do you attract good participants to the event?
  • Are there enough local people knowledgeable about and actually doing things with topic XYZ to make it worthwhile to have an unconference?
  • What if you have a film tech unconference session about topic ABC (e.g. virtual reality film capture) and nobody, or almost nobody, in the session knows anything about topic ABC?

Top 10 General Links About Unconferences
General background information relevant to unconferences.

“Intro To Unconferences”
The five web pages of which I’m aware that give the best introduction to unconferences.

“Why Unconferences?” or “Benefits of Unconferences”
Five recent articles (2014 – 2016) with reasons event wranglers or sponsors should consider using the unconference meeting format.

What Are Unconference Sessions Like?
Five resources to help a first time unconference goer understand what sessions are like.

How To Lead An Unconference Session
Five resources to help session leaders plan and facilitate an engaging and successful session.

Miscellaneous Resources

Please email me at bwaldron (att) gmail [dot] com if you have suggestions for:

  1. Additional high quality resources for unconferences
  2. Questions you’ve got or have been asked that should be added to FAQ
  3. Unconference definition you prefer over the one currently used on the Unconference Resources page

The EW Unconference Resource page walks the line between providing too much and too little information. Because everyone has a different concept of what an unconference is and how it should work, some unconference organizers or participants will find that other resources are more relevant and useful for them. I intentionally limited most of the sections on the resource page to five links. My hope is that those links either give you the information you were looking for or at least point you in the right direction and give you insight into what keywords to use for a Google search which leads you to just what you need.

The resources listed on the EW page are the ones that seem best from my viewpoint. If you suggest a resource that’s been very helpful to you, and it seems to me like it’s more useful than what is currently listed, I’ll put it in one of the above sections. I’ll also remove one of the existing resources from that section and add it to the Miscellaneous Resources section of the page. If, from my viewpoint, it’s not more relevant for the concept of unconferences that I’m describing than the ones on the short list in a section, I’ll add your recommendation to the Miscellaneous Resources section. My opinion isn’t necessarily “right,” it’s just the opinion I have based on my experience and knowledge…

Hope to meet you soon at an unconference!!


What are hallway conversations?

Making the most of the conference hallway track — “The informal conversations you have in conference corridors in between sessions can help you learn a lot more and connect with more people than the planned sessions do…”

Hallway Con: The Real Reason to Go to Security Conferences — “…The term hallway con refers to the discussions and often informal meetings that happen at conferences between the official tracks. These are often impromptu, and spontaneous. These types of hallway conversations can often happen between friends who haven’t seen each other for a while, or between total strangers who simply had a meeting of the minds in a previous session… or between a speaker/attendee or 2 speakers or multiple attendees… the possibilities are virtually endless.

The beauty of the Hallway Con lies in its unpredictability…What starts with a simple “hello” inexplicably turns into a 2 hour conversation which covers a slew of topics and turns into a project, a solved problem, or simply more conversation later on. These types of occurrences are common – and what often starts with 2 people can quickly balloon into a large crowd with some listening, some leading, and some informally participating…”

What Is An OpenSpace Conference? — “What’s the best thing that happened at the last conference you attended? It’s very likely that you’ll remember one or more “hallway conversations,” or perhaps a “Birds-Of-A-Feather” session. An OpenSpace conference creates that experience for the entire conference, by ensuring that you are always having the most interesting conversation possible. The emphasis is on discussion, instead of listening to eyes-forward presentations…”



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