Why You Should Attend an Unconference
Conferences provide opportunities to learn, network, and gain tips and inspiration from experts in your field. Sometimes, however, they can be dull and leave you feeling like you’ve wasted your time.
Luckily, there’s a better way: the unconference.
What Is an Unconference?
An unconference is essentially a conference shaped by its participants. There are no prearranged topics, speakers, or panels. There isn’t even a schedule. Instead, attendees decide what questions and topics will be discussed. Leaders facilitate each breakout session, and participants attend any session that piques their interest.
No one presents at these sessions. Instead, the unconference is all about conversation. The idea is that “the sum of the expertise of the people in the audience is greater than the sum of the expertise of the people on stage.”
Law of Two Feet
Unconferences are governed by the “law of two feet,” which states that attendees can get up and move to a different session any time they feel that their needs aren’t being met. This includes feeling bored or uninspired, or realizing that you have nothing to contribute to this particular session.
Participants can also take a break at any time, based on the theory that breaks sometimes lead to moments of great inspiration.
Why You Should Attend
At a conference, you spend most of your time passively listening. On the other hand, an unconference gives you the chance to share your own expertise and engage in conversation with a number of like-minded experts in your field. Here, you move beyond “networking” into “collaborating.”
You don’t have to adhere to a schedule or attend any event that doesn’t interest you. Instead, you can move around freely, exploring the topics and ideas that you find most inspiring. You’re in complete control of your own experience.
Not only is this freedom empowering, but it also ensures you make the best possible use of your time at the event. Each individual has their own needs and preferences, and an unconference allows you to shape the experience as you see fit.
Typically, this high-energy, unstructured set up leads to an increased flow of innovative ideas. As you participate in this unfiltered exchange of ideas, you’ll likely make new connections and find inspiration. Most participants report leaving an unconference with renewed energy and excitement, as well as newfound tips, tricks, and ideas.
Like traditional conferences, unconferences give you a chance to network and learn. Unlike their traditional counterparts, unconferences put you in the driver’s seat.
Attend an unconference to explore your own personal interests, actively collaborate on a variety of topics, and discover inspiration and innovation!