Hopefully you heard at our recent webinar (if not check back as we’ll have the recording posted soon) at CreatorCon this year we will be setting aside space called the unconference zone specially to allow attendees to setup and facilitate short ad-hoc talks about topics of their choosing.
So what is it?
If you’ve never been to an unconference or open spaces format conference before you are likely wondering what the heck I’m talking about. You may be asking yourself why would I go to a conference to hear myself talk? It’s a simple concept really, the idea is to provide time and space where participants who all share some common interest (in this case it’s ServiceNow) the opportunity to informally exchange ideas. Have you ever been to a conference only to find the topic you are most interested in absent from the agenda or wished you could have had a chance to carry on the conversation that started in a session? With an unconference format you have that opportunity. Keep reading and I’ll explain how this works.
How does it work?
At CreatorCon we will have spaces dedicated to unconference sessions. Details are still being worked out regarding exactly how many spaces we will have but expect at least two spaces that will be set aside with large whiteboards, video screens and ~15-20 chairs where sessions can be held. Near the entrance to the CreatorCon hall you will find signs directing you to where you can find information about what unconference sessions are scheduled and where they will take place. The first thing you should expect to see is a bunch of giant post-it notes on a grid on a wall or board.
Here you will be able to *propose a session* by simply writing your topic title on a giant post it and putting it on the slot on grid that indicates an open time and space. [Best Practice] Choose a topic title that will help people quickly understand what you want to talk about or continue adding a sub-title *and* include your name and email address on the post-it That’s all there is to it.
Ok, so I just proposed a session now what? By proposing a session you are expected to do a few simple things… (the plot thickens). First, if you proposed a session you are expected to show up at the time and space you chose and facilitate the conversation. You are not expected to have all the answers or be an expert on this topic, you don’t even have to stand up in front of a crowd. You should just be interested in your proposed topic, be willing to kick-off the conversation and if appropriate take notes about the conversation on the white board. That’s it.
Don’t have a topic in mind yet, that’s ok just show up. There is no need to do anything to prepare for attending the unconference zone prior to attending CreatorCon.
Why are we doing this?
A few of us (myself included) here at ServiceNow have been to unconferences before and have had very positive experiences. We want to bring this experience to CreatorCon attendees as we feel it gives attendees a great chance to make sure they can have the conversation/talk that is most important to them. No amount of planning can anticipate every topic of interest to every attendee. Sessions in the main Knowledge are designed to have broad appeal to the attendees. Here you do the opposite; go as narrow and deep as you want to. No matter how specific, it will be of interest to someone else. Want to talk about integrating ServiceNow with AWS but don’t see a scheduled session? Propose one. Want to talk about React but don’t see a session, grab a giant post-it and propose it. At an unconference the ball is in your court to have the conversation about the topic you want to talk about. Want to discuss rate limiting APIs in ServiceNow, PROPOSE A SESSION (I’ll attend).
I’m really looking forward to seeing what type of sessions occur and how the community uses this space!!
You can learn more about the unconference (aka open spaces) format at following the links and stay tuned for follow up posts that will give you tips and tricks to make the most of your time at an unconference and for more details regarding how many spaces and time slots we’ll have at our unconference zone.