This is part 2 of an 8 part series on ChurchTechCamp (ChurchTechCamp:.Los Angeles, ChurchTechCamp:.Dallas) from the perspective of organizing one, in hopes that others will find some useful information to help organize one near them.
What is an unconference?
It made me realize that what I really want to attend is an “unconference“, where people pay to come and listen to one (or maybe two) keynotes by prominent community members, but then the rest of the time is spent in unstructured hacking sessions, where people cluster and work together on any number of different projects. If people want to stand up at a mic and talk about something that interests them, that‘s fine, but the focus would not be on presentation, but on working on interesting projects.
Unconferences by Jamis of 37 Signals
You can find this quote on the front page of the ChurchTechCamp:.Dallas website.
And that is the intention of ChurchTechCamp:.Dallas. A place where people can gather together, free of charge, no product placement, no one pushing products…and talk about “best practices” in their areas of interest as it relates to church and technology.
Tony Steward from the outset has successfully pushed for an event that is different from all the other events, and one that is free of sponsors and agendas. I think this is what makes ChurchTechCamp unique, and I think it’s a desire for many who have been burned out and overwhelmed by the number of conference, sponsors and fees to attend them.
An “unconference” is grassroots gathering of locals that has implications for a larger mobilization of the church through the use of technology. Not only do you have the opportunity to listen to others share their perspective, but you as an attender have the opportunity to contribute to the conference in the morning sessions, as well as participating in projects along with everyone else in the afternoon. You are more than a face in the crowd, but a participant of the event.
What do you think about the philosophy and idea of an “unconference?”
How many conferences will you attend this year? What will be the grand total cost of them?
Are you burned out going to lots of conferences?
If you had to choose 3 conferences to go to this year (in an area of practice), what would they be?
Disclaimer: Tony Steward is the main organizer, facilitator and influence behind ChurchTechCamp:.LA and ChurchTechCamp:.Dallas, I’m simply writing this series from the perspective of helping organize the details (location specifics) for the Dallas event, and hopefully this will be a useful series if you find yourself wanting to or in the position of helping organize one for your city.