What is an un-conference?

Unlike traditional conferences, An un-conference does not have pre-planned presentations or talks. The day will be organised around fostering conversations around the topics you find most interesting and important, and the concept stems from the Open Space Technology

How does it work?

With the exception of pre-approved lightning talks after lunch, and some prepared remarks at the start and the end of the day, the entire agenda will be determined and controlled by the participants.

  • The event space will be divided into a number of breakout spaces, and the day will be divided into 45 minute chunks

  • At the start of the day, all participants will have an opportunity to address all attendees and propose a session that they would like to run. It doesn't need to be a pre-prepared talk, it could just be a problem that you're struggling with and would like some advice on. 

  • During the course of the day, you are then free to physically walk around the breakout spaces and join any conversations that you're personally interested in.

  • Everyone is encouraged to "Vote with their feet". Feel free to jump around and enter / exit sessions as you please. 

  • There will also be smaller breakout areas for more ad-hoc conversations that occur - remember the event is all about your own learnings, so there is no pressure to attend any specific session. If nothing takes your fancy, create your own conversations :)

What kind of topics could I bring up?

The event is targeted at leaders of product and engineering teams. With that context, we encourage participants to run sessions on whatever happens to be on their minds at the time. In the past we've had participants share very specific issues they've been facing and wanted a group of peers to help give advice and we've had people look to test out conference talks that they'd like to get feedback on; there really is a wide remit and most topics will be welcomed. Here are some ideas to get the wheels turning:

  • Hiring and interviewing best practices

  • 1:1's and coaching

  • Managing performance

  • Building high-performance teams

  • Defining roles

  • Managing up

  • Boundaries between Product and Engineering

  • Influence and impact

  • Managing products vs managing teams

Vote with your feet

Due to the nature of the event, there is a possibility that you've suggested a session and yet when you turn up to run it, there is no-one else there :(

Sadly this is an unavoidable possibility with un-conferences but please don't be disheartened. If it's a topic that's close to your heart, maybe you'll be able to start a conversation outside of one of the allotted session times.