Okay folks…having read Jeff Jarvis today (thanks for the pointer Johnnie) and noting the unconferencing angst going on out there, and noting also that people seems to be feeling around in the dark for some way forward, I’m here to offer what I can.
I am a facilitator and I specialize in Open Space Technology. There is hardly a better method of structuring a conference that mimics the social networking landscape that we call the Internet. I have run all kinds of conferences with Open Space, including using Open Space combined with speakers and other bits of inspiration. I’ve used Open Space in combination with other large group process like World Cafe. I’ve convened conference using Open Space that were supported by wikis and blogs and that had an online and real life for months afterwards.
If you are after building bottom-up, conversational and highly networked conference, it’s really a very simple thing to turn a traditional conference into an Open Space event that gives you what you’re looking for. I have been hearing about people wanting to do this for a couple of years now, but no one has called yet, so here’s the offer:
If you are serious about wanting to create an unconference, phone me or Skype me or drop me an email and I will talk your ear off for free and tell you everything I know about how to do it. I will even help you create the invitation and figure out the logistics. If it suits you to work with me after that, I’ll facilitate the conference for you as well and/or find others out in the world who will be eager to help you out for an obscenely reasonable rate. You will have, at the end of the day, a dynamic event, with engaged participants and you will bring it in at a huge cost savings over what you are budgeting for a full-on conference with panels and video conferencing and skirts on the tables and such. You will have a powerful, low cost, learning event.
In exchange for my free set up advice, I’ll ask you to share what we learn with others on our respective blogs. All I want to do at this point is make sure that the new kind of conferencing takes off and that we can learn from one another.
So I look forward to hearing from you.