Marathon UnConferences

Last year I was the main organizer for an event called PodcasterCon. Without a doubt it was a success. But the planning and work to pull it off was intense. So much so I’m having second thoughts about doing it again.

Problem is I have a bunch of money left over from the last event. Plus I think some folks might be looking forward to another PodcasterCon.

This past month Fred Stutzman, PHD candidate and Claim ID co-founder, has organized a cool sounding event called BarCampRDU. Its a one day unconference event that’ll to be held on July 22. They’re holding it a Red Hat‘s headquarters in Raleigh. Sadly I won’t be able to attend. But I will be doing something else pretty important. 🙂

The speed with which Fred and crew have organized BarCampRDU has convinced me that you don’t need more than three months to make a cool one day event happen. Matter of fact I think you can do it in 45 days or less. That seems to be about the amount of time it takes to really get the word out and make plans.

To organize a longer event, say three days, that is worth traveling a long distance for might take longer. Because each day you add to it the more complicated it becomes. But in this day and age of quick internet info searches who has the stamina to really really appreciate a three day conference? Many people are tired as hell on day three.

For some amazing reason people came from all over the world to hang out at PodCon 2006. I think it was mostly to do with the fact the Podcasting was (is?) HOT. Timing is everything!

With the money that some conferences raise we could organize 12 cool one day events every month for an entire year of fun! Now that would be interesting. Could we sustain interest in such a crazy thing? Would people get bored of going to a regular event once a month? Could we raise enough money to pull it off?

Damn… I feel exhausted just thinking about the work of organizing another PocasterCon and here I am proposing a string of twelve! (well maybe … I’m about to get BUSY AS HELL.) It will have to involve a lot more people than me. Login and comment on this people.

One thought on “Marathon UnConferences”

  1. I think the key to successful unconferences, especially ongoing ones, is to have a core group of committed people leading the effort though a partially-open organizational structure. I say “partially” because you do need some consistency and accountability – especially if folks are giving money to it.

    But there are so many reasons not to have everything centered on one person. Most of all because if she gets hit by a truck, everything you’ve built goes down the drain. However, I also think that there is an incubation period where you need the solid leadership of one or two visionaries who can build the effort into something that other people would even want to support and create a structure to keep the values intact while also evolving.

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