Why pay for conferences when you can go for free? An upcoming Business Week article discusses the impact that unconferences are having on the convention industry. If you don’t already know what an unconference is, it is an event in which the attendees are the presenters. The overall concept is that the attendees have more knowledge on the topics being discussed then the few “expert” presenters.
I was fortunate enough to attend a recent unconference in New York City, “Podcamp NYC”. While many of the presenters were not professional speakers, they did have experience in their given fields. I found most of the value of the unconference to be the opportunity to attend a free event and meet a lot of people.
What is the point of a conference anyways? While some conferences have the goal of teaching the attendees about a new technology most conferences are basically an opportunity to network with other attendees. In my article “10 Steps to Become a Perfect Conference Attendee” I highlighted the point that most people attend conferences to network with other people in the same industry. Will unconferences bring about the end of traditional conferences? Definitely not, but it is a new format that deserves attention. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend an unconference then I highly suggest that you check one out.