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How does an unconference work?

Posted on April 27, 2016 by Stormy McBride in Uncategorized

We all know what a conference is; people dress up, some show up in suits, it’s super formal, they’ve got a set topic of discussion, there’s some time for questions at the end, some are boring and some aren’t, you get the idea.

We are GCUC, AKA the Global Coworking Unconference Conference. We’ll stop here as some of you might be confused.

Unconference Conference…we know, it’s kind of contradictory. So allow us to shed some light.

Basically an unconference is an event (or conference if you will) in which attendees get to choose the topics of discussion.  Think of it as day of crowd sourced conference agenda.  We have asked Tony Bacagalupo and Ashley Proctor back (they managed the unconfernece last year)  to walk us through the format again in LA.

You will find a rainbow of colorful blank eco-static notes on the glass, outside the auditorium, on Thursday.  You are invited to post a topic, well, on… anything.  We will then have Ashley and Tony  go through and put like minded topics together.  After we have done a little organizing, everyone will have the opportunity to vote on the top three session they would like to attend.  We will then group the sessions into an “unconference agenda”.  The app will be updated on the fly as well as the screens throughout the venue.  If a session you submitted is chosen – you will lead that session. If you are in a grouping then you will co-lead the session.

Last year in our survey we learned that GCUC attendees wanted a more curated unconference.  We decided the way to accomplish that was with tracks.  The tracks are in 4 specific categories:

Coworking 101, Commercial Real Estate, Entrepreneurship and Coworking 2.0.  The track topics are already identified and presenters are in place.

Both models succeed in their mission, for attendees to truly gather new knowledge and participate in the discussions that are relevant and of interest to them. Just imagine if you had to sit through a 16 hour long conference on coworking, but you didn’t get to pick what topic you’d like to learn about, so you end up listening 3 hours on community while you were more interested in legal matters, and 2 hours on design while you wanted to learn about tech.

GCUCALL has both a conference and an unconference format. The first day is full of speakers and experts that will shed light on the latest trends and know-hows of the industry. The second day is the ‘unconference’, and you will be able to choose whether you want to learn about design or community, management or wellness, legal matters or technology, etc.

Our goal during the unconference day is for you to participate and share knowledge with other guests, while at the same time you gather some new insights and ideas. It’s a win-win situation – you share, you learn, you meet.

We look forward to seeing you at our LA Unconference Conference this May 3-6!