What is an Unconference?

So Mo Co (33 of 75)

We’ve developed a bit of reputation for pulling off great unconferences. Unlike more conventional conferences where speakers tend to dominate the agenda, our unconferences  encourage active participation by all attendees.  However if you’ve never been to one before it can be hard to explain why an event without an agenda can be such a powerful way of sharing knowledge, problem solving and identifying opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

This post will help you get to grips with what’s involved!

What is an unconference? An unconference is an event with no pre-planned agenda. They’re sometimes also called ‘openspace events’ ‘bar camps’ or just ‘camps’. They are a great way for people with common interests to come together to share information and develop ideas.

So-Mo unconferences kick off with a number of very short ‘ignite’ talks from people who are already leading the way or who have some useful insight into the topic for discussion.

Following ignite talks we invite participants to propose a topic for a session and so long as other people want to discuss this too we allocate the topic a timeslot on our unconference grid. This is repeated until the grid is filled and the day’s agenda is created.

Want to know even more? Here is an explanatory video.


Here’s a small selection of what people at previous unconferences said when we asked them what they liked about our event…

“The energy. Going with the flow, with no pre-defined agenda. Really worked with the nature of the discussion.”

“You generated a great interactive environment & ownership of the agenda, the visual-minutes, sharing information/ideas”

“The fab buzz, good networking, some hard conversations but good to be challenged, the energy involved”

“Informality, agenda setting, involvement, participation, unconference format”

“I learnt so much. I thought the unconference style was brilliantly creative and inspiring”

“The participatory elements of the day – the unconference format totally different from other conferences I’ve been to”


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