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Home > CareerCamp, Class, Events, Podcast, Seminar, Show, Video > Video: What is an unconference? from CareerCamp: New Unconference Career Building Methods

Video: What is an unconference? from CareerCamp: New Unconference Career Building Methods

April 16th, 2015

A clip from this longer presentation – CareerCamp: New Unconference Methods for Helping People Build the Career They Deserve with Douglas E. Welch

CareerCamp Founder, Douglas E. Welch, shares CareerCamp with the attendees of the California Placement Association at their annual 2015 conference in San Luis Obispo.

He discusses What is CareerCamp?, how it might be used in your organization and takes you through an example of a Day at CareerCamp.

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What is an unconference? This is a conference. You had planned speakers. You had planned organization. It’s here at a nice fancy hotel. You’ve got A/V people. You’ve got all the trappings of a regular conference. Most importantly, you knew exactly what you were going to see when you walked in the door. You might even had known what you were going to see when you saw it on the web site, once the speakers were booked. An unconference is not like that. An unconference is entirely planned by the attendees that come that day. Everyone who attends a CareerCamp is highly encouraged to participate in some way. That can be to stand up and give an outgoing presentation like this. It can be to host a breakout session on some topic. Sometimes, we find that people — especially when they are new to CareerCamp — their biggest engagement of the day is simply having the great conversations with people around the table, in the lobby area, beginning of the day, end of the day. 

What is CareerCamp and Career Camp International?

CareerCamp is a community organized, career-focused, unconference which calls upon local communities and people to share their knowledge, expertise and other important information on developing yourself and your career.

What is an unconference?

Unconferences are self-organizing conferences, similar to many professional conferences, but instead of hiring well-known, professional speakers, they call on the attendees themselves to provide the content and focus for the event. Every person who attends is highly encouraged to present on some topic deeply important to them or, barring that, to facilitate an open breakout session or round table discussion or even just to engage and converse with their fellow attendees between presentations. A few organizers band together to find a venue for the event, recruit sponsors and invite attendees, but the focus of the unconference is driven solely by the attendees.

Some might question the usefulness of presentations by their peers, but we have found that there is an enormous amount of real-world expertise available in each and every local community. CareerCamp utilizes a format that draws out that expertise and benefits everyone. CareerCamp (and other unconferences) provide a structure and an opportunity to share this expertise in ways that traditional conferences do not. Additionally, CareerCamps also attract career development professionals who can use CareerCamp as a way of introducing themselves to a new audience of potential clients.

How was CareerCamp developed?

The genesis of CareerCamp was found by attending BarCamp unconferences held around the world. CareerCamp founder, Douglas E. Welch, was a long time attendee of BarCamp, which is an event that embraces any topic, although it often leans toward technology. After seeing the success of BarCamp as a way to illuminate and educate within a community, Welch applied the unconference concept to the specific world of Career Development.

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