Understanding un-conferencing to collaborate for IDEAS

‘Events, seminars, inspiring talk, chat-shows, and traditional conferences’; these are part of our day to day professional life today and attending such programs with presentations and speeches has become an utmost necessity for career development. But do such traditional conferences unleash the innovative ideas that add value to our business? What if you were provided with an opportunity to express your ideas and collaborate with peers in an event with topics of interest? My predictions are that it would be more fun-filled and lively. That’s exactly what un-conferencing is. If you find the power-point presentation, research conferences, and traditional conferences as sleeping tablets or boredom then, un-conferencing is definitely for you.


Rebecca O. Bagley, Chief Executive Officer and President at NorTech Energy Enterprise, says, “Un-conferences are about empowering attendees to share their expertise. They give participants the opportunity to have an unfiltered exchange of innovative ideas.” This process allows participants not only to be the facilitator and the speaker themselves but also to lead the session and facilitate the process, as a result adding value to the entire process.   Ideas generated are completely based on their level of understanding which most likely would address the market requirement. The specialty of this model is that there are no keynote speakers, no invitees as the guest speakers, no panelists, no lectures and presentation and hence discussion among the attendees on the topic of their interest itself which is something attendees feel more worthy of.


Every market is unique and so are the market needs, which need to be accordingly catered. Therefore, for any unique market to excel; there has to be an injection of innovation and creativity that can be borrowed from and shared with every stakeholder of the market. The idea behind un-conferencing is that, as Dave Wine put it, “The sum of the expertise of the people in the audience is greater than the sum of the expertise of the people on stage.”


Each of us desires to take our business to the next level. Probably that’s the reason why we wish to exchange innovative ideas and get advice from our stakeholders to grow our businesses. Un-conferences are the platform to share, learn, communicate and grow. Un-conferences have gained popularity for their flexibility, creativity, and ability to seamlessly change course at any moment.


Un-conferencing is important for:

  1. Building relationships and strong networks with other organizations

As un-conferences are all about engaging attendees in informal discussions with fellow participants, it allows in building strong relationships with diverse expertise and talents present in the event. Informal relationships are more strong ones than formal ones. Un-conferences are important to create better networks and connections.


  1. Creating opportunities for innovation

There are continuous pressures for an organization to achieve positive outcomes with less funding. In such scenarios, innovative solutions are becoming increasingly important. Un-conferences, as it is an unstructured model, the participatory opinions of attendees would aid in intensifying the quality of ideas. This model also results in crafting ideas at a low cost. Un-conferencing could be a price-effective tool for innovation, blending the unique ideas of participating individuals.


  1. Enhancing learning experiences

People learn more when they are actively involved in the learning process. The process is even fruitful if it is an enjoyable experience. Traditional conferences are often passive, as you just listen to presentations or speakers. While conventional sessions provide knowledge to attendees by the model of ‘learning by hearing’. On the contrary, the attendees gain insights and knowledge at un-conferencing with the model of ‘learning by participating’. Un-conferencing encourages participants to take responsibility for what they gain from attending the event as attendees have the luxury to choose their own agendas for discussion.


If a collaborative designing of ideas serves your business’s interest, un-conferencing themed events can be very productive by connecting you to ideas coming from various individuals.


“For a better market, collaboration with market stakeholders is an essence.” It is with this same belief, Clock b Business Innovations unconference style events like Monday Morning Coffee Queries, Stakeholder Discussions and Investment Circle Social Nights.


Contributor: Roshani Chand

Edited by Clock b Business Innovations