I’m going to cheat a bit and take a post I wrote for MuseumCamp and post it here. But first, a little story.
Linda Spurdle contacted me a while ago and asked if I’d like to get involved with an idea she had about an unconference for museums. I’ve been to one or two unconferences but never related to culture specifically. I immediately agree to help wherever and whenever.
A few emails and conversations to establish basic ideas/guidance and we were ready for our first proper meeting. Linda invited Rachel Cockett and Glynis Powell and the four of us met in Birmingham to hash out some ideas. One thing that I always knew was MuseumCamp was going to big as it was so different. Plus, there would be cake. And it was free. Free cake!
Most of the ‘rest in history’ can be found at MuseumCamp.org. To say we are surprised at the response would be an understatement. I’ve been looking for sponsors and trying to explain MuseumCamp to people hasn’t been the easiest but momentum is growing, especially after our first sponsor MuseumNext did a little shout-out for us.
So what is MuseumCamp? (Taken from MuseumCamp)
But what *is* a Museum Camp or an Unconference?
It’s a forum for like-minded people (in this case anyone who visits, likes, works, wants to work, etc with museums, galleries, culture venues). While they might be new to some, these productive gatherings have been running successfully for a few years.
What do they do?
It starts by members pitching ideas of what to talk about. You might come with a discussion in mind or you might be there to listen. Or you might be there for networking. Or cake.
People share their ideas for a session and roughly 5 or 6 are chosen. Those not speaking can choose which talk they’d like to attend.
The talks are usually less than an hour.
As a speaker, this doesn’t mean you’re forced to talk for an hour though – it only means you get the conversation going with your thought/idea and others join in with their thoughts and ideas.
As a member, you’re not committed to stay for the hour should you feel it’s not for you.
Basically, it’s an organized chaos but in a worth while way!
Is there an agenda for the day?
No. Not really. There are a few people that will attend with ideas but it’s not a requirement. The goal of the day is to flush out thoughts and ideas that don’t fit conventionally in other conferences and meetings.
Why should I attend?
- It’s Free.
- To gain knowledge
- To participate
- To network
- To have a forum to ask questions that aren’t addressed ‘normal’ conferences