Next Saturday, Jan 26, we will be sponsoring and facilitating at the Reboot Workshop that will be  from 10-4 and will be held at New Work City in NYC.  You can get tickets and learn more about the event here:  The workshop will feature a panel of 7 experts that freelancers typically need to speak with (lawyer, accountant, branding coach, billing software, etc) who will give 5 minute Ignite style talks.  Then we will all break out into discussion groups, ala UnConference style, where participants will be encouraged to move around the different conversations as it makes sense.  Interesting findings will be documented on flip charts.

This type of format no doubt causes anxiety for those of you who like more structure.  So, in typical The Presentation School blog style, we’ve got some tips for you to make the most out of an UnConference:

  • Remember that UnConferences are about having a loose conversation with experts in the room to help direct the conversation to more productive avenues and to answer questions.  If you have questions, write them down.  Follow those moderators and fit your questions in.
  • If you find that the conversation isn’t at a place where your question would be on topic and there is still lots of time, move to another group and ask your relevant questions for them.  (Of course come back!)
  • UnConferences are also about networking, bring lots of business cards.  Don’t be shy about writing down notes about people on their business cards, it will make sorting them all the much easier later on.
  • If you find conversations are floundering, go ahead and ask your questions.  Chances are someone else will want to ask that same question.
  • If you are the type of person who sometimes has trouble concentrating on conversations, you may want to volunteer to be the scribe (aka the person who writes on the flip chart).  Scribing for others can be a good motivation to stay focused.
  • Follow up with everyone.  UnConferences are great places to start a conversation.  Chances are you’ll hit on topics that need more discussion.  So, don’t be shy about proposing follow up events 9either with the organizers or with the individuals you want to continue the discussion with)

If you have any other tips, please post them in the comments!