Attendees produce the event they desire from CareerCamp: New Unconference Career Building Methods





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Published on Oct 8, 2015

** Want help organizing your own unconference? Comment or email me at douglas@welchwrite.com

CareerCamp Founder, Douglas E. Welch, shares CareerCamp (http://careercampinternational.org) with the attendees of the California Placement Association (http://calplacement.org/) 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.


You have to tamp down, as an organizer, you have to be able to say, "I've set the room. I've set up the time. I've set up the people. Now, I've...", you've just got to step back and say, "That's it! Ok. Now, it's yours." And that is because the success of the event depends on those attending, they step up. They want a good conference. They make a good conference. It seems a "hippy dippy", mumbo jump kind of explanation, but that's what I've seen. Since the responsibility for producing a great event is on them -- to produce the even they want -- in particular -- they do. And yes, we offer our guidance -- we nudge, we cajole, we push a little bit here and there, but otherwise, the day goes one pretty much with us walking around going, 'Ok, your 45 minutes is up. Please return to the lobby to check out what you want to see next session."


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.

CareerCamp International

CareerCampSCV (Santa Clarita Valley)

Douglas E. Welch


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