With one week to go until ProductCamp London, here’s a guide on what to expect:
Who is going to be presenting?
The essence of an “unconference” is that there are no scheduled speakers, and therefore everyone attending is potentially a speaker! We encourage everyone to bring along a presentation or an idea for a discussion.
We start the day with a blank schedule. It’s got 8 columns for discussion times, and 5 rows for each of the rooms. At the beginning of the day (and continuing throughout the day) anyone who wants to present simply writes their topic and name on an index card and stick it on to the wall in their preferred time/room slot.
As we progress through the day, everyone picks out of the 3-5 offered presentations and goes to join it. After each session, check the schedule on the wall again, and head to the next presentation.
What if I don’t find a discussion or presentation interesting?
ProductCamps have the famous “Two Foot Rule”. If you don’t like a particular presentation or discussion, feel free to vote with your feet and leave.
The Two-Foot rule: If a discussion isn’t providing you with value, or you’re curious to see what else might be going on, use your two feet to lead you to another discussion.
As an attendee in the discussion, please be considerate and leave quietly. As a speaker, don’t take offence if anyone leaves – there’s often 2 or 3 really compelling topics going on at any one time, so it’s the only way to see them all!
Do I have to present?
You don’t have to present, and in fact, if the schedule’s really packed, there might not even be time to present! But it’s strongly encouraged to come prepared with something, even if it’s just a burning question that will kick off an interesting discussion for 25 minutes.
Some of the rooms are quite small, so it’s a great chance to test out new material or give public speaking a chance, with just 10-15 people who all liked the sound of your topic. Give it a go!
To give you a head start on your presentation, here’s a PowerPoint template you can use.
What should I present about?
The great thing about product management is that it spans so many different relevant topics. Anything from how to price your product, tips on getting user feedback, case studies about successful (and unsuccessful) launches, or dive into how to approach technical challenges.
Here’s a big list of suggested topics: http://pcampldn.uservoice.com/forums/49579-general
There will be a prize for the best talk, as voted by other attendees throughout the day.
Can I tweet or blog about this?
Of course! Please help us make noise by tweeting with #PCampLDN all day, or say hi to @PCampLDN. Feel free to publish your learnings in a blog afterward, or write it as a guest post on MindTheProduct.
If you’re a speaker, try to get your slides up on to Slideshare before the big day, and share a link to them at the end of your talk so that others can refer to them later. And again, let us know if you’d like to get the slides up on MindTheProduct as a guest post!
Do I have to be a product manager to come?
Nope, definitely not. The title ‘Product Manager‘ is so broadly defined, and the role of product management is commonly handled by folks from all sorts of backgrounds.
Here’s a particularly inspiring story of someone who realised that she was, in fact, a Product Manager, after attending a ProductCamp: “Knowing You Are a Product Manager Makes All the Difference”
So if you’re a full-time product manager, if you wear that hat every once in a while, or if you’re simply interested in learning more, get involved!
Is it completely free?
Yes, the whole day is free! The amazing space we’ll be in is provided by Mozilla London, with extra support from Mironov Consulting. Lunch is courtesy of Twilio, who will be showing us some nifty tricks with their own product as we chow down on sandwiches and other snacks. Coffee and proper espressos (and the eternal energy you’ll need to keep going all day!) are courtesy of ProdPad. Photography will be done by VisualBonds – if you’d like a nice new headshot for your LinkedIn profile, these will be done free throughout the day!
We also depend on the help of volunteers. Get in touch if you’d like to help out next week!