ProductCamp Amsterdam is an unconference: there are no attendees, just participants.
In this post we’ll tell you all you need to know about the sessions, we hope this will help you to take and bring as much knowledge as possible!
The unconference starts with a Keynote by Steven Haines. After this, you will be asked to propose sessions and vote for your favorites. This is then used to create the program for the day. You as a participant shape the program!
Because of the format we cannot tell you exactly what sessions there will be. Do not worry, each year we’ve had great a great audience and great sessions, a few examples
If you have a great idea for discussion, if you’re desperate to share your expertise with like-minded people, or if you just have a nice story to tell: Host a session!
You can propose a session here, or bring it up at the day itself. For preparations, we advise the following:
Sessions at ProductCamp are not traditional presentations. Instead they are a discussion between experts, lead by you; participants.
To lead a session, you do not have to be an expert. It just needs to be a topic you are interested in.
A session takes 1 hour and the introduction/story should take around 5- 10 minutes. The rest is for interaction between participants.
To our experience, the following formats work best;
Informal discussion group with shared interests, no pre-planned agenda.
Example: How do you balance discovery and delivery? The host of the session explains their approach for balancing discovery and delivery. The audience pitches in and shares their experience.
Host introduces the topic & poses 1-2 key open-ended questions; break into smaller groups to discuss; come together again to discuss their outcomes
Example: Host explains how they struggle with scaling their product team and what the main obstacles are to working together. The host poses a couple open ended questions and the attendees break into smaller groups to discuss. At the end, the different participants come together again to discuss outcomes.
Host shows something to his audience and tells about it. Kind of like what a product owner does with the Product in a sprint review.
Example:Host explains their approach to roadmapping and what tools they use for roadmapping.
The host tells a story of 10 minutes or less on a particular topic.
Example:Host tells a story on how at his company they always listened to customers and did what they wanted. This resulted in an octopus product that was able to do a lot of different things, but was not good at any single thing. How do you let customers not kill your product?
We all know the drill here :-). This is a more traditional format where the host has prepared a presentation.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but in our experience these formats work best. If you’re looking for extra inspiration, Wikpedia will help you out.
Most important thing for you as a participant is to ask yourself what you can bring to- and what you’d like to take from ProductCamp Amsterdam.
We do encourage you to host a session, but active participation is also appreciated.
One final note; please do not feel restrained by practical arguments or self doubt! Our experience is that if one participant has a topic in mind, at least 10 others have that same topic in mind. They will be more than willing to help you host a good session.