(un)conference season is open…

IMG_0377.JPGAs I sit on an East Coast train heading to London I am thinking about the different (un)conferences that I will be taking part in over the next few days. They used to be at polar ends of the spectrum and like Tim Scott in his post here I was out of love with the CIPD annual conference for a while.

It was solely HR focussed, with inaccessible approaches to the conference as it was ‘all or nothing’, solely predetermined and/or defined sessions and generally crap speakers on the exhibition floor simply peddling their wares.

This is what attracted me to the L&D unconference as it is the complete opposite. No peddling, tiny cost £80 with vat, no speakers, agenda and method decided by the participants. For some great resources on what Unconferences are about see these links:

Blog from Julie Drybrough
Blog for Sukh Pabial
Audio recording from Simon Gibson
Video from Kev Wyke

It was also Kev who described an unconference as the best coffee break ever. The theme for today’s (31/10) unconference is ‘art and craft’ and we will see where the discussion takes that today. If you want to follow it on social media please follow #ldcu

I’ve recorded something (link to follow later) to open the day and Vicki Fletcher & Simon Gibson are the other two facilitators for the event. I can’t wait.

That brings me back to the #cipd14 conference next week. I have never been so excited about attending the annual conference. Partly because I have been invited to be part of the #blogsquad for the event so I get to go where I want and blog and tweet about what I see, hear, think and feel. The best thing, there’s no censorship from the cipd. They want an honest account of what is happening and I feel privileged to be asked to do it.

That’s not what really excites me though. It is how this conference has evolved. The quality of free (or v v v v low cost) stuff and/or fringe events has increased exponentially this year. To choose from you have:

Doug Shaw & Meg Peppin running three (yes three) events on; reflecting and connecting, the art of conversation & the future of HR (called HR Unscrambled) and to see how to access all three of these, click here.
Perry Timms & Andy Lancaster running some unconference style sessions on the exhibition floor.
David D’Souza is organising (and I’m helping facilitate) a #streetwisdom event and for more info on that click here or here or here

So that is at least five reasons to come as they are all looking brilliant. Add in the opportunities to meet, connect, share, listen, talk with others. This is the most exciting annual conference yet.

I will keep blogging about both events and remember to follow #ldcu #ldinsight and #cipd14 for more.


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