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Trending Now: Best “Unconference” in Town!
Large Saturday crowd at STLCC’s Corporate College for third annual ProductCamp St. Louis
“Thank you #pcstl best unconference in town.” (tweet by Kellee K. Sikes)
“Saturday’s #pcstl is one of my favorite events each year.” (tweet by Danielle Cooley)
“I attended the camp and thought it was quite informative and useful. There were multiple sessions at the same time, I chose what’s best available at each time slot, definitely will do this again next year.” Biju Mathew Director of Engineering Rawlings/JARDEN Team Sports
ProductCamp St. Louis 2014 is coordinated through the St. Louis Product Management Group and was hosted for the second consecutive year by the Workforce Solutions Group of St. Louis Community College.
ProductCamp is a free, user-driven, collaborative ‘unconference’ that is organized by volunteers every year and presented in cities worldwide for professionals involved in building, designing, managing and marketing a product or service.
The first one was held in 2008 and there have been 100+ since held in a dozen cities with over 30 events worldwide predicted for 2014. St. Louis has held one of these open, participant-driven workshops for three consecutive years.
“Great effort and overall outcome — I thought the event was EXTREMELY well executed.”
The ‘unconference’ format is one of the coolest aspects of a ProductCamp event. It gives the event a certain feeling of excitement and anticipation. A ‘just-in-time’ and/or ‘trending now’ vibe. There is no-predetermined agenda or list of speakers.
Participants arrived for the local event at 8 a.m. for an opening session that ended with 15 second pitches by the presenters for all the proposed sessions. After these pitches participants casted their votes for the sessions they wanted to attend. Based on the voting results and the sessions receiving the most votes, the day’s schedule was unveiled. The schedule then allowed participants to attend two morning breakout sessions and one afternoon breakout session which was then followed by a closing ceremony starting at 1:45 p.m. with door prizes and best session awards.
“Great atmosphere and really great people…liked it a lot! Thanks.”
“Great event and very well organized, especially considering the large turnout.”
Congratulations to the 2014 Top Session Award Winners
- What is the right message for your product? By Tripp Frohlichstein
- A Crash Course in Product Design By Andrew Goodin
- Sorting Out Product Management and User Experience By Jeff Lash
- Perfecting the Presenter in YOU! By Nancy Ade
- Is Your Product Culturally Savvy? By Shawn Mahoney
Other sessions making the event’s agenda for the day included:
- Think and Talk Like a CFO to Win Funding for Your Product By John Oeltjen
- Accelerating Intra-preneruship: How to Think and Take Action to Get your Ideas to Market Successfully By Laura Burkemper
- Principles of Agility By Dave Gray
- How to Get the Best Trade Press Product Reviews By David Strom
- The Promise and Pitfalls of Marketing Automation By Brian Posnanski
- Marketing Primer for Startups By Joseph White
- Value-Based Development By Paul Heirendt
- Reverse Engineering is Legal Intellectual Property Bits Can Save You Big By Dennis Donahue
- Create your own Event Marketing Campaign By Crystal Wilson
- Young Entrepreneurs in Business By Connor Wolk
- Manufactured and Non-IT Products By Dan Reus
- Enhancing Your Competitive Edge By Shelly Azar
- Pricing Innovation By Dale Furtwengler
- From Concept to Shelf the Knot-a-Bead By Rick Ruderer
- The Lean Startup for Product Managers, Intrapreneurs and Innovators By T.J. Tavares
- Why You’re Losing at SEO and How to Win with Holistic Web Performance Optimization By Brian Posnanski
- The Business Case for UX By Danielle Cooley
- Grow your Business through Strategy Deployment By Kim Rochetti
- Health Product in the ACA Era By Dan Reus
All in all the event had all the ingredients for a highly successful event – record breaking attendance, energetic participation, engaging atmosphere, great venue, fantastic speakers, relevant session topics and good networking opportunities. I think Dale Furtwengler, a 2014 attendee and volunteer coordinator for this year’s event, expresses the sentiment perfectly:
“The energy level that participants maintain throughout the day is a testament to St. Louis ProductCamp’s un-conference format, the quality of the programming and the idea exchange those programs foster. I can’t wait for next year’s conference.” (Dale Furtwengler)