It’s funny how most charity sector conferences and seminars are exactly the same. I don’t mean in terms of speakers, content, quality or venue of course. I am referring to the fact that they all use the same model: a series of speakers who speak for an allotted time at the front and a group of delegates who face them.
That has served us well and will continue to do so. But there are other methods of learning, and Barcamp Nonprofits is one of my favourites.
Imagine turning up to a one-day event not knowing who the speakers are and what they are going to talk about. Imagine realising that you and all the other delegates are the speakers. That might sound a bit like the nightmare of turning up to work in your pyjamas.
In fact, it’s not like that at all. A barcamp is a friendly, fascinating and surprisingly enjoyable day where you get to make the most of your time.
No tents involved, and yes, a bar is usually involved, but that’s for the end of the day where you can continue any discussions in a nearby pub.
- Got a question or issue to raise? Run a short session on it, and find out that plenty of other people face the same problem.
- Spotted a session that you can share your experiences in? Put it on the timetable. Yes, Barcamp Nonprofits isn’t too way out: it does have a timetable, but we only pull it together in the morning, with all the delegates present.
- Finding that a session isn’t as good as you hoped? You’re allowed to move on to a more relevant one. Don’t sit there wasting your time.
In other words, it’s down to you to cut and paste the day to your needs.
Everyone has a different Barcamp Nonprofits experience. That’s its value, and that’s why I’ll be there again. UK Fundraising is also one of the sponsors of the event.
Howard is founder of UK Fundraising one of the London Feb 2013 event sponsors. Fundraising UK Ltd helps charities in the UK and internationally to use digital tools and channels to enhance and extend their existing fundraising. It also advises for-profit companies that provide services and products to fundraisers.