Session Formats

TOPICS
ProductCamp Melbourne is an unconference. Rather than having pre-scheduled speakers, anyone who is interested in leading a session can submit a proposal. Proposed sessions will be voted on by the ProductCamp participants on the day, with the most popular sessions getting on the schedule. Submitted topics are shared before the event so participants are prepared to vote when they arrive at ProductCamp on Saturday morning. There will also be an opportunity to give an in-person pitch before voting closes and the agenda is set for the day. If you have questions, please send an email to the team: info at productanonymous.com

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If you aren’t sure what to submit here are some ideas that have been asked for before and get many votes on the day. However, feel free to propose something new.

  • Day in the Life – Place in the Org, Roles Definitions, Hiring Challenges, Networking & Career Development, Small v. Big Company, PM Tools, Role Models, etc.
  • Product Strategy – Business Planning, Whole Product, Roadmaps, Portfolio Planning, etc.
  • Innovation – Market / Tech Trends (e.g. social, mobile, big data, gamification), etc.
  • Product Delivery – Agile Processes, Market Testing, Product Design, UX, etc.
  • Go-to-Market – Launch Plans, Launch Readiness, Market Strategy, Marketing Plan, Pricing, Positioning, Messaging, Sales Enablement, etc.
  • Product Lifecycle Management – Portfolio Analysis, Brand Mgmt, Product Performance Metrics, Customer Retention, etc.

SESSION FORMATS
You can structure a session however you wish, but to help align expectations of the session leader and the participants, we offer the following descriptions of formats that have been well received in previous ProductCamps. It is not necessary to follow these formats, but experience has shown them to be popular and using the label will help match expectations for those who come to a session. In general, the sessions that have been reported as most enjoyed and talked about have been very interactive. This list is is not intended to be limiting, so feel free to be creative.

Workshop – the intention of this format is to have the audience actively involved, collectively or in groups, in an exercise or application of a technique or process which is being presented by the session leader. The description should mention the portion of the session spent in the exercise and what the attendees will produce. Proposers are encouraged to have knowledgeable assistants to help answer questions and support the exercise. Just add some notes in your proposal and we will help you find volunteers if needed.

Panel Discussion – this format has several people qualified to talk about the subject of the session, preferably from diverse or even counterpoint perspectives or roles. A moderator facilitates questions from the audience or a series of prepared questions for the panelists, but a significant part of the session is still interactive Q&A with the audience. If you need panellists just let us know when you submit your session and we will help find participants. This can be quite easy to organise on the day.

Town Hall – the purpose of this format is that the session leader presents a short (20-30 minute max) informative topic, open-ended question or premise and opens the floor for expansion, comment, questions and general discussion from the audience.

Presentation – this traditional format can be great to propose if you have something pre-prepared. With voting on the day determining if you get to present please consider your willingness to put in the effort and possibly not getting to present. Another note to be aware of is this one-directional delivery is less popular among the ProductCamp community. Of course there are exceptional topics and presenters this format works best for so submit accordingly and let us know if you are bringing your own computer or need us to assist you with resources.

SESSION TIPS
Here’s what you need to know about the session process:

  • All topics will be posted on the wall in the central room.
  • assume length of session to be about 30 minutes. (if you have something super short, let us know and we will see if we can group those together)
  • All sessions are voted on by the ProductCamp attendees on the morning of the camp.
  • Each attendee receives 3 votes.
  • You can use all your votes on one session, or divide them between multiple sessions.
  • A short pitch session will occur so presenters have a chance to explain to the community their topic. This can be a great moment to reach out for panelists or experts in a particular area for a workshop etc. This also allows for on the day session submissions.
  • Sessions will then be organized into the schedule for the day.
  • When building the schedule, we will try our best to avoid scheduling similar sessions during the same time slot.
  • What if I don’t have all the answers? A great session doesn’t have to be a lecture. Some of the best sessions are very interactive, group discussions. You don’t have to have all the answers, as long as you have some good questions and can facilitate a lively discussion.

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