Unconference Session Information

What is an “Unconference Session” anyway?

Sometimes, the best moments of a conference happen during breaks or when you connect with other attendees and presenters.

The Unconference format is designed to capitalize on and expand those moments.  The idea of an Unconference session is for people to share and learn in an open environment.  Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join.

This part of the conference is entirely participant driven, so you choose what you want to talk about.  Did you learn something in a formal presentation that you’d like to know more about?  Did a roundtable run out of time before you ran out of things to talk about? Did you submit an idea for a presentation that didn’t work out?  Is there something that you’d like to brainstorm with your peers from other campuses?  Each of these scenarios is an awesome use for an Unconference session.

Unconference sessions are intentionally super flexible and dynamic.  The topics that are generated are the right topics. The people who show up for a session are the right people.  What happens in a session is the thing that should happen.

Networking gurus will tell you that the best forms of networking take place when you let others know what you need (maybe you need help finding a good solution to a particular problem) and help others find what they need (maybe you found a really cool way to solve a problem). The goal of Unconference sessions is to provide a time and place for this type of interaction.  We hope you find this opportunity useful, informative and fun.

How do I schedule an Unconference sessions?

There will be a sign outside Studio AFind an open time slot that is convenient for you and write in your session title, your name and a brief description of the session content.  Once you have claimed a session time slot, you are responsible for showing up and getting the conversation started.

How do I know what the Unconference sessions are?

Simple –just keep an eye on the stand outside Studio A.   If you see a session that interests you, just plan to show up ready to participate.

Questions regarding Unconference?

During the conference see the registration desk for assistance as needed.  If you have questions before the conference, please contact Patty Peebles peeblesp@ecu.edu or Carole Wilson wilsoncaro17@ecu.edu

Do we get CPE Credits for the Unconference time?

Unconference Sessions do not count for CPE credit hours.  

 What are the rules?

  • If you want to host an unconference session, write your topic and name in an open presentation slot on the whiteboard/flipchart just outside Studio A.
  • If you write a topic in a presentation slot, you must show up.  You are responsible for introducing the topic and getting the conversation started.
  • Unconference sessions are flexible.  The session will last as long as it needs to (or until time runs out).  In other words, if the conversation lasts 20 minutes, that is perfectly fine.  If the conversation morphs into another topic entirely, that’s a good thing.  If people come and go during the session, that’s perfectly fine as well!   Remember to be quiet entering and leaving as not to disturb the discussion in process.
  • When you attend an Unconference session, be prepared to share your thoughts, ideas and questions with other attendees.  If you find yourself not learning, not contributing, or not having fun, please use your two feet and go do something else where you can learn or contribute or have fun.
  • Bring your business cards (OK, this isn’t really a rule, more a suggestion.) While there is a lot of great technology that can connect us, there is no substitute for a business card at an in-person networking event.
  • Unconference sessions are designated at the start of the conference or anytime during the conference
  • Unconference sessions may be moderated by vendors/sponsors or attendees
  • Unconferences may be a brief presentation or it may be a discussion session to solve a problem or review a process
  • Unconference room is not a break room and should only be occupied with sessions listed on the board – leaving the room open for an impromptu session as needed.
  • Be specific and descriptive of the topic being covered during the session – Catchy titles are cute, but people don’t interpret words the same.
  • Keep topics relevant to our conference purpose and attendees topics of interest.