The Open Space Conference Experience

he Los Techies Fiesta is shaping up to be a wonderful conference.  We’ve had excellent response with more than 60 people register and quite a few sponsors to help make it even better.  I thought I would take a moment and talk about what it’s like attending and open space conference.  These are, of course, my experiences and one thing about an Open Space conference is that everyone’s experience will be different.

If you want to learn more, visit the Open Space wiki to get much better description.

The Break Room Effect*

If you have ever gone to a conference and had the most amazing, eye opening discussion in the break room between sessions, this is what an OS conference is all day.  It is more about a conversation amongst peers than presentational training (although there could be some of those too).  Most sessions will be ad-hoc conversations

*I know I stole that line from somewhere, but couldn’t find it again to reference it

The Schedule

We’ll be following the same schedule that I’ve seen at the few I have been too.  I can’t go into too much detail since I will not be the facilitator.  I’d rather give too little information than incorrect. On Friday we’ll have our opening session where we’ll nominate and vote for topics we find interesting and would like to discuss.  On Saturday we’ll have our breakout session.  As per one of the tenants of Open Space, it’s over when it’s over, there is no timeline for a given topic.  we’ll have spillover rooms setup for conversations that need to continue.  Then on Sunday we’ll have a few wrap up sessions and then close.

Transformational

I feel that these conferences are a truly transformational event.  Compared traditional conferences where I might learn a lot and (and then quickly forget as I don’t use the knowledge at work), OS conferences offer a chance to really connect with the community and work towards improving myself and the community.

If you haven’t already registered I hope you will.  It is going to be a very fun time and I look forward to meeting everyone who does come.

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  • http://blog.mikeobrien.net mob

    John,

    Do you know about what time things might wrap up on Sunday? I’m trying to figure out my options for flying out.

    Thx!

    m

  • http://www.lostechies.com/members/jcteague/default.aspx jcteague

    The will wrap up by noon. If I were you, I would schedule some time for lunch before flying out. After the first alt.net conference about 20 of us had lunch at Chuy’s and it was a great time.

  • http://blog.mikeobrien.net mob

    Great, thanks for the info! Look forward to seeing the faces behind the blog posts.