Interested in learning more about and meeting people in product management? Want to do so without having to shell out big money to attend a conference?
If so, you might want to check out ProductCamp St. Louis on March 28. Approximately 400 people are expected to descend on the Cambridge Innovation Center for the event, an “unconference” focused on sharing best-practices in product management and new product development.
ProductCamp. and the term unconference, originated in Silicon Valley as an alternative to the high-priced conferences that venture capitalists wanted their sponsored teams to attend, ProductCamp St. Louis organizer Marc Bowers said. Thanks to the event’s many sponsors, ProductCamp is free, although event registration is required. All content, including presentations, is user-generated and crowd sourced.
Bowers said that attendees are referred to as participants and are encouraged to host a session if they have a particularly relevant experience in product management or product development. Participants are encouraged to share how they overcame particular problems at their startup or organization.
Before presentations begin, participants have the opportunity to vote on which sessions they would like to attend. The plan is for session hosts to serve as discussion moderators on product management and business commercialization topics.
“These events are very informal and discussion based,” Bowers said.
ProductCamp has other unique attributes and is exclusively focused on best practices peer learning in the areas of product management, new product development, and business development. The event is geared not toward startups as well as mid-career professionals at established companies.
“The cool thing is that it is very much a product driven event: it is agnostic by size of company, type of product, age of company or age of product,” Bowers said. “You can be a part of a startup or an established company and ProductCamp is still a learning opportunity for you.”
ProductCamp is conference global movement that began in Silicon Valley in 2008. Now 50+ cities host ProductCamp events in far ranging countries such as Australia and India. ProductCamp first came to St. Louis in 2012 – that year there were about 160 participants. Last year, approximately 400 people took part in the event. It has grown every year.
For more information on ProductCamp, visit their website.