Vanessa Gennarelli offers some tips and actions to create a memorable event for the participants, as she shares her experience in Ordcamp, an unconference.
1. Prompt Campers to co-create. As a Camper, you’re assigned 2-3 other folks at random the week before. Brainstorm 3 of your passions, share 1 of them, and come up with a session idea that taps on all your collective ideas. For instance, if you’re all good at multitasking, come up with a session on time, being present or slowing down.
2. Self-introductions. Our interests were written on our name tags when we arrived (which I greatly prefer to my job title). But instead of having those pre-printed for us, in the first plenary session, prompt folks to introduce themselves to their neighbors without mentioning what they do for a living.
3. Select sessions at random. Have folks put their session ideas in a big, Inventables-branded molded drum and pull them out. Or have campers spin a wheel when they walk in and a session spot is one of the prized options. Or have them roll ridiculous dice. The idea here is to not separate “ideas of ladies” vs. “ideas of dudes.” It’s important that women are not reminded of their gender before they do something potentially cognitively stressful (Steele & Ambady, 2006).