The following has been contributed by guest writer, Misty Weaver, Content Strategist at Content Insight and guest lecturer at the UW iSchool.
InfoCamp Seattle is an unconference dedicated to knowledge sharing and networking for Information People: those whose work and interests center on information design, structure, organization, service, and related forms. Every year, the big attraction is the attendees who provide breakout learning sessions and hallway conversations that fuel learning and connection.
People come to InfoCamp to share innovative ideas, workshop new presentations, or share best practices and problem-solving skills that everyone can take back to work on Monday.
How Is InfoCamp Organized?
The 2-day event kicks off with a morning presentation at Kane Hall at the University of Washington, followed by break out sessions and an exhibition floor at Mary Gates Hall. The main floor provides spaces to meet sponsors, hosts, and hiring managers.
From its creation 7 years ago, InfoCamp Seattle volunteers have shown dedication to providing:
- Low-cost professional development opportunities
- Peer to peer knowledge sharing that helps build new skills
- Open, supportive environment to test and build new ideas
- Lots of space to network and talk with others who are passionate about their work, studies, and interests
Who Attends InfoCamp?
Smart cookies. What’s unique about InfoCamp is the attraction for professionals, students, and those with a keen interest in information and user-centered design, experience, and service. Presenters and guests come from User Experience, Information Architecture, Informatics, User Centered Design, and Library Science. They’re Designers, Developers, Organizers, and Service Providers from big companies, startups, nonprofits, and community service organizations.
The diverse community creates new conversations and ways to bridge fields and learn across disciplines.
Come to InfoCamp and:
- Expand your professional skillset and toolbox
- Hammer out your best ideas so they’re ready to implement at your work
- Find new job opportunities and learn more specifics on different fields and disciplines
- Discover new formal or informal educational programs and events
What Happens At InfoCamp?
When InfoCamp started 7 years ago, the BarCamp and unconference movement was nascent. These days, you'll find plenty of unconference veterans who know how to take advantage of the experience to get and give the most positive learning experiences. The keynote address sets the tone. InfoCamp planners invite professionals with deep experience in user experience and service who have an inspiring, educational way of framing their work. Joan Vermette of Mad*Pow kicks off InfoCamp Seattle 2013 with a talk that speaks to the organizational and collaborative aspects of making the work happen in the best way for users – and clients – and employees.
Attendees rock the rest of the sessions. A giant pin board showcases talk titles and locations, while speakers take the soapbox to advertise their sessions. Guests vote with their feet and attend talks that speak most to what they want to get out of the experience. As the day goes on, more talk ideas are brought up to the board and on the second day, many sessions are often invented on the fly, inspired by the conversations happening at the event.
Why Attend InfoCamp Seattle?
Simply put, low cost and peer to peer professional development with awesome people!
Conferences, workshops, and classes are a great way to grow new skills and InfoCamp organizers know they aren’t always affordable, convenient, or easy to fit into our busy working schedules. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors like Filter Digital, InfoCamp is able to provide a space to learn, connect, and teach for one weekend at $60 for professionals, $20 for students. That’s 2 days of attending the sessions that most catch your interest, fit your professional needs, and really get your neurons firing.
Most importantly, we get to be ourselves at InfoCamp. As information professionals, we aren’t often in a space with 300 other people who do what we do. People that share our passions and may have faced similar problems, these are people who most certainly get the work. We don’t have to follow any agenda besides learning, sharing, and talking with people who already understand why our jobs, fields, and practices are so important. InfoCamp is the place to move from why to how and to make connections that help us keep growing after the event.
Are you now psyched to attend? Register here for InfoCamp 2013 and visit here for more information about the unconference! Need more info? Click here to learn more about past InfoCamp events!
Misty Weaver is a Content Strategist at Content Insight and guest lecturer at the UW iSchool. Along with Seattle’s best volunteers, she co-organizes the Seattle IA/UX Meetup and Content Strategy Seattle Meetup as well as InfoCamp 2013. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets at @meaningmeasure.
Photo Credit: JS Bracher
See more of Bracher's pics from previous InfoCamp sessions here.