This year at Columbus MeasureCamp, I had the opportunity to speak about overcoming Facebook’s new data policies. The conference—billed as an unconference—is an open, free-to-attend meeting place for those in digital analytics that’s been held in locations across the globe. If you’ve never heard of an unconference, that’s expected. Neither had I until one of my colleagues filled me in. Fact: it’s not French.
What makes an unconference different from a regular conference is that I only shared my presentation because I felt like it. I never submitted an outline of what I was going to be speaking about, nor did any other speaker who found themselves in front of an audience that day. It’s also held on a Saturday and is completely FREE, further incentivizing attendees to show up. You come to MeasureCamp because you’re truly interested in the subject matter.
I must admit, as the MeasureCamp date grew nearer, my nerves set in. I’ve only got one year of professional experience under my belt. Naturally I felt intimidated about speaking in front of people more experienced in Digital Analytics than me. However, when I learned that MeasureCamp is basically a free-for-all with a schedule dictated by personal willingness, I felt a lot better. Everyone signing up for a speaking slot would be just as passionate about their topics as I was.
Throughout my speech, I quickly picked up on a theme from the audience. Everyone who attended my session wanted to know how to prevent a performance decrease in their Facebook. At MeasureCamp, a specific set of rules encourages attendees to participate as much as possible, resulting in some of the best discussion I’ve ever had. I found the audience answering questions I hadn’t yet figured out myself—refreshing and eye-opening to say the least. There’s also a rule explicitly stating that you can use your two feet to leave a session you’re not enjoying. (Thankfully, no one left my session 🙌).
If you’ve never spoken at a professional conference, or attended one in general, I highly recommend going to an unconference. Any conference can be intimidating to new and seasoned professionals, but everyone I met at MeasureCamp wanted to see everyone else succeed. It’s not a forum for seeing top dogs in your field explain the reality of analytics, or how they became the director of 14 different startups at once. It’s the conference you go to because you want to meet other people like yourself working towards becoming that top dog. And you can, if you speak up and flex your digital marketing knowledge while maintaining an open mind.
Interested in more social media shifts? Try my recent post on the Top Social Media Trends in 2018. Some of the info there even found its way into my MeasureCamp presentation.
Say hey on LinkedIn if you want additional first-time speaker pointers.