Returned from Blogcamp Pune 2 around few hours back.. it was a nice drive to Pune.. the weather was pretty good.. loved the rain.. the clouds covering mountains.. Lonavala looked like heaven, felt like being there..
Oh, I was supposed to talk on Blogcamp Pune 2, OK OK.. I am back on track.. Vada Pav was pretty good at SICSR – Symbiosis (the venue), but I missed the Poha as Annkur had recommended.. 🙁 Will try it definitely next time.. I loved the wind blowing on the 7th floor.. and the few babes roaming around in the girls hostel opposite of the venue.. and Yeah.. I enjoyed couple of sessions too.. The session by Ankesh and Annkur were pretty interesting.. but apart from that nothing impressed me much.. But the purpose of the post is not about criticizing Blogcamp Pune 2 but it is my bit improve the whole thing..
Following are the loopholes I found..
- No proper management, Yeah, there were couple of guys at the registration desk but that’s it.. the white board did not have any session details for the first couple of hours (the unconference started at 10 AM)
- The intro session ate up good amount of time..
- No proper sync between the 2 rooms, I think most of the people were sitting in a single room and there was no proper tracking of the activities in the other room.
- A person hijacking the sessions (Known as Thakkar from what I understand).. I know I know, everyone loved it.. he was good at what he was doing in fact.. but knowingly or unknowingly, he hijacked and pulled up all the people to listen to his comedy skills. I don’t think it was the right thing.. Come on guys it’s Blogcamp.. not any entertainment show.. there were people in the other room trying to give out the sessions.. but there was no one in the rooms, everyone was enjoying his jokes..
Those guys might have spent hours of time to make presentation, prepare for the session and their hard work goes in vain.. The whole traffic gets attracted to something which could have been done after all the sessions were over too..I definitely did not attend Blogcamp to waste my time in the funny show.. and I am sure, others too did not come for the funny show..
So, how do we improve the whole thing? I would suggest, we should take some lessons from Blogcamp Chennai.. (the first one), it was very well organized, everything perfectly set and managed..
So, here are the pointers..
- Cut down the intro session or just take it off. I personally don’t think it will be of any use getting 100 odd people introduce themselves one by one.. this kind of exercise just takes lot of time and yields nothing.. I think the same kind of problem we had faced in earlier blog camp Pune too..
- Be sure to have a list of the sessions before everything starts.. Yea, I know it’s unconference and all.. but having a list of sessions is pretty much convenient for the visitors (Obviously, things can be added / taken off from it over the time)
- Categorize the sessions in 2 types.. say, Advanced and Newbies, or whatever categorization you feel like. Or simply, divide the sessions timings based on the theme.. I am saying this because, in the 2nd half, most of the sessions were boring.. they were boring for me but it’s highly possible that certain group of people will look forward to those kind of sessions.. frankly speaking, from what I saw, most of the people were either yawning or doing some other stuff, so this might give wrong signals to the person who is taking the session.. so, I feel it’s better to categorize so only target audience will attend the specific sessions..
- Time is money.. we have to make sure that the sessions start and end at the specified time..
- And yeah, most important, don’t allow anyone to hijack the sessions.. Yeah, I know it’s an unconference but think from the point of view of the guy who is going to take the session, what will be his state of mind (seeing no people around), what about his hard work? Still funny sessions more important?
- Accept sponsorships, I know few people will be against it.. accept the money from the sponsors but don’t allow them to spam around in the sessions.. use the money in getting better conference hall, get some free food, snacks, goodies etc… it helps to make the whole environment much better..
I think if things are slightly more managed, everything will go pretty much smoothly..
I hope we don’t repeat these kind of mistakes again in the 3rd Blogcamp Pune and I am sure there will be lot of improvement in it..
And finally.. thanks to Tarun and other guys for organizing the Blogcamp Pune, if you feel, I can be of any help in organizing the Blogcamp, do let me know, I will be more than happy to join in 🙂