Others have summarized ProductCamp better than I; for that, I’ll cite the driving force behind ProductCamp Austin, Paul Young:
ProductCamp, the free unconference for marketing and product management, is teaming with the McCombs School of Business to return to Austin for its Summer edition! ProductCamp is a must-go event for marketing and product management professionals. ProductCamp is a free, collaborative, gathering for interesting, smart people to network and learn from one another. ProductCamps have been held in Silicon Valley, Austin, Boston, New York City, Toronto, Atlanta, with more in the planning stages. This is Austin’s third ProductCamp, and will be one of the largest in the country. If you are in Austin, or can get here, ProductCamp will be well worth your time.
Paul covers the concept of “uncoference” quite nicely, but suffice it to say that the important piece is that this event is free, and put on by those who attend. Everyone attending is asked to participate somehow, whether it be by manning the welcome table, coordinating sessions, coordinating the venue, etc. In that way, everyone gains and everyone gives, and the group has a common experience to share afterwards. As Paul’s been known to say, it should start conversations, not end them. I personally participated in the last event by helping to secure note-takers and videographers for the sessions; this time, I’ve taken on social media by running the Twitter and Facebook presence of the event.
So far, and this is only 9 days after the official public launch, there are 267 people signed up to attend/participate. In the spring, the event was capped at 250 and saw true attendance around 150-160 if I remember correctly. Also to compare, the inaugural event in Atlanta (my previous home, and a metro area 4 times as large) that just occurred in June was attended by a little under 200. New York’s event only captured about 150. Clearly Austin’s community is large and active, no surprise to those familiar with the area.
If you haven’t registered yet, get to it!