Unconference' tipped to take Liverpool by storm

27th November 2008

<p>A conference with a difference is set to take place in Merseyside next month, the Liverpool Daily Post has reported. Merseyside's digital and creative businesses have been invited to attend an event at the Novas Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC) in the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool on Saturday December 6th and Sunday December 7th. However, rather than turning up with an idea of what the conference will cover, attendees will instead decide the agenda among themselves on the day.<br/> <br/>This 'unconference' format, termed Barcamp by those in the know, was first trialled at an event in Silicon Valley in 2005. Approximately 350 Barcamps have been held since then, and a group of local IT specialists decided the format would work well in Liverpool.<br/> <br/>Although she can't strictly be called one of the <a href="http://www.tsnn.co.uk/event_management_organisers/suppliers" target="_self">event organisers</a> due to the organic nature of Barcamps, Katie Lips of Kisky Netmedia is one of the people behind the Liverpool version and she is confident it will be a great success.<br/> <br/>"Barcamp is unique because it's created by everyone who turns up. That means it is what they make it," she told the newspaper. "Because it's at a weekend, it attracts people who really want to be there and are really passionate about their work. It's for entrepreneurial technologists who may well work for companies or for themselves but who work with technology and feel it's their life, not just their job."<br/> <br/>Programmers, developers, designers, bloggers and social media specialists are expected alongside entrepreneurs and technologists, all of whom will be expected to decide the unconference programme. As a result, there are no scheduled speakers or workshops, and attendees will be left entirely to themselves.<br/> <br/>According to Ms Lips, this puts a great deal of pressure on people who turn up - in order for the unconference to work, people will have to contribute.<br/> <br/>"The ethos is that everybody helps in some way and takes a session about X, Y or Z," she confirmed. "It's very different from a normal conference where delegates take a passive role - they just sit there and people talk at them."<br/> <br/>The Novas Group, the owner of the CUC where the conference will be held, was set up in 1998 and has evolved into an organisation which aims to provide shelter for homeless people and combat social inequalities. It merged with two other organisations in December 2007 - Path and Scarman Trust - to form the Novas Scarman Group.<br/> <br/>Four Novas Contemporary Urban Centres have been opened in over the last two years - the CUC London Bridge Bankside, CUC Camden Town, CUC Soho and CUC North West - with CUC London Bridge Bankside offering conferencing facilities.<img alt="ADNFCR-1753-ID-18900519-ADNFCR" src="http://feeds.directnews.co.uk/feedtrack/justcopyright.gif?feedid=1753&itemid=18900519" /></p>