Imagine an event without a predetermined agenda, absence of keynote speakers, and no panel discussions. Not very easy for most. The coming together of individuals in the form of face-to-face interactions has always been productive for the generation of new ideas, collaboration as well as increased productivity. Additionally, trade shows, events, and meetings also help generate demand, build customer relationships, increase product adoption and press exposure, and result in better pipeline generation. But are all kinds of events productive?
The term ‘Unconference’ was popularized at the 2004 BloggerCon conference by Dave Winer although it has been around for over a decade in other forms and is currently steadily gaining momentum across the country. Essentially, Unconference is a concept that challenges the notion of a traditional conference. The claustrophobia created by tight schedules, narrow deadlines and strongly defined agenda without the space to breathe or meander has given way to conferences that are informal while still being able to promote the sharing of ideas, and contributing to the growth of a business. The format followed by an ‘Unconference’ type of event allows productive collaborations, free-flowing creativity as well as learning while remaining high on energy and interaction.
A lot of event or meeting purists may react negatively to this concept but the proven benefits of such a conference are sure to sway their opinions. An event that places emphasis on participant-driven themes rather than rigidly structured agendas can help attendees arrive at solutions much faster.
This, however, does not mean the complete absence of a structure. Instead, an unconference usually follows a broad theme that the attendees decide upon, along with the topics of discussion, the agenda, and sometimes even the time and venue. Meaningful conversations are considered a top priority. The end result includes a highly focused discussion and positive contributions from every participant leading to productive collaborations and networking.
Haute Dokimazo is a think tank that is making extensive headway in the unconference realm, and in their words is a ‘way of meeting, sharing, and learning’. Their buzz words being ‘real talk’ and ‘real connections’, Haute Dokimazo organizes events wherein collaborators can make connections, network, and solve problems while maintaining an engaging and action-oriented environment.
“Haute Dokimazo has created a concept we call a Spontaneous Think Tank,” said President and Co-Founder Nicole Osibodu. “We leverage the unconference format, but take it a step further – we basically hotwire the peer networking process by jumping straight to the meaty part of meeting new people: finding out how participants can help each other.”
Initially conceived as a way to foster meaningful conversations at events, Haute Dokimazo redefines the concept of events. Consider this, generally, participants are provided with name badges and are expected to adhere to a set conversational structure and agenda. Those attending Haute Dokimazo, however, are given a first-name-only tag, indulge in a comforting meal while interacting with fellow attendees, and mutually decide the topics that are to be discussed, fostering a camaraderie that stands out from most events and lasts long after the event concludes.
Attendees, from all accounts, don’t just find solutions to their business problems but end up taking part in activities that genuinely satisfies their curiosity and enhances learning. Haute Dokimazo attributes their phenomenal success to their vision which seeks to bring out the harmony between simple and fuss-free execution and motivations of the attendees in an engaging environment. In their words, it is ‘humanity in its purest form’. The best part? These events are designed to cater to both introverts and extroverts thereby encouraging contribution and learning from each and every participant resulting in an almost perfect ‘meeting’.
“We truly believe that there is a need to invigorate traditional conference formats with more peer-to-peer conversations,” said Haute Dokimazo Co-Founder Liz Lathan. “In a culture of doing emails while on conference calls and listening to podcasts while driving, we see so many companies miss the opportunity to have the brilliant minds in the room sharing and talking with each other, rather than sitting the back of a keynote hall or breakout room, checking email while passively listening. That’s the kind of event where a Haute Dokimazo experience can break up the day and inspire attendees.”
Is this the future of events and conferences? Maybe or maybe not. However, there are definite takers for this format and Haute Dokimazo is blazing through as your friendly neighborhood unconference organizer.
This year is quite different as Haute Dokimazo is hosting their first ever brands-only unconference which has been sponsored by Jifflenow. This event is scheduled for June 6th in San Francisco. Click here to register.