barcampnfp 2015

Barcampnfp 2015 end of day group shot by @netsmith

Barcampnfp 2015 end of day group shot

Hello, long time no see, sorry!

This year seems to have really flown by and I have a few different blog posts stuck in my head ready to get out. The first one being to share all the great stuff we learned from this year’s Barcampnfp.

Held 8th April 2015 in the ultimate shabby chic east London space (thank you Top Office Machines) we again had around 100 non-profit interested tech and nfp staff come together to network and learn.

How did the day work?

barcampnfp session card photo by Gaby JeffsFor those of you that don’t know already; Barcampnfp is in an unconference format, where the only thing set before the day is the venue and times. A blank timetable is posted on the morning of the event so that every participant has the chance to propose sessions. The event truly is owned by the people who attend it – this way only the topics of interest to the audience actually become part of the day!

I’ve always slightly broken the rules of a traditional barcamp by having a defined theme (tech & non-profits) and curating the sessions rather than just allowing the timetable board to be filled up directly. Following the mammoth curation session last year I decided to try just letting the participants free like the traditional format. To support this I creating more structured session cards (see pic) to guide people making suggestions.

The structured cards worked well but the curation was something participants said they’d like back next year. The curation was missed because it helped similar topics merge and gave the chance for people to be matched with someone who knows about a theme they want to learn about. Some great lessons to take on for the next event!

What did we learn?

Here’s a few of the high level things we learned:

  • Agile methodology is becoming more adopted in non-profits, but contrary to common thought discipline and documentation is what really makes agile work.
  • Digital transformation is a hot topic in the sector right now, some organisations are completely in support while others aren’t. Either way there are lots of ‘stealth’ tactics that can be put to use by specialists without org support.
  • Engaging young people requires great imagery along with good stories. Just bite the bullet and use Instagram and Snapchat which is where these audiences are right now.
  • A/B testing is important but don’t test something that you’re not prepared to implement -­ it might win!
  • Video can be done on a shoe string – raw and real stories work best in this case.
  • Measuring impact is a challenge still being ploughed through – the AMEC framework can be a great model to work with.

Check out the live notes from the day here and pictures here.

As always, let me know if you’d like to run a barcampnfp near you or get involved in the London events @spirals.

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