CULTURE CAFE EXCHANGE
Friday 27 March 2015 (9am-5pm), Moray College UHI, Elgin
What knowledge and skills do we need as a sector to grow, build and achieve success?
Culture Cafe Exchange is not your usual conference – it’s an unconference. It’s democratic, you set the agenda and the coffee break is as important as the keynote speech. Created for the arts and cultural sector, it’s a place to share ideas, exchange knowledge and engage in conversation about what’s important to you. Click here to book
About Culture Cafe Exchange:
Culture Cafe Exchange is built upon conversation – just like every conversation you’ve ever had at a conference, networking event or meeting. The event is routed in what people want and need, whether that be finding new sources of funding, learning how to manage a contacts database, dealing with email overload or tackling self-employed accounts. Whatever is important to you can be discussed at Culture Cafe Exchange, making the event interesting, topical and timely.
The unconference model is recognised the world over for its ability to help ordinary people create extraordinary results. Like any conference, you will arrive, pick up your name badge and delegate pack at the registration desk. At Culture Cafe Exchange, name badges are important, as the other delegates are here to meet you, just as you’re here to meet them.
Guided by a giant timetable (the “exchange grid”), the day will be made up of discussions, demonstrations, Q&As and debates, with topics set by you. After an introductory session, all delegates get the opportunity to organise an “exchange”, by posting their ideas on the grid. The grid then fills up quickly over the course of the morning, whilst growing and changing as the day goes on and more ideas surface.
There’s lots of exchanges going on at one time, so there’s no excuse to be bored! If you find yourself neither contributing nor learning, you’re encouraged to get up and find (or create) a conversation that interests you. If no one is asking the question you want answered, write it up on the exchange grid. If all else fails, grab a coffee and listen in on the conversations in the Cafe.
Food, snacks and socialising:
Food is important. There will be plenty of it, with an early breakfast, long lunch and snacks to be hand in between. As we all know, the best conversations often happen over a cup of coffee and piece of cake.
How to prepare beforehand:
If you don’t have time to prepare anything, don’t worry – just be there in time for the opening session and you’ll have plenty to contribute. If you do want to prepare, why not think of a question to propose or an issue you’ve been struggling with. You never know, the right person might be there to help. At Culture Cafe Exchange, there’s no powerpoint presentations, but if you do want to prepare a talk, we suggest writing it up as a set of notes, questions or diagrams.
Is this for me?
If you’ve read this far, you’re practically an unconference veteran already. Although Culture Cafe Exchange is targeted at the arts and cultural sector, the event will also be suitable for those working in the creative industries, tourism, heritage, the third sector and small businesses.
An unconference is a participant-driven gathering that avoids the typical constraints of a conventional conference. It may, for example, exclude presentations or prevent the agenda being decided from the top down. Many unconferences use the Open Space Technology model, developed in the 1980s in response to an observation that in traditional conferences, the coffee breaks are the best part. It’s a simple way to run productive and inspired meetings for 5 to more than 2,000 people.
The guiding principles of Open Space Technology include: a) whoever comes is the right people, b) whenever it starts is the right time, c) wherever it is is the right place, d) whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened, and e) when it’s over, it’s over. In addition, Open Space Technology operates with one fundamental law – the law of two feet, which states: if at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning or contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.