At Qiqo, we love supporting event organizers who are designing events that empower their participants. Unconferences are a fantastic format for doing that, and that’s why QiqoChat the first events we started hosting in 2015 were unconferences. In 2020 we expanded so that you could host traditional online and hybrid conferences too.
Over the years, we’ve found that these are some of the key aspects of an online unconference:
- customizing the look and feel to match your community
- giving participants the ability to set the discussion topics
- making it easy to take notes
Qiqo provides you with many great options to meet each of those needs.
You can customize your unconferences on Qiqo (background, button colors, etc). As an example, you can see a screenshot of an upcoming (January 2023). One interesting aspect is that this unconference is actually being held within a larger conference called the New Rules for Work Symposium. The organizers wanted 2-3 discussion sessions at specific times each day.
The screenshot below shows the main space where people arrive. At the top left, participants can click the join-video button to launch Zoom for that room. On the right side of the page, participants can select a time slot and propose a new discussion topic.
That’s a custom tool we built for unconferences, and you can also use any other format that works for you such as a embedding Google Doc or Google Spreadsheet which lists all the rooms and session times.
In the screenshot below, you can see one of the breakout rooms. When you arrive in a breakout room, the join-video button for that room is at the top-left and you see a space for everyone to take notes on the right.
Click the tabs across the top to see different notes pages and embedded tools.
The list of breakout rooms down the left side provides the “where” for your event. Participants can move themselves, just like in an in-person unconference.
The list of tabs across the top of each breakout room provides the “what” for what tools are available in each room. Select a tab across the top, and then the tool that is visible in the center of the page will change. In this way, participants can choose where they want to go and what tool they want to use when they get there. Tools for notes, post-its, searching the program/schedule, and viewing a list of recordings are some of the most common options.
Remember, the “why” is the most important part of the planning process. Ensure that your invitation communicates a clear purpose, and then the people who resonate with your invitation will show up.