What to Expect at ProductCamp 2018, the World’s Largest Crowdsourced Product Management & Product Marketing Conference.
By Steve Robins, President of ProductCamp Boston, on behalf of the ProductCamp organizing team – Sarela Bliman-Cohen, Sue Amsel, Maria Ferrante, Kate Theriault, and Dan Mackey.
Register today for ProductCamp
Once again, the world’s largest product management and product marketing unconference is coming to the Boston area on Saturday, May 12, 2018.
More than 500 of your peers will come together at Lesley University’s University Hall to learn and improve their product management and product marketing skills, network with peers, advance their careers, and get inspired with new ideas.
Unlike other conferences, ProductCamp is entirely crowdsourced – the ProductCamp “crowd” proposes, votes in advance, and leads sessions – and the crowd plans, runs, sets up and cleans up the entire event as well. ProductCamp is not designed and run by someone else. Rather it’s designed and run by people just like you, so you can get the most out of the day.
So What Can You Expect?
- Learn about the latest product management and product marketing trends and techniques
- Gain new insights and inspiration that will help you think differently about your job and career
- Be welcomed, engaged, and challenged
- Meet peers – a variety of people who can help you advance your career, and learn from each other’s experience…
- Learn from others with diverse backgrounds
- Share best practices with peers who share your interests
- Meet hiring managers at the Career Fair
- Learn from our sponsors, leading professional education and products tools vendors
Kicking It Off with Breakfast and Networking
The day kicks off with an informal continental breakfast and time to meet new people and reconnect with colleagues. We’ll have vegan and gluten-free options as well.
Morning is also a great time to meet sponsors who provide a variety of tools and professional educational programs of interest to product people. Our valued sponsors, some of whom have participated in every ProductCamp, will be there all day.
Career Fair During Breakfast and Lunch
New this year, the expanded Career Fair will start during breakfast, giving you an opportunity to speak in person with hiring managers. They’ll return after lunch as well.
Next up, we will do 2 “opening sessions,” one after the other, that give attendees a chance to get oriented to ProductCamp and know what to expect. This is a great way to meet other attendees too.
Nearly 60 Breakouts
We will have 4 breakout periods this year, running 45 minutes with 15-minute breaks in between, so you’ll have plenty of time for learning – and for networking between sessions. ProductCamp includes nearly 60 unique presentations, group discussions, and exercises led by national thought-leaders and local practitioners just like you. Your peers voted to determine which sessions will run at ProductCamp. Sessions will cover every imaginable product-related topic – from research and roadmaps, to UX, to messaging and product launch, to career development, and everything in between, organized by track:
- Building your Career and Managing Others in Theirs
- Go-to-Market & Product Marketing
- Product Development & Design
- Product Discovery
- Product Management 101
- Product Strategy & Lifecycle Management
- Session Levels
Sessions are also organized by experience level and target audience including fundamentals, advanced and entrepreneurs.
We won’t be announcing the schedule until April 30 but you can see the proposed ProductCamp Boston sessions here.
Law of Two Feet
At ProductCamp, it’s up to each attendee to get the most out of the day. So, if you show up at a session that is not what you thought it would be or it’s not helpful to you, use your two feet to walk over to another session that is useful to you.
Lunchtime is always a ProductCamp highlight. Grab a sandwich*, wrap or veggies and then (re)connect with old and new peers, meet our professional education and tools sponsors, join a Birds-of-a-Feather discussion (see below), and/or speak with a hiring manager about a new job.
*Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.
The Career Fair continues during lunch, so you can speak in person with hiring managers.
Lunchtime Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions. For those who want to connect to others with shared interests, we will once again run lunchtime functional, industry, and topical birds-of-a-feather discussions. Discussions will most likely include agile, product marketing, VPs/directors, healthcare, financial services, SaaS, Startups, IoT and others for a total of around 14 sessions.
Afternoon breakouts kick off after lunch.
At the end of the day, we’ll come together to chat about what we learned, reconnect, and give away raffle prizes. And we will also hold a drawing for the attendee who completes the most session surveys.
After-party. Afterwards, we will get together at the bar on the first floor of University Hall.
Community & Communication
When you attend ProductCamp, you’re joining a community of peers connected before, during, and after ProductCamp. Here are some of the ways you can connect:
- Sched – The entire ProductCamp schedule lives on the Sched website which you can access on your mobile or desktop device. Check Sched before you head over to a session in case of last-minute cancellations or room changes. Note: the current schedule shows ALL PROPOSED sessions and will be updated with final accepted sessions on or before April 30.
- Slack – New this year, all ProductCamp attendees can join BPMA’s slack before, during, and for a limited time after ProductCamp (just register by May 3 so we can add you to Slack). You’ll be able to easily chat with people who share your interests, connect with attendees, reach out to speakers, get event updates and more. Download the Slack app on the Google Play store or Apple App store.
- Twitter – Follow @PCampBoston and use the #PCampBoston hashtag to engage with peers in the ProductCamp community. Check @PCampBoston for updates before and after ProductCamp.
- LinkedIn & Facebook – Join the LinkedIn and Facebook groups to stay in touch with your PCamp peers before, during and after ProductCamp. Post your event pics, and check out other folks’ pictures in our Facebook page.
- Presentations – Session leads are expected to email their slides after ProductCamp so they can be posted in one place, on the ProductCamp Slideshare page.
What to Wear
Final note… dress for comfort since you’ll be doing a lot of walking. And be sure to bring business cards and smart phone/laptop/notebooks (for notes) as well.
Learn more on the ProductCamp Boston website.
Steve Robins leads the ProductCamp team and has helped grow Boston into the world’s largest ProductCamp. Previously, he led the marketing team for five years, has spoken almost every year since 2009, and has attended every ProductCamp Boston since 2009. Steve is the VP of BPMA and is the principal of Solution Marketing Strategies, has held senior marketing roles at FirstBest Systems, EMC, Documentum, and KANA Software, started the top-rated solution marketing blog, and writes a marketing tech column for TechTarget.