Sunday, July 8, 2012

Enough with the "Un"

Mary Boone skypes in to
Event Camp Vancouver
What's up with the "Un"?

The "UnConference" "UnMarketing" (yes, I read it) "UnSession" as just a start are now the ubiquitous NEW way of looking at things. But I don't really get it. It is still marketing, a conference or a session, so why do we accept it as being better? Why are we using the "Un"?  The meaning, according to


a prefix meaning “not,” freely used as an English formative, giving negative or opposite force in adjectives and their derivative adverbs and nouns ( unfair; unfairly; unfairness; unfelt; unseen; unfitting; unformed; unheard-of; un-get-at-able ), and less freely used in certain other nouns (unrest; unemployment).
Is it that we are NOT marketing, holding a conference or presenting at a session? Obviously that is not the case - a recent "un-session" was presented at #caem12 (here shared by Dennis Shiao) which was certainly within the context of a traditional conference full of general sessions, concurrent sessions, roundtables, panels, reception including time to meet sponsors / exhibitors and even a pre-event golf tournament. So why the "un"session - was there not a presentation? What was so different about this session that it earned the "un"?  
Do we do this as writers or organizers to set our own mind-frame before we start that we need to look at things differently? If that is the reason, then the "un" is more embraceable. 
If we recognize that doing it the same old way isn't working; if we think there needs to be an un-way of doing things, then isn't it time to truly consider how attendees are feeling when they attend an event and turn the "un" into the new way of creating events?  
Resource: Creating an Emotional Arc within your conference experience from June 26th is here by Jeff Hurt

1 comment:

  1. Just saw this post, Tahira. I dislike the "un" too, and wrote about this very topic, with a somewhat different slant, in January:

    P.S. Thanks for mentioning me in the "new way" post you linked to above!