Another ProductCamp Austin has come and gone – Austin’s third. If you haven’t participated in, or planned a ProductCamp in your city, there really are no excuses left. ProductCamp has proven itself to be the ultimate grassroots gathering for Product Management, Product Marketing, and Marketing pros anywhere. Austin’s third edition had a some valuable highlights:
- Participation continues to grow by leaps and bounds. The first PCA, we had 90 show up. The second, 160. The third – over 300! In just over a year, we’ve experienced over 300%+ growth. Many businesses would be envious of that kind of growth.
- We’ve managed to maintain the spirit and character of the event as we grow it. We do a post-camp survey after each event, and for the third consecutive time, our “customer sat” metrics were off the charts great. 98% of our participants would recommend ProductCamp to a peer. For the third PCA in a row, we scored a perfect 100% on the question “Would you come to ProductCamp again?” That is a testament to the team we’ve grown around this event.
- Sponsorship is increasing. We run ProductCamp on a shoestring budget – less than $10,000 not included donations such as venue. In the beginning, we had a big sales job to get national level sponsors like AIPMM and Pragmatic Marketing interested. Now, all of the major national product management sponsors are involved: Pragmatic, ZigZag, and Sequent Learning. Local companies such as SolarWinds and AustinVentures are also taking notice. SolarWinds used ProductCamp as a recruiting tool – it makes sense, since only the most motivated, passionate people are going to give up a Saturday to geek on on Product Management topics with their peers.
- We’ve (re)validated Austin’s corner of the world. Austin’s tech community has always perplexed me. There are so many of us here, and we are so disconnected. Austin doesn’t have the pulse that Silicon Valley has, and we definitely don’t have the density. We do have passion and strong leaders in spades. This third PCA proved that we can drive huge turnout here, and outside of the Valley can claim to put on the biggest ‘Camp.
- ProductCamp is spawning leaders and building a critical mass. We’ve built a great core team: people like Colleen Heubaum, Mark Suchanek, Bertrand Hazard, John Peltier, John Milburn, Roger Cauvin, and Scott Sehlhorst (and many others) have all contributed to the planning and execution of multiple ProductCamps. This team makes me believe that we have established momentum. It will be exciting to see the next generation of leaders step up, and the established team can work with them and mentor them to keep ProductCamp fresh and exciting.
Gaining critical mass has been a huge undertaking for ProductCamp Austin. Setting up and tearing down the leadership for each event, twice per year, is a massive undertaking in manpower and logistics. One consitent piece of feedback that we’ve heard from the ProductCamp participants is that they would like to continue the ProductCamp experience between the semi-annual ‘Camps. In Austin, we don’t have a strong central Product Management and Marketing networking group like in other areas of the country. That does not mean that we have to settle!
To fill the gaps between ProductCamps, the team that brought you ProductCamp Austin is introducing a new flavor of the ProductCamp experience: ProductPotluck Austin. ProductPotluck is a mini-version of ProductCamp: instead of an all day event, it will be a happy hour plus a one hour session. Instead of many topic areas and dozens of potential presentations, ProductPotluck will have 2 topic areas of focus, and a handful of potential presentations (or roundtables, panel discussions, or workshops). Just like ProductCamp, ProductPotluck is by and for the participants – we will still have participants voting on which sessions make “the cut,” and the majority of sessions will be offered by the participants themselves (we’re leaving a little wiggle room to bring in distinguished guests, too). We’ll cap the whole thing off by providing more time for drinking and networking, which is always popular. As always, ProductPotluck is FREE; your only cost is your participation.
Austin’s first ProductPotluck will be October 21st, at the AT&T Conference Center near the University of Texas campus.
Happy Hour will be in Gabriel’s Cafe, which is located in the lower lobby (Level LL), to the north inside the University Avenue entrance.
ProductPotluck Sessions will be held in Classrooms 101 and 103.
Parking is available in the AT&T Center underground parking lot. Pay for parking in Gabriel’s Café during Happy Hour and receive the $7 discounted rate.
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX 78705
5:30-6:30pm Sign-in, Networking Happy Hour, Final Sessions Voting – Gabriel’s Café
6:45-8:00pm Marketing and Product Strategy Presentations – Classrooms 101 & 103
8:00pm -?? Networking Happy Hour – Gabriel’s Café
The two topics we will focus on this month are: Marketing and Product Strategy.
In true ProductCamp spirit, the participants determine which sessions are ultimately presented. Here’s how it will work: five Sessions have been submitted for voting consideration. See the PPA wiki for detailed descriptions of each Session.
- Applying buyer personas to marketing strategy – Mike Boudreaux
- Top 10 Ways to Use Facebook to Promote your Business – Christopher Sherrod
- Error 404: The Panel You Are Looking For Does Not Exist – Jonathan Gesinger, Alex Jones, Amanda McGuckin Hager, Jason Sugawa
- Help! I work for an engineer who knows nothing about Product Strategy – Jeffrey Eversmann
- From customer centric design to customer centric marketing to customer centric companies (Enterprise 2.5?) – Andreas Voss
At the PPA October 21 meeting, the five sessions will “face off” during the 5:30-6:30pm networking Happy Hour in Gabriel’s Café. Each participant will be given one vote to place on the session of their choice. The top session in each category will be announced and will run in parallel in Classrooms 101 and 103.
To get all of the details, please go to the ProductPotluck wiki. We’re looking forward to seeing you on the 21st!