Adventures at Barcampnfp 2015

15th April 2015
Laila welcomes the group to Barcampnfp Photo by Gaby Jeffs

I took part in my third Barcampnfp unconference this week. It always reminds me of the old saying “you get out what you put in” and I did my best to contribute meaningfully I suggested and ran two of the morning sessions.

At this event the participants co-create the conference and topics are crowdsourced from the group. If you want to cover a topic you have to be the facilitator.

Jude Habib Storytelling Supremo and I Photo by Gaby Jeffs

I saw some of my favourite charity comms friends there, but also met new ones. It’s a great experience, where you are thrown in the deep end, but as everyone believes in the spirit of collaboration, so you’re not alone. On my first barcamp I ran two sessions and this time I encouraged others who were new to do the same.

My first session – Engaging a younger audience through Instagram etc
How to reach and engage with young people (13 – 25) is an issue for lots of charities. We had a great group and some interesting discussion including topics like user generated content, can images be too slick for instagram? See the notes kindly written and shared by @jaCattell here:

Engaging younger audiences

My second session – Video on a shoestring

Gaby shares her tips
Gaby shares her tips

I was particularly interested in how small charities could make the most of the opportunities video presents. Again all in the group contributed valuable experience and tips.  Some great tips from Gaby on keeping interviews fresh and simple video planning.

Hannah Elford shared how she had always commissioned videos but after creating her own on her iphone that she thinks it can be done in house and her internal comms campaign using vine.

Hannah shares her experiences Photo by Gaby Jeffs
Hannah shares her experiences
Photo by Gaby Jeffs

Notes from this session available here.

Tools we love session
I joined a great session on tools where we shared apps we love (and some we love to hate, *ahem* Yammer and Sharepoint). My suggestions were Over, Lastpass, Instarepost and Picgrid. Kirsty recommended Canva and Storify which are brilliant. There were quite a few I hadn’t heard of. Full list here.


Failure by GapingVoid

Failure Swapshop session
This was my 3rd failure swapshop and it always feels so cleansing and I come away feeling unburdened. We cannot reveal the discussion in the session as Chatham house rules apply, but we are allowed to talk about the lessons learned. These included: No one died, What’s the worst that can happen? Always have a proof reader, Don’t be afraid to speak up, Don’t underestimate website launch delays, Don’t trust the tech, Be Prepared, Plan time to check, Don’t assume your processes are correct.

I think that there are lots of negative emotions attached to failure including shame and guilt. It would be great if we could embrace failure and risk (these sessions help change negative failure culture) and view it in a new light, think about the innovation and change that could be possible!

If you’d like to run your own, Luke the creator of the concept has shared his how to guide here:

Salesforce session
We had a small, but perfectly formed chat about the potential of Salesforce as a tool, run by Barcamp newbie Emma from @cutfilms which turned into a debate on competition, collaboration and big data sharing between charities. If this is your thing, I am told Laila aka @spirals (who organises Barcampnfp) will be sharing the details of an upcoming event you will love.

Behaviour Change group Photo by me

Behaviour change
I popped into the behaviour change session run by Sanjay from Whatleadsto with a fascinating discussion about smokers and changing towards quitting, which included Emma sharing how her work at Cut Films with young people making films around smoking. Looking at research around how to change behaviour shows that apparently if you have an addiction, you only ever swap it for a new addiction.

Eleanor in action

Final session – Remarkable content
Was facilitated by Eleanor from Refugee Action, who suggested we compare notes on remarkable content. Lots of great examples were shared and it was a great way to round off the day.

Jude Habib ‏@JudeHabib Apr 8 #barcampnfp If you’re not following @humansofny – why not? Powerful, simple, #storytelling. …

Nathan Murray ‏@MrNathanMurray Apr 8 Great way to finish #barcampnfp – talking about remarkable bits of content! Ace idea @eleanor_dean

The barcamp format is a brilliant way to share knowledge and learning and come up with new ideas and make a great space for innovation, it has a great collaborative spirit that I hope continues in our work back in the office, as after all we are all working towards very similar goals.

Notes from the event:

Storify of the tweets from the day:

Lovely photos taken by Gaby Jeffs of Magneto Films

Views about Barcampnfp from others:

Jude Habib ‏@JudeHabib Thanks to @spirals & the sponsors of #barcampnfp – a great day & so vital to support capacity building for charity staff #digitalcomms

Emma Wrafter ‏@EmmaWrafter Apr 9 @goreckidawn yes even better. I think how people want to share information and best practice. A good vibe. Plus all the tips! #barcampnfp