Useful Idea: A New Kind of Conference

I propose a new kind of conference. Something different. A different angle. A useful conference, where people from different backgrounds with expertise in completely different subject area come together to share ideas and tackle a problem. I’m calling it UsefulCon.

We’ve all been to conference. Blogging conferences. Parenting conferences. Industry conferences. Conferences like South-by-southwest or TED. And they are all great. They tend to get us excited, renew our fervor for whatever we are doing. Some are fascinating, some thought provoking, others less so. Others remind us why we do the things we do. But at the end of the day, or weekend or week, what do we get out it? What is the tangible result? Apart from learning something new or meeting new people, what do we get from our weekend away in some hotel and conference center? I’m not sure.

Maybe we aren’t supposed to get something out of it. Or maybe we are and I just have unreal expectations of what that thing is supposed to be. But imagine what a conference might look like if there was something tangible produced. Imagine what it would be like to participate in a gathering having that participation lead to something – a new business, a marketing strategy, a book, a new product.

This is what I propose. And it’s not all that unusual. Isn’t, after all, what happens in a 48 hour film fest or a 24 hour code-a-thon? What if we went a little wider? What if we facilitated instead of shared, built or created instead of lectured and listened?

This is my idea. Our idea and I want your help.

Help me create UsefulCon.

Here’s what I’m looking for.

1. Tracks- what four or five kinds of things could we create in the space of a weekend? A group of musicians getting together to write and record an album? A group of writers and thinkers concepting and publishing a book? A group of marketers and digital creatives designing a strategy for a non-profit? A group of makers creating a new product to market? I’m open to ideas. Tell me what you think.

2. Beginning- there’s no reason that UsefulCon can’t begin online. Help design how this event can begin on Google+, Skype or Twitter.

3. Problems- what do we solve?

4. People- who should be involved? What kinds of people? What people specifically?

I propose a new kind of conference and I want your help to make it a reality.

Contact me below and let me know what you think.

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