Camp OrgOrg was a long time coming for me, personally. I'd been dreaming for years about a conference that would bring together like-jobbed folks. The online OrgOrg community is strong and vibrant, and the ongoing education space was somewhat limited in terms of content that really resonated with our work. I felt that I - we - could fill the gap. I didn't have a super firm vision for what it would be. I wanted it to be fun, and different from a standard conference, but ultimately I wanted it to be a combination of learning and connection -- the IRL version of our blossoming web community. I think we pulled it off.
"Meeting so many people and hearing their stories about how they overcame some of the challenges in their work made me believe that I can also make those changes to better myself and the company."
We broke for lunch, another amazing meal from Caviar, and quickly shuffled back into the main hall for our Keynote by Phoenix Normand. He inspired us with his accounts of hard work and dedication, and made us laugh with his wild stories. We spent the next chunk of the afternoon doing our Live Forums - an experimental concept that was one part lightening talk and one part choose-your-own-adventure. We had speakers on topics ranging from The Importance of Mentorship to Salary Negotiation and more, and empty spaces for campers to self organize into their own discussions. Frankly, I had no idea how this was going to go, and I found myself tearing up as I walked around and saw everyone busily chatting and learning from each other.
We finished up the afternoon with an Evening Panel about Change Management - How To Stay Authentic To Your Values During Times Of Change. We closed the evening by turning "the Dome" outside Bespoke into a "Craftail Hour" filled with crafts, games, food and drinks sponsored by the amazing Custom Camps.
Luckily, Sam and 1up Events brought tons of cute accessories and decor to bring our vision to life. We had a custom built stage that was constructed from giant lego pieces, giant teddy bears that doubled as comfy chairs when Campers needed somewhere to "camp out" for a few minutes and catch up on emails or decompress. A lovely lactation room featured framed photos (thanks to Mountary) of our nursing/pumping Campers' kids.
Our incredible volunteers were running around throughout the day ensuring every aspect was running smoothly. I cannot overstate my appreciate for all their hard work and couldn't have done this without them!
"When I talk about the conference to my friends and family, I always start with, 'This conference literally changed my life.' ... During this conference, I was snapping, tweeting, and posting on every social media account I owned."