First time at MeasureCamp? I got your back.
It was March 2022 when I went to my first Measurecamp, the one in Bucharest, and if you had asked me what to expect that morning while I was on my way to the venue, I would have been entirely wrong about all my assumptions.
After going to several Measurecamps last year (Bucharest, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Brussels), I am happy to work with the organizers at MeasureCamp Helsinki 2023 – THE FIRST Measurecamp in Helsinki – ever.
Let me help give you a crash course of what to expect to find there; how can you mingle like a pringle with other folks with the same interests as you, and how can you do your first talk. YAY. If you want to talk and you have a great topic that you would love to talk about, Measurecamp is the place to do it. Many people in our community have launched their speaking careers at Measurecamp, including myself. I became better and more — I guess “requested” for different events after doing my first talk at MeasureCamp Bucharest. So, let’s dig in.
First – what is Measurecamp?
MeasureCamp is an unconference, the schedule is decided on the day, and speakers are fellow attendees. Everyone is encouraged to discuss and participate in sessions, even lead them. You focus on what YOU find most interesting and useful.
Peter O’Neill is the founder of Measurecamp. The first MeasureCamp was held Sat 22nd Sept 2012 in London. There were approximately 120 attendees.
MeaureCamp is free to attend, but you must be willing to give up a Saturday to do so. It follows the unconference format where anyone can run a session, whether a presentation, discussion, workshop, or anything. Sessions can be technical or business (or just fun) and aimed at beginners or experts in the community.
Thanks for the history lesson, but how does the schedule go? Is it all day?
The event typically starts around 9-9:30 AM and lasts until 5 PM. After 5 PM, an after-party usually happens at the same venue or a nearby bar. It all depends on the organizers.
When you arrive there – ideally on time you will be welcomed by the organizers and volunteers who will check your ticket, give you a badge or some welcome swag and let you in. Once you are in, you will be welcomed by friendly faces, great vibes, and coffee and breakfast.
After breakfast, around 10-10:30 AM, the welcome presentation happens, done by the organizers, followed by the first session of the day – “The board session.” The board session is where all the participants can use a session card (don’t worry, I will walk you through that below, too), fill it out with the details of their presentation / workshop / group chat, and place it on the board. The board will generally have room names and time slots.
After the board session, you will see the board filled with the day’s talks, and you can start deciding which to attend. If you don’t like the talk or if you want to see something else perhaps that happens at the same hour, you can freely move around rooms. Of course, if it does happen that you do not like a talk, don’t be an ass about it and just leave politely.
OK, but I want to do a presentation – what is a session card?
Behold the session card:
So as you can see, you can use the session card to add the presentation title, your name, and a short, ideally enticing description of your talk… You want people to come to it, so make sure you make it as attractive as possible.
You can fill out the session card at the event or, if you prefer to do it beforehand, please feel free to download and print off a copy yourself. Session card is available as a PDF file here: Download Session Card PDF
Remember, people decide quickly on the talk they will attend, so make sure you jazz up your session card and make it attractive. Then you can choose the level of expertise required for people to attend it, the style of it and the type of subject.
Simple enough, right?
Also, because I want you to have a fantastic time with doing a talk there, especially if you are a first-timer, I want to give you my best tips for that talk:
- Choose a topic that is interesting for people but also try to give it a different touch. Imagine how many people will talk about GA4 this year. If you want to do it, make sure you do it from an angle that makes you stand out.
- As Bhav once mentioned in his blog post at Measurecamp London (definitely give that a read, too), don’t do your talk at the same time Simo Ahava will do it. You will risk being in a room with very few people who probably don’t know who Simo is. Given that you are reading this because you are going to Measurecamp Helsinki, people will know who he is there.
- On that note, if it is your first time, aim to do your talk before lunch. People are more hungry for knowledge at that time rather than after. Plus, you get it out of your system faster, and you get more time to enjoy the event vs. freaking out about it. I would know. I did it after lunch, and I was sweating beads my whole talk. Thankfully people did come to my talk and were patient enough with me.
- This takes me to: people are friendly as f@ck! The absolute best, so don’t be afraid to do your presentation and don’t be scared of being maybe nervous about it; everyone will be there cheering for you. So go for it, and have a great time.
- Prepare in advance to stick within 20 mins regardless of the format of your talk. Here are bite-size talk examples.
Phew, ok, so what’s next?
Enjoy the day and the sessions, and try to network as much as possible. Remember, if you are giving up your Saturday to hang out with a bunch of nerds, you are one of us, too, and we are excited to get to know you. So, don’t be afraid to say hi, ask questions, and, most importantly – have fun.
- If you are traveling and arriving from Friday, there will always be Friday night drinks, so keep in touch with the organizers about what’s happening.
- After the event on Saturday, after the after-party, everyone will go to a bar and continue the fun. So make sure you keep your ears out for that, it’s always so fun.
Have a fantastic time!
Juliana Jackson | Twitter | Linkedin
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