ProductCamp St. LouisProductCamp St. Louis is the premier event for anyone who builds, designs, markets, or manages a product or service.

Registration is now open for the 8th annual ProductCamp St. Louis, which is being held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Webster University. Register (for free!) now!

Want to learn more?

If you’ve never been to a ProductCamp, you may have some questions like: What is ProductCamp?

You can also learn more about past ProductCamps that we’ve held in St. Louis.

Feedback from 2018 and Changes for 2019

Thanks to everyone who attended ProductCamp St. Louis 2018 and a special thank you to all who completed the post-survey we sent out. We read all the responses — your input really does matter.

We have decided to share with you what we learned from you about ProductCamp and how we’re going to try to address the issues in 2019.

Why Do You Attend ProductCamp St. Louis?

The top three reasons people come to ProductCamp St. Loius are: curiosity, networking and professional development.

Venue

ProductCamp St. Louis 2018 was the third year we’ve held the event at Webster University. We like it a lot and those who responded to the survey also gave it very high marks, which is why we’re excited to be back in the same venue for 2019.

We understand that it’s sometimes hard to hear in the opening session. As great as the venue is, the one big downside is that there’s no room big enough in the building to hold the number of people who attend ProductCamp St. Louis. We know the opening session isn’t ideal, but we’ll be arranging for a microphone and (more powerful) PA system for 2019.

We’ve received positive feedback from our sponsors on the venue as well, and we’ll be reaching out to them to learn what they’d like to see improved and how we can make ProductCamp St. Louis a more valuable event for them.

Food & Beverage

Most people who responded to the survey liked the food at ProductCamp St. Louis 2018, but some people were not aware that we had gluten-free food and salads. This was an issue with the food vendor’s labeling on the boxes. We’re going to make sure that for 2019 we have better labels/signage so it hopefully won’t be a problem again.

Now, as it relates to coffee — we heard you loud and clear! We understand that there wasn’t enough coffee throughout the day. We’re planning on ordering more for 2019.

Sessions

Since ProductCamp is an unconference, anyone can offer to lead a session and everyone votes to select the sessions for that day. You told us that many of the presenters led great sessions, though some presenters weren’t as prepared as they should be. We also heard that some session titles didn’t adequately address the real topics that were going to be discussed. Finally, we learned that some presenters used their session to promote their business or product, which a definite ProductCamp no-no!

As organizers, we don’t have a lot of control over these issues, but we will emphasize all of these points to those who submit sessions in the future. Just remember that you are a participant at ProductCamp, not an attendee; that means that you are expected to actively participate in ProductCamp, and that means that you’re always welcome to leave a session in the middle if you see it’s not what you expected (or if you just want to sample multiple sessions during a time slot). If you have an area of expertise, do consider submitting a session of your own for 2019.

Some of you said you wanted to get the slides from sessions that you didn’t attend. This is tricky because many of the people running the sessions don’t finalize their slides/material until just before ProductCamp, and some don’t use slides at all! In the past we’ve reached out to everyone who submitted a session idea (not just those whose sessions were offered) and given them the opportunity to share their material, or list a way that you can contact them for more information. We’re looking into ways to improve this for 2019, but we also have archive pages for most of the past ProductCamps, so if there’s a past session of interest we encourage you to reach out to the person who proposed it directly.

We’ve taken note of the presenters and sessions that you liked the most. We use that information to help us schedule presentations for our regular St. Louis Product Management Group meetings that happen throughout the year, and also to reach out to those people again to encourage them to submit sessions for future ProductCamps.

Other Comments

We read all the comments and suggestions about various other topics. There were a lot of great ideas, and while we can’t address all of them, we’re still considering how/if we can implement some of the other suggestions that we received.

What Now?

The St. Louis Product Management Group has get-togethers throughout the year. ProductCamp is not our only event. We typically have one formal event (speaker) once a quarter, usually (but not always) at Venture Café. We also often schedule some informal events at restaurants throughout the year. To keep up with other events:

Have Suggestions or Comments?

If you have any thoughts about ProductCamp or other events that you’d like to see during the year, feel free to reach out to those of us on the board of directors: Jeff Lash, Dale Furtwengler, Shelly Azar, Marc Bowers, Brendan Sullivan and Brent Jennings.