Session Topics

ProductCamp St. Louis session

ProductCamp St. Louis 2023 will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023 (we’re serious; despite the date, this isn’t a joke!). Registration is free, and tickets are limited! Register for free today!

Updated details on Session Topics — including the form to submit Session Topic proposals — will be posted and announced soon.

Unlike traditional conferences, anyone interested in leading a session at ProductCamp St. Louis can submit a topic. Then, everyone in attendance gets to vote on which sessions they would like to see, and the most popular choices get on the schedule.

On this page:

Session Categories

While it is not required that a session topic falls into one of the categories listed below, it’s a helpful guide for some of the topics that may be covered.

  • Opportunity Analysis (Market Research, Market Segmentation, Competitive Analysis, Business Case, Market Problems, etc.)
  • Product Strategy (Business Planning, Business Model, Whole Product, Roadmaps, Portfolio Planning, Partnerships, Resource Allocation, Sourcing/Supply Chain, Technology Assessment, etc.)
  • Requirements Definitions (MRD, PRD, BRD, Elicitation, Personas, Use Cases, Prioritization, UX, etc.)
  • Product Management/Development (Agile Processes, Beta Tests, Digital Product Management, Market Testing, Testing/QA, Offshore/Nearshore Dev, Prototyping, etc.)
  • Go-to-Market (Product Launch Plans, Product Launch Readiness, Market Strategy, Marketing Plan, Pricing, Positioning, Messaging, Channel Strategy, Sales Enablement, Licensing, Scaling, etc.)
  • Marketing Execution (Demand Gen, Events, PR, Advertising, Social Media, Marketing Collateral, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline, Channel Mgmt, Marketing Metrics, SEO, international markets, etc.)
  • Product Lifecycle Mgmt (Customer Panels, Customer Engagement, Portfolio Analysis, Crossing the Chasm, Brand Mgmt, End-of-life, Divestment, Customer Retention, Repositioning, etc)
  • Prod Management Careers (PM 101, Team Management, Interviews, Roles Definitions, Small vs. Big Company, PM Tools, etc.)
  • Funding/Investors
  • Manufacturing-specific
  • IT-specific (software/cloud development)
  • Other

Session Formats

In general, the most enjoyed and talked about sessions are those that have been very interactive. That said, you can structure a session however you wish. To help align expectations of the session leader and participants, we offer a list of format descriptions. This list is intended to be a guide but not intended to be limiting, so feel free to be creative.

  • Town Hall – The leader presents a short (20-30 minute max) informative topic, open-ended question or premise and opens the floor for expansion, comment, questions and general discussion.
  • Roundtable Breakout – Similar to Town Hall, except that audience breaks out into small groups and typically shares findings, comments, or team responses with the room at the end of the session.
  • Workshop – In this format, the audience is actively involved, collectively or in groups, in an exercise or application of a technique or process which has been presented by the session leader. The description should mention the portion of the session spent in the exercise and what the attendees will produce. Proposers are encouraged to have knowledgeable assistants to help answer questions and support the exercise.
  • Panel Discussion – Popularly seen, this format has several people qualified to talk about the subject of the session, preferably from diverse or even counterpoint perspectives or roles. A moderator facilitates questions from the audience or a series of prepared questions for the panelists, but a significant part of the session is still interactive Q&A with the audience.
  • Ask the Expert – This format is most successful with a recognized authority on a subject of wide interest, or a direct participant in some particularly interesting event or phenomenon. The expert or a moderator introduces the topic and frames some appropriate discussion and then opens the floor for questions, including those that might be somewhat specific as long as they are applicable to more people than the individual questioner.
  • Presentation – Having already suggested that this traditional one-directional delivery is less popular among the ProductCamp community, there are some exceptional topics and presenters who can make this work. Session proposers are advised to consider this carefully and be honest in citing this format if it is actually what will be delivered.

For Session Leaders: Logistics

If you are proposing a session, and it gets chosen, then you should be prepared to lead the session. Here are some details to help you make sure you’re prepared. There will be computers and projectors in each room. You can either…

  • Bring your laptop or other device to present off of, along with any connectors you may need to hook up to a projector (especially for those with Mac laptops or tablets). Most rooms should have an HDMI connection and VGA connector.
  • Or, store your slides online using a service like DropBox or Google Drive and then use the computer in the room to your presentation from there.
  • Or, bring your slides on a USB drive and load them onto one of the computers in the room.
  • Or, more than one of the above. (Things do go wrong, after all.)

We will have volunteers on hand to help with A/V as needed, and we have tested all of the equipment out in advance. That said, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case you can’t get your slides to present.  We’ll do the best we can to help, but no guarantees. If you need something specific, bring it with you; for example, if you want to play a video and want people to be able to hear it, we suggest bringing your own speakers.

The rooms will be set up “classroom style” with tables and chairs facing the front of the room, most likely in rows. For simplicity and logistics purposes, we won’t be able to accommodate other setups (e.g. arranging chairs into a circle). If you want to do something interactive, for example, you can ask people to pair up or get in small groups — that will be possible without moving furniture around, but we ask that you don’t move equipment or furniture otherwise.

If you have specific logistics questions, contact Sarah Ramrup.