your scotgovcamp 2013 survival kit

Here’s all you need to know to get the best out of your scotgovcamp experience!

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What happens on the day

Registration will be 0930 – 1000. Please don’t arrive any earlier than 0930, cos you won’t get in!

We’ll be kicking off sharp at 1000. After the domestics and introductions we’ll get on to session pitches and putting the agenda together. If you have something you want to talk about, don’t be shy. Govcampers are a lovely bunch, they’ll be genuinely interested in hearing what you have to say.

Once we have an agenda we’ll go straight into the first sessions. The sessions themselves will be about 45-50 minutes and we’ve got enough space to run 4 or 5 sessions concurrently. So you may have to make some tough choices about which sessions to attend. But, remember, govcamps run on ‘open space’ principles, so you’re free to move in and out of sessions.

We’ll have a break for lunch at some point (exact timings will be confirmed on the day) and we’ll be wrapping up no later than 1630.

Pitching sessions

If you’ve been following the discussions on Twitter (the hashtag is #scotgc13) or on the SPSDG Knowledge Hub, you’ll know that we have an Ideascale site for session suggestions. If you already have an idea for a session pitch, you might want to put it up on there now, so you can gauge likely interest. Or you might find that someone has already suggested something similar. It isn’t compulsory to do this though – we won’t be allocating sessions until the day.

Give it some welly!

What makes a govcamp really swing is the (mostly!) seamless offline/online interaction, so please help spread the conversation. By tweeting. Or blogging. Or Flickring. Or YouTubeing. Or Google+ing. Or all of the above-ing. If you want a little help to get going, there will be plenty of people around who can offer social media advice. [And afterwards, you can add ‘event amplification’ to your LinkedIn profile!]

So, yes, that does mean that you may have your photo taken, you may be filmed, or a comment you make may appear on Twitter. If you’re in any way uncomfortable with that, govcamp may not be the place for you.

If it’s your first time

If you’re an unconference virgin (and that’s nothing to be ashamed of btw ;)), don’t worry, we’ll spend a bit of time first thing explaining how things work. And if you let us know that it’s your first time when you register, we can buddy you up with an…ahem…more experienced camper 😉 .


If you need wifi, you’ll get login details when you register. Other than that we won’t be using the University’s equipment, so if you want to present slides you’ll have to bring your own tech (although we’d like the PowerPoint kept to a minimum anyway…).


Refreshments will be available throughout the day (including some lush homebaking!). If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know asap.


We’ve got Woodland Creatures booked for some pre event drinkies and Mother India for some serious post event curry eating – full details for both on the Ideascale site.

Small people

Yes, you can bring children into the venue. Just to be clear, that’s not the same as saying that scotgovcamp is a child-friendly event! There are a few reasons why it’s probably not a good idea to bring your little darlings unless you have to. For a start, we can’t guarantee that the conversations will be child friendly. And there won’t be much to hold their attention unless they have a very precocious interest in technology in the public sector! And we won’t be the only people in the venue on the day – there are very clever people doing very important, very complicated computer sciencey stuff in Informatics at all hours – so they can’t really run about freely (that applies to all of us, btw!)

If you do need to bring your kiddies please make sure that you bring food and drink for them as we can’t guarantee that the catering will be child friendly.


Remember, Scotgovcamp is only possible because of the generosity of our sponsors: the UKGovcamp guys, Futuregov, O2 and mydex. And of course, the University of Edinburgh, which is hosting us. Please take the time to check them out.

We have just about enough money to run the event, but could be doing with a wee bit more. So if you’re a tech company or similar and have a bit of money for this sort of thing in your budget, please get in touch (no amount too small!). We frown on sales pitches but you’d be very welcome to display banners at the event, bring promotional materials, etc. And, of course, you get the kudos from being associated with a govcamp (and that’s a whole lotta kudos!).


One thought on “your scotgovcamp 2013 survival kit

  1. Sue northrop says:

    Thank you! It was great to see this and be welcomed as a first timer – the v word sits uneasily at my stage of life! Usually things are full of unwritten rules that you have to discover. Thats so exclusive and dis empwering. Thanks to you for de mystifyng! Off to tweet! :-))

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