LocalGovCamp very close indeed!

I can’t think of much other than LocalGovCamp now. Am literally widdly with excitement at what will be a fabulous day.

Despite the disappointment of a few folk having to drop out at this late stage, the demand for places has been such that substitutes have been found – we’re looking at over 120 people turning up to Fazeley Studios on Saturday morning. Fabulous.

Even better will be the great range of talks and discussions taking place. The beauty of open space events is that the agenda is decided by the people attending, so there’s no arbitrary decisions around what people might or might not find interesting. Some of the stuff includes:

  • How to engage online
  • A sneak preview of Help Me Investigate
  • “Encouraging active citizenship may be seem like a good idea, but it isn’t really”
  • The pros and cons of open source
  • Better use of Google Analytics
  • Is twitter worth bothering with
  • The Public Sector Web Professionals group
  • A social media toolkit for local gov
  • Debategraph
  • Less local government, more social innovation? From local government as an institution to local government as a community

…and many others. All of these sessions will be run by people like the people attending them practitioners talking to practitioners, nobody calling themselves experts, just lots of people with a desire to learn and a desire to share.

Don’t forget that even if you can’t be at the event, you can still join in via the blog, the Google Group, twitter and plenty of other online places. Remember, if you are creating online content, make sure you tag it with localgovcamp so we can bring it all together.

I’ve also started a twitter list of everyone attending, so that those new to twitter can find a bunch of useful people to start talking to. If you are coming, please add yourself. If you aren’t, then start following those on the list so you can keep up with what’s happening!

Finally, a few thank yous to people who have been so remarkably helpful in putting this event together: Vicky Sargent of Boilerhouse and Socitm; Nick Booth; Sammy Williams of Birmingham City Council; Kate Manion at Fazeley Studios; and of course everyone who has contributed via the Google Group or on Twitter.

Massive thank-yous as well to the supporters of the event, without whose sponsorship, this would simply have not got off the ground. You can find them listed on the blog’s supporters page. They are all good people, and should be praised for associating themselves with an event which is quite different from most others.

I doubt I will be back here again until after Saturday. Hopefully then I will be writing about what a success the day was, and where we will be going next with this.

LocalGovCamp group

Much planning is afoot for LocalGovCamp, the unconference for local government which is taking place on 20th June in Birmingham. All tickets are technically sold out, but if you are desperate to come, email me.

I took a wander around the venue – Fazeley Studios – last Friday and have to say I am really, really impressed. Plenty of space, light and airy and lots of blank white walls for projectors or post-it notes!

Remember – what is keeping this event free, and ensuring it is happening at all, is the terrific sponsorship we have received from a variety of sources. Check out the supporters page for more information on who is involved.

Anyone wanting local information about where to go and where to stay can find it on Jon Bounds’ excellent post.

To get some more discussions going around various issues at the event – including people putting forward ideas for sessions – I’ve created a Google Group for email based conversations.

All those with a ticket should have received an email invite. If you would like to join in the group – even if you can’t make the event – sign up below. Everyone is welcome. Well, not everyone. But you know what I mean.

Google Groups
Subscribe to LocalGovCamp

Visit this group

Even if you don’t fancy joining this group, I’ll still be pinging the odd email to the attendees list on Eventbrite and adding updates to the main blog, so don’t worry!

LocalGovCamp a sell out

I’m delighted to be able to say that all the tickets for next month’s LocalGovCamp have been claimed. This is remarkable: all gone in just over a week! Many thanks for the enthusiasm so many people have shown.

If you haven’t got a ticket but would like one, just email me and I will add you to the reserve list. I’m hopeful that we will be able to get everyone that wants to come into the building!

The focus now shifts to making sure we have stuff to talk about on the day. I’m delighted that we have had a couple of suggestions already on the blog: one from Steve Dale about the Local Gov Knowledge Hub project he is working on; and one about strategy by Alan Colson from Solihull MBC.

Keep the ideas flowing, people!

Finally, the support from potential sponsors has been outstanding. You can find the latest on the Supporters page. There is more to come.

LocalGovCamp update

A few things have been happening behind the scenes, and I think it is about time that LocalGovCamp was ‘officially’ launched in some way. I guess this is it.


The event will probably take place in June, probably in Birmingham but definitely on a Saturday.

All the plotting and planning will take place on the blog, so do make sure you subscribe to the RSS or the email alerts.

Once we have a few of the basics sorted out we can start focusing on some of the fun stuff, like what people want to hear, what they want to talk about and who will be ordering the pizzas.


One of the real successes of Saturday’s government barcamp was the large turnout of local government folk, which was great to see.

This has set me thinking that there must be sufficient numbers of peope who would be interested in a specific local government event in an unconference style. I’ve started a discussion about it in the local government group on the ukgovweb network, and am delighted that already plenty of people have responded positively to the idea.

Just off the top of my head, I’m thinking of maybe sometime in June, and possibly in the Midlands – Birmingham?

Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments here, by email, or in the local gov group.

Tag for discussions on twitter, etc is localgovcamp