The Tribal Gatherings called Product Camps

I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the first Minnesota product camp. It was well-organized, attended and the willingness of those to share was great. This isn’t my first product management camp and it won’t be the last.

Why? Product camps are a great place for product management professionals and leaders to step away from the day-to-day and engage in a day of learning and networking. There’s an air of strength and camaraderie at each event.

If you’re looking for reasons to form, attend, volunteer or participate in a product camp, may I suggest reading “Tis the Season for Product Camps” a post created by Michael Hopkin and me last year.

I asked the team in Minnesota and posted the question via Twitter, “why did you hold a product camp before creating a local product management association?” I got various answers, but the consistent theme was “we believed this was the best route to bring the community together and build from there.”

I recognize that each product management professional has different needs and product camps, product management associations, and even product management potlucks (yes, they have those in Austin) are a great place to connect, collaborate and commiserate about product management and how to become more effective and successful.

Here’s a great list of resources, so get active!

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Comments

  • jidoctor  On January 31, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    In Minnesota, we have a product community tha – frot spans multiple industries and segments – from technology to consumer to manufacturing. We, as the organizing committee, are aware and involved in the various organizations that are attractive to these segmens; however, there was and is not a single one that represents “product” interests. We believed that having the product camp first, to bring together these segments together for a conversation, would help others see the umbrella where we all fall under. It worked. We came together, learned and shared, and all received value which we could take and apply.

    Where our future as a “product community” goes is uncertain. What we learned though, was we would like to come together from our segments more often for the shared conversation. If that is what we developed here in Minnesota, then the organizing committee feels our efforts in the product camp were well worth while.

    This approach works for us, our community and our market. It may not be what every market needs or wants. But, isn’t the first step in our product management and product marketing roles to learn the market needs?

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