Hosting GovCamp Ten

I wrote this last year about what is needed to host GovCamp.

I can now update it a bit after having just hosted it again at the NAO.

I was not so keen on hosting twice due to the time and effort involved. However because of the lack of good spaces for such events we were able to help out at shortish notice and provide our lovely office space.

Firstly this is a big credit to the NAO facilities team who did such a great job several years ago when the office was refurbished making it into such a flexible and welcoming space. Take a bow Vicky Cox and colleagues.

Even the more so since like many other organisations the NAO is keen to generate revenue from the building. So making it available at the cost of the organisers paying for security and cleaning was extremely generous and shows it’s commitment to helping public sector self-improvement. That is part of the Office’s mission.

I had been sceptical about the value of allocating tickets by a lottery. However when I look at the variety of people attending both the range of organisations and the number of new people it definitely was worthwhile and certainly avoids any suggestion of partiality or bias in the choice of attendees.

The range of sponsors and stands was also impressive and showed the reach of the event. I particularly enjoyed talking to colleagues from the GDS BAME network who had their own stand.

I have already enjoyed some of the photo selections that have been shared and look forward to reading more blogposts and seeing various initiatives or conversations on Saturday being followed up.

Again a big thank you to all the sponsors who made the event possible. It is a difficult event to organise when a space has to be found before any money is available to pay for it. However the good news is that any money not used to pay for the event helps fund other community events. So it is a gift that keeps giving.

Finally enormous credit to Jeremy Gould for creating the event in the first place as a bit of an underground movement. The fact that two permanent secretaries, the head of GDS and over 200 other colleagues felt it worth giving up some of their time on a Saturday shows the enduring value of the unconference format.

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