Why Make&Model Supports Offline Camp

by Steven Trevathan

Unlike other industry events with attendance in the hundreds or even thousands, Offline Camp focuses on a very small group of attendees. This is by design, of course, but as a business owner it begs the question of why I should get involved with such a small event.

If you’re considering attending or sponsoring, or if you're just curious about the experience, I’d like to share three reasons why I believe this event, and this format, are more impactful than traditional conferences and well worth your (and my) time.

1. An event founded on collaboration and friendship

There are lots of ways to facilitate positive social interaction at events, and while many organizers do this very well in their own unique ways, there is something fundamentally different in how this is done at Offline Camp. Attendees live beside each other in one or two buildings for several days and, as an intended effect of that proximity, they move well beyond the more common conference small-talk or clicks into developing real friendships with a group of people they’ve just met.

First made possible by the living arrangements and the smaller number of attendees, the effect then becomes amplified by the collaboration happening at the heart of the event. Building strong interpersonal relationships on the basis of collaboration is an important achievement for teams within a company, but as an event where attendees that may only know of each other through Twitter are asked to tackle various complicated challenges, that collaborative ideal becomes critical.

In starting Offline Camp, we borrowed the format I had created for UX Camp and cemented the focus of Offline First square in the middle of it. With the help of Teri, Bradley, and Gregor, each event has far surpassed my expectations of attendee collaboration, which remains perhaps the biggest draw for me.

2. A community motivated to make an impact

The attendees, sponsors, and organizers are deeply connected by their dream of creating a world where access to digital services does not come at the surprisingly high cost of constant internet connection. Unified on this front, the core Offline First community is pushing forward the ways we build software for any environment.

Offline Camp is an impact-driven event asking you to bring your individual skills and perspective to collaborate closely with that community. As such, being part of Offline Camp has given myself and Make&Model an opportunity to have a voice in all of this, and to bring design thinking to conversations that can help shape how Offline First solutions mature.

Most importantly, knowing that there is a strong community working hard alongside you to make these ideas a reality gives you the confidence that you’re putting effort in all the right places. The work you do here will have an impact both on the Offline First community and on the human beings we all create for.

3. Small, yet incredibly diverse

The nature of Offline Camp seems to inherently attract kind, talented, and driven people. They come from around the world and bring perspective that I value greatly in the work that I do, but I’m far more grateful to see the influence of their experiences on fellow attendees.

Having a truly diverse group (not simply defined by race and gender identity but also geography, background, experience, etc.) makes an impact on everyone in there that creates (and creates tools for creating) for other people. Their voices have the possibility of improving the lives of millions of users, and it’s really hard for me to justify not supporting that.

If you were on the fence about applying or supporting, I hope my perspective gives you the boost to hop over it. The friendships, potential human impact, and new perspectives are well worth the investment for you, your team, and your company.

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