Posted in Blog News, I'm an IO doing this!, This is VCSSCamp

VCSSCamp, well that seemed to go OK didn’t it?

We (Paul, Pauline & Eileen) would like to thank all of you who came to the 2nd VCSSCamp in Birmingham last week. We really weren’t sure who would come, and whether anyone would pitch a session, but thankfully 40 of you did, and many of you pitched. Either you came last year and wanted more, or you were just intrigued enough by what you had heard about last year to find out what it was all about for yourself.

Actually you were probably there because (like us) you care about infrastructure organisations being suitably equipped with the knowledge and skills to make the most of digital tools, open data and social media etc.

VCSSCamp Pitching

There is already a blog from Mike Cummins about our open data discussion and a Storify summary of the day compiled by Saffi Price available and Ted was taking pictures and video which will be posted here in due course.

At the end of the day, you all very kindly scribbled down your thoughts about the day which we’ve listed here below. We really hope the day has boosted your confidence to try out some of the ideas and to carry out the actions. Please let us know if you do. (Thank you also to Dudley CVS staff for writing up the handwritten notes)

So, you told us after the day you’d like to do some new things …

  • Like to learn more about open data
  • Probably need to use Twitter in a more engaging way for the organisation – we tend to just broadcast at the moment
  • Learned new info around social media – homework to look into using Storify and others such as Google Hangouts
  • Have learnt about new social media programs to look into
  • Info about the Do-It website was useful
  • Small data projects by uni graduates
  • Search, research, share
  • Learnt a lot – new tools and how to deal with post codes and ward data
  • Listen – lots, Learn – absolutely, Share – defo
  • Learnt a lot changing the way we talk on social media
  • Look at data collection app
  • Going to tweet ongoing projects, not just old & new ones
  • Yes! opened my mind to how I and my organisation can use Twitter
  • Also answered my question about measuring impact and meeting Nick to find out about his app
  • Could we use webinars more e.g. third sector assembly/training/events
  • Keep making all the things we know an open channel

You said you liked “Networking” and “Fantastic networking” and even “Enjoyed people sharing ideas and networking”. It was “Good to talk to people & see where they are in terms of outcomes” and “It was brilliant to meet some people in real life”.

You went away full of “New ideas” and “Reinvigorated” and with “Lots of useful ideas and contacts”. You said “I got loads of good ideas and a very valuable opportunity to reflect and think about my work, my volunteering and social media”.

There were “Lots of fun & laughs” (always good to know) and just as importantly the day “Made me remember why we all do what we do” and from someone else, it left them“Feeling reinvigorated again about tech and social media”.

Also thank you for the compliments too!

  • Fantastic, wonderful day. Thank you so much for organising it, you are all superstars
  • Enjoyed connecting with new people, and recognising the importance of speaking like a human
  • Really enjoyed the day – spread the message
  • Thank you #VCSSCamp I’ve had a fab day

If you have anything to share please add to the comments in this post, post on your own blog and link here or let us know if you’d like to write a guest post to put on this site.

If you think an increased use of digital tools is vital for infrastructure organisations, I’m sure the Commission looking into the Future of Infrastructure would welcome your views. You can send these via links on

Thanks again to our lovely event sponsors Big Assist/NCVO, West Midlands Volunteer Centres Network, Dudley CVS, RnR Organisation and RAWM.

We’ll no doubt run VCSSCamp again next year, maybe in June and maybe in Birmingham. However, if anyone feels inspired to take this idea and format on locally in their area and run a VCSSCamp before then, we’d be delighted to help, we’ll probably come along too and may not break any microphones. Oops.


I've worked in the voluntary sector listening to people and helping them use technology for 17 years and believe strongly that people come first and technology second. I'm always learning from people I talk to at meet-ups and bring experience of running the NetSquared Midlands Meet-up, VCSSCamp unconferences and many social media surgeries. I'm also the UK & Europe contact for the NetSquared Tech for Social Good meet ups. I connect people and communities to get the most from technology and the web. I like listening, linking and real beer & hate seeing the wheel being reinvented and sweetcorn.

2 thoughts on “VCSSCamp, well that seemed to go OK didn’t it?

  1. Interesting that VCSSCamp should serve to remind people why they do what they do. It is a pity when people lose sight of this, but not surprising given the everyday pressures many face.

    I also think it is important to remind the wider world, from time to time, why people who work in voluntary organisations do what they do. Hopefully, increased and more productive use of social media in the sector will expose and uncover the stories which demonstrate how important their work is, and lead to greater engagement with, and understanding from, the public.


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