LaidOffCamp, held during daylight hours Tuesday at the Temple night club in downtown San Francisco, was an ad-hoc gathering of unemployed and self-employed people seeking to share ideas and learn from one other.
Volunteers, speakers, and sponsors came together to facilitate networking and information exchange among hundreds of recently unemployed people.
Another 16 such events are preliminarily scheduled across the nation, with the next one set for Friday in Dallas.
In November, LaidOffCamp founder Chris Hutchins moved to San Francisco, only to lose his job with consulting firm Monitor Group one month later. In January, he conceived and organized LaidOffCamp as a sort of support group and resource for the unemployed.
Far from depressing and worrisome, many LaidOffCamp attendees see their situation as an opportunity to pursue start-up businesses. The conference offered a wide exchange of ideas in a casual environment.
Temple night club's decor lent itself to the quirky job fair, which was dubbed a sort of job fair 2.0. LaidOffCamp offered job seekers ideas in a collaborative environment, mixing social networking with discussions about the tools one needs to succeed amid the downturn.
Dale Larson led the Resume 2.0 session in the basement of the Temple night club. Larson said that in the era of the Internet, your resume isn't just a piece of paper, but rather the sum of your online presence on sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
After LaidOffCamp camp ended, Hutchins' Twitter feed (@hutchins) was updated: "In terms of things going through my mind and # of people met, today was the busiest day of my life, #LaidOffCamp was a success, so worth it!"