Plan and Purpose

When people go to a homeschooling conference, it's likely there will be speakers who aren't homeschoolers and might not even know any unschoolers.

When unschoolers go to homeschooling conferences, the same thing can happen, in that even the homeschooling speakers might know nothing about unschooling.

Time to wind down slowly, and clarify, to laugh and to smile is missing from big conferences. Here, those things are scheduled. After many years of attending and presenting at conferences, I've heard many times that someone came just to hear me, or just to hear the unschooling speakers. At least half the time, too, the room I'm assigned is busy until just before time, and we have to get out quickly, or parents have to leave to get their children. We will have a nearby area for children to play, so parents can be half in and half out as they need to be, for young children.

Method and Details:
Who should come?
Unlike some gatherings, these are ideal for a parent (or two) to attend alone. Children are welcome, but it's best if there is an extra adult or teen there to watch them. We hope that each site will have interesting things to play with or on. If you bring toys, please bring very quiet things so the speakers can be heard.
What is the name of the gathering again?
ALLive in Australia (with sessions in Adelaide, Melbourne, and the Gold Coast) "ALLive" is short for "Always Learning Live"

This is part of a series of Unschooling Symposiums (Symposia, if you'd rather) that have happened in New Mexico, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Lisbon and Leiden. The format was used for the recent HSC Unschooling Symposium, organized by the Homeschool Association of California, in southern California.

It creates a richer experience to have all the sessions in the same place, so that all attendees have heard the same material and participated in common, rather than being scattered and likely missing things that are happening. It's helpful for couples comparing notes on the way home, and for friends who travelled together to have that common experience, and one session can refer back to or build on another.
What's the difference between a symposium and a conference?
Always Learning Live is intended to be an in-person extension of the Always Learning list. At the same time quieter, gentler, and more lively.

Having participated in five dozen conferences now, I really like quieter gatherings with shared experiences and time to think. It will be rich in information, but intimate. No really early sessions. No long hikes between presentations with a ten-minute "passing period." Time to sit and visit.
If you're not sure whether the subject matter will interest you, read some of these first:
Definitions of Unschooling
Getting it
Help for New Unschoolers, which includes links to many things, including Joyce Fetteroll's site, and Pam Laricchia's, which has a free introductory series on unschooling
If those things seem crazy or wrong to you, read more before you decide whether to attend.

In the past when people have attended without knowing what they were getting into, they were unhappy and their unhappiness brought down the tone of the day. The ideas is to discuss unschooling with and among unschoolers. No one will be pressed to speak or contribute, but those who are new to the ideas should be aware enough of them to be happy to be there.