I've have recently been blogging from conferences and unconferences and have noticed quite a difference in how each type of event feels. I have put together a list of words or phrases to describe what I felt.

Obviously there are generalisations here but hopefuly you get the idea. And I am not proposing that one is better than the other. Indeed, Bill Boorman, organiser of the Tru unconference events, made the point that unconferences probably wouldn't work as well if you had more than 100 delegates. Each type of event has its own strengths.

That said, I am a big fan of unconferences for many reasons and the main one being that the informality leads to high quality discussions (and learning) that can be carried on after the event over social networks.

Conference Unconference
Formal Informal
Quiet Noisy
Passive Active
Presentation Conversation
Consumption Participation
Listening Talking
Rows Circles
Lunch provided Get your own
Conference venues Anywhere but conference venues
Success in organisers' hands Success in delegates' hands
Name badges No name badges
Publish content later Publish now in real time
Know what to expect Unexpected
Scheduled Unfolds
Serious Fun
Sleep Awake
Expensive Cheaper

That's just a start — please feel free to add your thoughts.