If you have never been to a BarCamp before, we would love you to come along to BarCamp London 8! It’s great fun and we are always looking for new folks to attend – BarCamp is all about the people.
What Happens At BarCamp?
At BarCamp, a group of enthusiastic people gather to share their knowledge about technology and anything else they are interested in. They do this by attending presentations given by other attendees – and giving presentations themselves, of course. A BarCamp presentation can be as formal or informal as you like. You can go to any session you like, and if you don’t find a session interesting, you can leave and go to another. Everyone is encouraged to give a session or participate in whatever way they can. When sessions aren’t running, there’s usually other fun stuff happening: food and drink, games, conversation, silliness, and people hacking on projects. Don’t be afraid, there’s lots of good stuff going on at BarCamp.
BarCamp is a “participatory unconference”, so you, the attendees are going to be making the event as great as it can be. The idea is that everyone who comes takes part in some way: that might be running a session (which is not as scary as you might think), taking photos, blogging, tweeting etc. For those of you who want to run a session, this is what you need to know:
Sessions are not booked or organised like an ordinary conference, instead we will open up a “Grid” with empty slots. One column for each room, one row for each time slot, one grid for each day. When the grid opens, at around 11:45 AM, you will be able to claim your slot on the grid by sticking up an index card with your session title and your name on with some blue tak. Index cards, pens, and Blu-Tack are all provided for you in the morning so you will be ready when the grid opens.
You can run a session on anything you want, really, anything. Your session needn’t be technical or formal, and can be in any style you are comfortable with. We’ve had sessions on all sorts of topics in the past such as mixing mojitos, photography, lifehacking, and making cookies (and plenty of other stuff), right through to advanced discussions on programming, hardware hacking, and web design. Take your pick!
A good tip is to head to sessions that you know less about, that way you will learn more. If you don’t see a session on something you are interested in, you might want to run a discussion or sharing session where you can all just talk about something – whether that’s kittens, Python or juggling.
Sessions will run until around 9:00 PM, after which we will be having a party and there will be lots of treats for everyone! There will also be traditional BarCamp games such as Werewolf, Powerpoint Karaoke (we can teach you at BarCamp, don’t worry), and hopefully some fantastic conversations.
These will all go on late into the night, and everyone is welcome to stay in the venue until the next morning. Just remember to bring a sleeping bag if you are doing this.
Food And Drink
Remember that all food and drink is provided, so no need to bring your own packed lunch!