People who know me, know I have an affinity for Barcamp, what you might not know is why, or what is barcamp for that matter. Let me start with the 2nd question first.
What is Barcamp? Barcamp as defined in Wikipedia is, “an international network of user-generated conferences (or unconferences). They are open, participatory workshop-events, the content of which is provided by participants.” See also this great article which says BarCamp Tampa Bay is an unconference, which means that there are presentations throughout the day but they are done by willing attendees instead of pre-planned speakers..
My definition of Barcamp is, an event where individuals come in the spirit of sharing, teaching and learning. In addition there is a lot of networking. Most Barcamps start with everyone showing up first thing in the morning, and then anyone feeling the desire to share knowledge, signs up to do a presentation. There is a moment of magic where the organizers (all volunteers from the community) assign talks to rooms and time slots, and wallah you have a schedule of talks that are amazingly relevant.
Some rights reserved by ryantxr, click pict for info.
Now let’s talk about why I love Barcamp, simply put, Barcamp is what launched me down the path to create Head of Lettuce media In 2009 I had finished my degree in Organizational Innovations and was trying to decide what I wanted to do with it, at the same time I had an obsession with Social Media and new emerging technologies. I heard about BarcampTampa 2009 and as a past trainer was fascinated by the idea of an Unconference, so I went. I discovered a tech community that was open and sharing, and very welcoming. During that event I made the commitment to move forward in developing my idea into a company.
If you’re on the fence, come, you won’t regret it, it will be an experience like you’ve never had. If you have a tech company, consider becoming a sponsor, as it is a great way to give back to the tech community of Tampa, this is my second year being involved as a volunteer and sponsor. To sign up go to http://barcamptampabay.org/ .