Monday, December 31, 2007

BarCamp with a difference

Its a very well known fact, more you grow or more you perform, expectations also grow. This is not only true for a living entity, its also true for an events like BarCamp or any other for that matter.

This is the fourth BarCamp we are heading towards in pune. And same above theory applies to this. People expect much more from a BarCamp and we have been brain storming from quite a bit of time to make this BarCamp "A BarCamp with a difference". We are still in the process of defining "differences" though.

The first question we had while we were discussing was "What makes a BarCamp successful?"
Is it more number of people attending it or Is it quality of speakers or Is it better food, better tshirts, better stationary or Is it coverage by media and question list just goes on and on.

After a long discussion we made a list of few crucial points to make a BarCamp successful.
  1. Getting good quality talks (Does BarCamp concept allow us to lay down such criteria? I think NO but we will try our best going beyond conventions)
  2. Getting interested people attending the event (No offenses meant, but it has been observed that after lunch many people disappear. Can we say they had come for tshirt and lunch? Hmmmm may be, but quality of few initial talks can also be the reason.)
  3. Media (Does media really play a role there? Well, I don't think so, but if they come, attendees may feel good if they are shot or interviewed and that may become "The factor" for the success of a BarCamp. But are BarCamp organized to make people feel good???)
  4. Plenty of take aways (Well, I don't think that really matters for the success of a BarCamp)
  5. Plenty of discussions and open space for networking (Ya it does matter. Finally that what people come to BarCamp for. I remember few people creeping at last BarCamp; there is no enough space for networking or to hang around but believe me that was intentional. We wanted more and more people to attend the sessions.)
All of the above play some (Though it may be very small) role in making a BarCamp successful.
Well we are working towards all of them. Here are few things that we have thought of.
  1. We went to the venue and believe me there is plenty of space for networking.
  2. We are planning to organize a workshop which will be full of practicals and coding unlike sessions where knowledge is shared and discussed.
  3. There will be plenty of discussions going on and we will make sure that all the infrastructure is provided to the discussions.
  4. Wifi is available at the venue and there won't be any problem of wifi as well.
  5. We have asked speakers to give brief description of their talks on wiki. We may filter out few talks. We will also make sure that diversity of topics will be there. And most important not more that one talk from one person. And not more than three talks from one company be it a sponsor or not
  6. There will also be media persons covering the event.
  7. We can't really do anything about quality of attendees. We can do extensive marketing to make sure that we reach to all enthusiastic and interested people but that will also attract few tshirt interested ones. Again no offenses meant.
We need all of yours support to achieve this and actually making this BarCamp "A BarCamp with a difference".