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on June 18, 2008 at 3:15:15 am



We hosted BarCamp San Francisco at the Microsoft office in late June 2006. This was the first time a major corporation hosted BarCamp. Here are some notes that I hope will help other corporations host BarCamp or similar un-conferences in the future.

Nima Dilmaghani (nimad at bogoli dot com).


  • When calculating the cost, consider the following:
    • Additional security
    • Additional air conditioning and electrical cost.
    • Additional janitorial cost.


  • Get your network administrator involved from the beginning to properly plan for the large number of heavy network users.


  • If your network engineer is not going to be accessible during the event, make sure you or someone at the event has access to the network cabinet where the routers are in case you need to reboot something.


  • If your office is carpeted, plan on steam cleaning the carpet after the event.


  • Plan not to have messy foods such as popcorn.


  • At BarCamp, large sheets of paper are taped to the wall on which people write the schedule with markers at the event. Make sure the paper is thick enough not to bleed onto the wall, or double the paper.


  • Consider having BarCamp as a one day rap, hip hop only event with a party the night before. The attendance dropped significantly for the second day.


  • Even if you have many rooms as we had, limit the tracks to 4 rooms so the attendance does not suffer.
  • Make sure you have at least 8 rooms for the event so sessions will be smaller and more discussion (many to many conversations) take place as opposed to one to many lectures. 4 rooms is not enough.


  • Consider charging a nominal fee such as $10 at sign up. In exchange you can give away the t-shirts to attendees. Many people signed up who did not show up.


  • Work early to make sure that the vendors and caterers meet the insurance requirements for your building (if any).


  • Arrange for pickup of left over food with a local food bank or

Food not Bombs before the event. We ended up with a lot of left over food and were not able to find a food bank to donate to on a Sunday.


  • Do not try to do a sponsor speech or pitch. If you are everyone knows who you are.