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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 8 months ago

BarCampMontreal Post-Mortem


A few things to keep in mind for BarCampMontreal2.


  • Registrants did not leave their email addresses, making it impossible to contact them. Maybe we need an external registration system. It'll be interesting to see what the no-show ratio will be. -- FredNgo


    • On the plus-side, it's not going to be fun to turn people away. I propose we make the non-registered wait until 10:00-10:05 am before letting them fill the empty spots. To be fair, we should send a reminder email to those for whom we do have email addresses that they need to be there by 9:30 am. It's last minute, but now that we have a better grasp of potential problems, we can fix them for the next camp. -- Laura


      • Yeah, I sent the reminder this morning. There have already been 4 last-minute cancellations (sickness etc) so it looks like we're going to be able to accomodate even people who show up at the last minute without registrations. -- FredNgo


        • An online pre-registration would help here. But I think you should never turn people away. Just don't guarantee things that cost money to latecomers. If someone wants to participate, even if they're not on the schedule, I don't see a reason why they can't. -- SimonLaw


          • I don't think people who aren't on the schedule should be turned away either. We were more concerned with an overflow of people showing up who hadn't registered, for legal and safety reasons. --Laura


  • It is impossible to order t-shirts ahead of time without knowing people's sizes. This is another reason for an external registration system. -- FredNgo


  • We definitely need several rooms next time. -- FredNgo


    • We can talk to one of the sponsors. Maybe they'll be able to offer us conference rooms at their place of business for the next camp. -- Laura


    • I hope we don't want several rooms to do several tracks. That would be disappointing. A multi-track conference means that you're not exposed to interesting things that you're not currently interested in. -- SimonLaw


      • We have six months to talk about the pros and cons of that :) I think we should have two series of lectures and discussions running simultaneously. The scheduling problem worked out this time, but we could have avoided cutting people off. I think some might not have been too happy being cut off when we ended up with a whole hour at the end of the day. I think it would help if we can create an environmnent where people don't have to feel rushed in their presentations -- Laura


        • I think multiple rooms would work well for people that want to chat outside of the conference area, without disturbing presenters and listeners. Ben


          • A separate room for conversation is perfectly acceptable to me. I just don't want to have a multiple track conference, which is a compromise made by bigger events that don't want to turn away presenters. If we have too many presentations, we should just schedule another BarCamp soon. -- SimonLaw



        • I'd consider asking people to present in 10 minutes, giving a full 5 minutes for questions. Cutting people off will always be a reality, but if they've only got 10 minutes, and they naturally extend that a couple, there's still a few minutes for questions. Plus, additional questions can then be asked in those separate rooms... Ben



    • Hello! Thanks to Simon for posting Barcamp photos in Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfllaw/sets/72157594339177200/) It's great to have names to put with the faces of people we met at Barcamp for networking and followup. **** I'm going to have to buck the trend, I think, and recommend that the presentations actually be longer rather than shorter. I wouldn't mind having a choice between a couple of rooms if it meant that I could listen to a more in-depth presentation. I felt many of the presenters were playing beat-the-clock and trying to speed through their presentations instead of giving us more thorough and useful information. It was frankly a little stressful to watch them rush. I left feeling my appetite had merely been whetted and would have liked to have learned more from many of the presenters. Our participant from France told me that the Parisian and American bar camps work differently, starting with a bit of a blitz at the beginning of the day, so everyone gets a sense of what presentations will be made, followed by 1 hr sessions. He says that the 1 hr format allows for interaction, discussion and exchange. Which is what I'd really enjoy seeing next year. Maybe we can compromise? Short presentations in the morning and longer 1 hr sessions in the afternoon?


      • Wait a second, isn't this an unconference? Why do we have to do things like other conferences do? How about we schedule m presentations in n hours, with the idea that some presentations are short and some go longer? We can say that presentations have a maximum of 30 minutes, but discussions can be as long as we want. That way, interesting presentations can go on, or people can ask for more demoing, without adhering to a strict schedule. And if there's only one presentation room, that prevents the need to rush between talks. -- SimonLaw


        • A separate room for chatting and catering would cut down on distractions, so I'm definitely voting for that for next time. Thanks to the organizers! Very interesting session. I'm glad I came. Michelle - www.michellesullivan.ca


      • I really like the idea of a blitz to start with, so everyone gets exposed to each topic. Maybe 5-minute lightning talks, short enough that nobody has an excuse for not doing one. Once those are done, I don't mind if we have multiple rooms for the longer versions, as long as there's time to change rooms between talks. Whatever the case, it would be great to setup a mailing list to coordinate planning as Barcamp2 starts coming together--or maybe just meet up for a Barcamp2beta chat. Thanks to everyone for coming to Barcamp, and to the organizers for setting it up, it was certainly eye-opening. -- Dave Vasilevsky


    • I agree with Michelle's last post about longer presentations. Being in the presenter seat last Saturday, I actually felt the pressure to demo our service within 15 minutes. And with the WIFI connection going down on us, I think the most interesting features of it was not shown to the audience resulting in a semi-useless presentation. I also think that multiple rooms is the way to go since it will allow for people to get more inside knowledge and discussions on specific technologies.


      • This format is used at BarCamp Ottawa (and will be again on December 2nd, 2006) and I think it works very well. In the mean time, for those you wanting to get a sneak peek at our service, feel free to register at www.kakiloc.com. Thanks a lot - Martin


      • I'm unsure that you want to rely on the wireless Internet for a demo. It makes a lot of sense to have your service sitting on your laptop. I will make sure that this is a recommendation for BarCampMontreal2. -- Simonlaw


      • I totally agree with you Simon and we would have done so if it was possible. But some services likes ours, depends on Google Maps, external SMS aggregato, ect and cannot be physically vacuumed into a single machine. In this case, the best alternative is slideware. -- Martin


  • The longer sessions sound like a great opportunity for presenters and participants alike. I would opt for having to pick between alternative presentations in discrete rooms, if that meant more time. However, I would still suggest keeping presentation time to no more than 20 minutes. An hour-long open slot can lead to great success--or total failure. How about 45-minute slots with 20 minute presentations and the rest of the time for discussion and "participation"--the latter being the true aim of BarCamp as I understand it. To my mind, these events are as much about participating in and engaging with others' ideas as they are about presenting your own idea or project. The greatest benefit to my presentation was that the questions/discussion produced some excellent ideas for improving FreakJob.com. Thanks again to everyone for making this a great event--I'm already looking forward to the next one! -- Jonathan Karpfen


  • I really enjoyed the Montreal event - we're going to incorporate some of the ideas into the next Ottawa BarCamp - specifically we're going to offer a mix short and long sessions. At the last BarCampOttawa we found that 40 minutes was too long for some topics - so having shorter sessions allows those topics/presenters to be accomedated. We run multiple streams - and found that that worked well - kept the sessions intimate and the change between sessions allowed for networking - though it was cool at Montreal to see every presnetation. It's a trade-off single room with large attendance or miss some stuff sessions and have smaller groups. Anyway great event guys I really enjoyed it - Peter Childs Ottawa.