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Page history last edited by Chris Messina 9 years, 2 months ago

The pocket guide to organizing your own Barcamp


  1. HowToGetStarted
    1. ...still working on this -- any want to pitch in?
    2. CrystalWilliams offers Ten Steps to Organizing a Barcamp. See below for translations.
  2. BarCampTemplate - it would be helpful to have a template for the set of pages needed for a *Camp. E.g. the home page, the *Planners (includes volunteers), *Schedule, *Sponsors, etc.
  3. RecommendedSessions - sessions that are useful at nearly every *Camp
  4. Setup a BackChannel for the Event
    1. A dedicated BackChannel can be useful for storing session notes, ideas, etc. for future recollection. There are many options to choose from on the BackChannel page.
  5. Make sure the venue is accessible. See Christiane Link's handy checklist: http://www.behindertenparkplatz.de/cl/2007/10/12/850/
  6. Marketing a Bar Camp is very important. Review this article on advertising that works
  7. Here you'll find collection of web resources to organize a BarCamp


Things that ChristopherStJohn has wondered about BarCampDallas:


How to deal with sponsors?

Chris Messina pointed out that cash donations for the original BarCamp were limited to $200, and went into a PayPal account. He also suggested that donations of stuff, rather than cash, were easier to deal with. DavidCrow and JayGoldman have been working with a cash donation limit of $250 for the Toronto BarCamps, also to a PayPal account.

See Sponsoring for more guidelines, best practices, case studies from around the world.

How to make decisions?

For example, let's say a local company offers a venue. At some point, there needs to be a final yes/no answer. How were these sorts of decisions made at the original BarCamp? Amsterdam? Does the fact that we have months rather than days make things harder or easier?

Am I worrying about organizational issues too much? (Or too little?)

Am I being too old-school? Having helped out at company-run user conferences, I have a certain set of expectations that may not apply. How radically ad-hoc is it possible to get before it gets ugly?



How to build on the success of BarCamp


  1. Fundraise for 'good' causes at each BarCamp. This can be done by asking everyone who participates to bring a donation/item with them or running barcamp's at existing locations that agree to donate up to 100% Net profit from supplying food/drinks/location to barcamp/charity. I would love to get involved with implementing this on future2now dot com barcamp's Whymandesign dot com

Guidelines for organizing an International Barcamp (aka iCamp)

Copied from a discussion which happened in the International BarCamps' Google group, here are a series of guideline to make your BarCamp more cosmopolitan.

Guideline #1

Spread the word if international barcamps are organized in a region close to your borders - or farther away.

Guideline #2

The organizing language of the barcamp is English (newsletters, wiki, etc.), however, if the organization team is monolingual there is no reason to do the background organizing in English...
Alternative version: You should advertise for the event using multilingual content, targeting the languages of the participants you want to invite. Of course, having also a version in English will probably reach out to the largest number of people.

Guideline #3

The language of a session switches to English as soon as someone without the knowledge of the local language is present. (ask before you start if you are not sure.) If you are unable to hold a session in English, please note so at the session presentation and on the session sheet. Mark the sheet with DE, FR, NL, PL, etc.
Alternative version: You should have an introductory paragraph explaining the smallest common linguistic denominator rule:
Me [sprechen|parler|parlare|pratar|...] no [German|French|Italian|Swedish|...], can I come?
You are most invited to. As a rule of thumb, in our meetings we synchronise on the smallest common linguistic denominator. Which basically means, if there is a single person that does not speak the local language, we will switch to a language everybody understands (most of the time, we will switch to English).

Guideline #4

Please also try to keep the networking language to English. Internationals will feel more welcome. Think about marking the nametags of the internationals with an (i*) or similar, so that it becomes obvious when they join a circle. We can be more polite this way.

Guideline #5

Enjoy the multilingual atmosphere! Relax and have a drink, people will understand you better! :-) Have fun and learn new languages with foreigners in your home town (there are plenty of tandem learning resources over the Internet)...