Me: Maa, I am going to BarCamp.
Mom: (staring at me) WHAT?
Me: (avoiding the pain of explaining) Umm.. I am going to college.
This happens many times when I tell people I am going for BarCamp.
No. BarCamp does not mean people jerking in some tents over a weekend with alcohol.
BarCamp is a place where people meet up over a weekend, put up a schedule on the wall and spend the rest of their time discussing about cool stuff they know. It can be a tech/design/social/random session. A speaker is given a room and 20 minutes to speak about whatever they want. Yes, whatever they want!
We prefer calling it an “unconference” with no preset agenda. There is no audience, everyone is a participant. Everyone is invited!
On day BarCamp happenings:
Registrations begin and the “session wiki” is put up at 9:00am.
At a predetermined time (usually between 9:45am and 10am) speakers proceed to the session wiki, which is a blank board with all the slots in all the tracks marked out- and choose a time slot and track for their session.
You can select any time slot you want and put up your session. There is a fight for slot just like the one you see while boarding a Churchgate-Virar local at peak hour. Really!
Note that this is on a first come, first served basis, so the earlier you come in, the more choices of session slots you will have. The later you show up, the fewer slots you will have available to you to choose from. Slots may be exhausted if you turn up really late. You don’t want to miss your slot. It’s totally cool and fashionable to show up on time.
BoF (Birds of a feather)
You get 20 minutes to speak. If you have more to discuss and/or people have questions to ask, you can take the session outside the room/on the stairs/in the lawn/on the terrace/in the bathroom (really)/whereever you want. We call it ‘BOF’ (birds of a Feather) Cool, no! This is what a BoF session might look like:
If you don’t end your session in 20 minutes, they have really hefty volunteers to throw you out. Okay I was kidding. But, seriously, you don’t want the glare of a speaker waiting outside the room while you are gulping his time slot.
If you have to take a session at a particular time slot and the rooms are occupied – BoF !
Pictures by Akshay Vijayakar for previous BarCamps:
Videos by Saif Khan for BarCamp Mumbai 11
My BarCamp romance diary: I plan to lose my BarCamp virginity at #bcm12 by taking a session : ‘Poetrynama’
BarCamp Mumbai 12:
Date: 29th September 2013
Place: MPSTME (Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering), Diagonally Opposite Amar Juice Center, Behind Homeopathy College, Bhakti Vedant Swami Marg, JVPD Scheme, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai.
Questions? Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see you there! 😀