On Monday morning, my arms, legs and brain felt like jelly. There was a sleeping bag and some schwag strewn across the living room. And I couldn't stop smiling. Must've been the morning after a BarCamp!
For those who don't know, the past few months have been spent organising BarCamb with a few other volunteers. The aim of BarCamp events is to bring people from a variety of fields of interests together to do short talks, exchange experiences and generally geek about. For more on this, I've written a BarCamp Virgin's guide last year.
Since this weekend, I've recovered so I thought I'd gather my thoughts and write a wrap-up post before my goldfish brain forgets all the best bits.
This weekend included:
- 54 presentations
- 10 sponsors
- 26 trays of sandwiches
- 45 litres of fizzy drinks
- 30 pizzas
- 100 BarCamb mugs & tshirts
- 1 episode of Doctor Who on the big screen
- 2 knackered organisers & some sleepy volunteers
- half a dozen games of Werewolf
- a few months of preparation
- 80 or so people who hopefully had a great time!
As an organiser, I attended more sessions this time than with the previous two BarCamps I organised. Probably mainly due to having a fantastic co-organiser, Lee, and a brilliant venue provided by Red Gate in the Cambridge Business Park.
When we kicked off the event, I asked for a show of hands to see how many newbies we had - I was both thrilled and worried that we had nearly 50% newbies. Why worried? Because usually newbies are a bit nervous of presenting and leave the board looking a bit bare for the first day. I couldn't have been any more wrong because as soon as I invited people to put their topics up on the board, it was like the IKEA stampede and I had to flee the area!
Saturday went by like a blur, attending a few good sessions, feeding over 70 ravenous BarCampers at lunch, more sessions in the afternoon including my own on baked-in virality. As we stretched into the evening, it was comedy to see a group huddle into one of the rooms to religiously watch Doctor Who over pizza and beer.
As all good BarCamps must do, the evening turned into a night of Werewolves, Settlers and the occasional snorer in the corner...
On Sunday, the turnout was smaller but the sessions were still great. We finished mid-afternoon, cleared up the Red Gate office and many of the survivors headed to the pub. (I was pooped, I went straight home!)
You can find a few of the presentations of the weekend on Slideshare, with more coming soon, I'm sure. Some of the presentations topics are listed here, and we'll aim to add the full list in the near future. There are also some great (and some not so great) photos in the BarCamb Flickr group.
A few attendees asked whether Cambridge Geek Nights were being revived and, in the light of how much interest there is, I suppose we might just have to do that! Beers, geekery and chatting coming soon to a Cambridge pub near you.
[Photo credit: Networking through the day, photo by Martin88, All rights reserved]