What is BarCamp?

It’s a Community-powered AwesomeCon!

BarCampPhilly is an ‘Unconference’ – a day of programming collaboratively built by the people, for the people. The schedule board is cultivated the morning of the event, and is open to all attendees for contributions. Content is presented by programmers, creatives, suits, entrepreneurs and artists in workshop sessions, roundtables, talks, performances, audience participation sessions and everything in between. Still confused? Check out the the FAQs!

It does not take place in a bar… not until it’s time to party!

(More details in our kickoff post here!)

A typical day at BarCamp goes something like this…

From 8 to 10am, attendees plan the schedule on a large grid. We’ll have index cards at the ready. Write your session title on the card and choose a time slot. We will provide a blank form to enter in all of the sessions that you would like to attend for the day. After a brief welcome from the organizers, we’ll start the first session of the day.

The selection of sessions gets more and more diverse every year! Here’s a tasty taste of what 2011 attendees brought to the table:

  • Compressing audio/video for web delivery HTML5/Flash
  • Mentoring/growing a team
  • Getting users to do what you want the way they want
  • Design co-op games
  • Five easy (legal) pieces for small business start-ups
  • How I made $15,000 from one blog post
  • Free community WiFi
  • Quit your job, move to Japan
  • I love 3D printing
  • Robust Estimation: RANSAC
  • The future of learning
  • Internet art is not a crime
  • Freelancing: my boss is still a jerk
  • Intro to DSLR photography
  • Design secrets of Winnie the Pooh
  • Getting started with open scientific data
  • Food swaps: building community through DIY edibles

View the full Schedule from 2011 »

Sessions will last throughout the day with a break for lunch. Don’t be surprised if you get into some great hallway conversations that take the place of a session. This is a day for learning and socializing, so have a good time and get to know your community!

Wait, what?


Is BarCamp for me?

Probably! If you have any interest in technology, art, design, entrepreneurship, community-building, development, hacking, making, creativity, innovation, and doing awesome things in Philadelphia, then there’s something for you at Barcamp.

We know your social calendar is rather full, but we do hope you’ll join us. You are quite handsome.

I’m a n00b, what should I expect?

New attendees are the heart of BarCamp! Your energy and enthusiasm are what keeps the ideas fresh and the recycled pick-up lines at the afterparty from going stale. Come prepared for a day of mind-expanding ideas, new people, amazing conversation and bagels. (So many bagels.)

What to expect:

  • You’ll arrive in the morning, register, collect swag and noms and java, and then dive right in.
  • The first hour or two is dedicated to building the schedule for the day, which means that people who want to hold a session will be writing a description of that session down on a card and affixing it to the schedule board.
  • As sessions get posted, your dauntless organizers and board curators will be hard at work allotting space and shuffling sessions and getting things set up for a full day of programming. (It’ll be more or less like this, but the precise logistics of the board creation process are subject to change as we explore new and improved ideas for this year! Stay tuned!)
  • Once the program is assembled, we’ll have a big kickoff gathering where we orient you, make announcements, and release you into the wilds of community-generated idea sharing!
  • You check out the schedule and decide where you want to be and when. You vote with your feet. You talk to strangers. You think out loud and absorb new concepts. You teach and learn and share, and you come away electrified by the community around you.
  • We hold a wrap-up conversation in the auditorium at the end of the day.
  • We PARTY. Aww yeah.

If you have an idea for a presentation don’t be shy! Everyone is encouraged to contribute to the event, seasoned veteran and first-timer alike. Get there early, come with an open mind, and bring business cards (or stickers, or balloon animals).

But what are sessions like?

Sessions vary as widely as the audience! Some are participation-intensive to discuss lessons learned within a particular discipline, some are to brainstorm together, explore code or best practices, roundtable about emerging concepts, hack together or create art together, or something else entirely! Some people bring full on slideshow presentations, some share code solutions on the projector, some come with nothing but their ideas-in-progress and then a fluid discussion evolves.

Sessions usually touch on one of these: technology, design, entrepreneurship, community-building, development, creativity, and all the intersections of those fields.

Love it. How do I sponsor?

It’s easy! Check out the levels on our sponsorship page, and make a donation using PayPal. As long as you’re in on time, your company will get mad props for helping to support this amazing community.

Can my brand sponsor a session?

Nope! Sessions are strictly community-generated, and are not up for sponsorship. However, you are encouraged to send reps from your brand to join the event, participate in sessions, and even hold one yourself! As long as the important “Sessions Are Not For Selling” rule is adhered to, we’re sure you have awesome things to share.

If you really want to sponsor something specific, though, we can work with you! In the past, companies have sponsored breakfast, coffee, afternoon snacks, rounds of drinks at the afterparty, and more. Let’s talk!

Leave a Reply to This is Not an Ordinary Conference Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>