Description of BarCampBarCamp is a facilitation format I use frequently. A BarCamp is an un-invited, open un-conference like open space but has a less rigid structure.
Everyone can attend, all attendees are encouraged to present or facilitate a session or otherwise contribute to the event. Attendance is typically free of charge and generally restricted only by space constraints. Participants are typically encouraged to sign up in advance.
Venues typically provide basic services. Free network access, usually WiFi, is crucial. Following the model of Foo Camp, the venue also makes space for the attendees, or BarCampers, to literally camp out overnight.
BarCamps are organized and evangelized largely through the web; anyone can initiate a BarCamp using the BarCamp wiki. The participants schedule sessions by writing on a whiteboard or putting a Post-It note on a "grid of sessions". Those giving sessions are discouraged from using the sessions for promotion.
Rules of BarCamp
All attendees are encouraged to present or facilitate a session or otherwise contribute to the event. Everyone is also asked to share information and experiences of the event via public web channels and social networks.
- 1st Rule: You do talk about BarCamp.
- 2nd Rule: You do blog about BarCamp.
- 3rd Rule: If you want to present, you must write your topic and name in a presentation slot.
- 4th Rule: Only three word intros.
- 5th Rule: As many presentations at a time as facilities allow for.
- 6th Rule: No pre-scheduled presentations, no tourists.
- 7th Rule: Presentations will go on as long as they have to or until they run into another presentation slot.
- 8th Rule: If this is your first time at BarCamp, you HAVE to present. (Ok, you don’t really HAVE to, but try to find someone to present with, or at least ask questions and be an interactive participant.)
When to use BarCamp
Use it if
- There is a real issue of concern with a need for a quick decision.
- Diversity of players matters.
- Complexity of elements matters.
- There is passion (including conflict).
- Frames and guides the marketplace
- Supports the prioritisation of agenda items
- Facilitates the closing session