Barcamp Nonprofits is in just one week and it looks like we are ready to provide our 100 attendees with space and tools to collaborate, network and brainstorm. I would like to say big, big thank you to Euan Semple and David Dixon for support, Steve Bridger and Howard Lake for ideas and all the support as well. A big hug goes to Amy, Anna, Laila, Lesley, Nick and Krzysztof for helping me in organising of this event. I will also mention sponsors quite a few times on the way!;)
So, what do you need to know before next Friday? Here it is:
Plans for the day:
We will be meeting with the organisers really early in the morning to finalise the goodie bags, plan for the day and to set up the venue. At 9.30 we will open the registration.
Around 10 AM we will open the event. We will explain how the day looks like and start planning the sessions. You will be offered small post-it’s and pens to write down your topics, ideas for the session and asked to place them on the schedule. We will place the schedule in a central location so you can refer to it during the day or make changes and additions if you wish to do so.
At 10.30 we have a small G+ hangout with our friends from all around the world. Of course, this is only initial plan, we will see how the day goes. It all depends on our attendees of course. For lunch we will be going out to come back for afternoon sessions, virtual chat on online privacy at 3ish and Social Media Week panel at 4 PM. We are hoping to wrap it all up by 5.30PM and finish the day with a drink in one of the local pubs.
How to prepare for the event?
It really depends on what you want to get out of it yourself:
1. Bring your current projects and interests, start a discussion about those, run a session to share experiences with other barcampers.
2. Blog, tweet, take photos and record videos – the more you help us document the event, the better chance we have to follow this barcamp up with an even larger one next year! (yes, we are already planning the next one;))
3. Say thank you to our sponsors. For us, organisers, the event itself is going to be a great reward, but there were quite a few people on the way who trusted us entirely and we would love you to join us in mentioning them at least once on-line to say thanks.
4. Be open to contribute to all aspects of the event – we might ask you to help us with a snack or making coffee, we might need help with cleaning up, we might need you to moderate a session if one group of people is stuck with their discussion. You do not need to prepare for this, just come with an open mind and willingness to take active part in our event.
Sounds simple but trust me – if you are used to conferences and have never been to a barcamp before it will be a new experience. I have talked to few attendees already and it looks like the idea of not having to prepare and move away from listening to active participation might be a new thing. If it is, let us know and we will guide you through the process.
The main idea is trust and responsibility for your own attendance – Barcamp Nonprofits is yours and you will have to figure out on the day how to make the most of it.
1. We will only have wifi for our event bloggers due to the local network restrictions so please bring your own wifi, mifi, 3G on your mobile etc. The venue is fairly central and we have tested few major 3G providers – you should be ok to tweet and blog from your mobile devices and mifi connections. If for any reason you do not want to be featured in photos and other online materials you will need to tell us at the registration.
2. Food – we are providing you with coffee, tea and snacks. We do not have a sponsor for lunch this time so the organisers will suggest few local venues and lunch time sessions where you can join them, have a chat and grab some food yourself. This is our first event in London and we hope that is we have enough word of mouth and recommendations we will be able to find a sponsor for lunch for you during our next event. We have heard the gossip that Prince’s Charities are preparing a cake bake-off for us, so who knows maybe we will have an excuse to have sweets for lunch!
3. Dress code is casual, we want you to relax and feel comfortable. Barcamps were originally coding events running for few days, not conferences requiring a suit;)
4. Representing your organisation – I have posted about it already, but I would like to remind all attendees (and I will do so on the day too) not to use this event as purely opportunity to drive more business or recruit free resources to your projects. Unlike conferences, social innovation camps or hacking events dedicated to specific solutions barcamp is a series of collaborative sessions around particular problems and topics, not a place for a pitch. If you want to promote your company or organisation you have the option to contribute to our goodie bags (100 of them;)). I am going to be very careful about this because I want to ensure good atmosphere at the event, so please respect that. This point will affect the way we run future events too.
5. Suggesting your ideas – we are open to all suggestions. Do you want to run a workshop or a networking activity? One of our co-organizers had a great idea to engage attendees in games and team building exercises – which might be good for some of you, others might want to skip it. It’s fine! Maybe you have done something similar in your organisation and would like to share it with us? Bring those ideas with you!
7 days to go! I cannot wait to see you all there!:) Have a great weekend!