BarCamp is a Comin’

This Saturday is Vancouver’s fourth annual BarCamp. A bit like Northern Voice, the event has doubled in scope over that time. The first one, back in 2006, had 120 people (as many as would fit in Workspace). This one apparently has 299 people coming.

Boris the BarCamp Organizer (unofficial title) hooked me up with some information about this year’s registrants. For 122 attendees, this will be their first BarCamp, which is always good news. About 20% requested women’s t-shirts, so we’re assuming that they’re either women or very svelte men.

Speaking of t-shirts, I stuck the aggregate requests for t-shirt sizes into Wordle, and produced this little tag cloud:

What are we wearing to BarCamp Vancouver 2009?

I’m looking forward to attending and not actually speaking. I mean, in front of people. More than three people at a time. You get the idea. That said, I will be playing the role of Room Selection Bad Cop (unofficial title) during the scheduling jam.


  1. i don’t know, darren. i think it would be pretty entertaining for you to attend the event and actually refuse to speak at all. although i suspect that not speaking might actually cause your head to explode.

  2. I plan to be there this Saturday, but I have to say I’m a bit ambivalent, mostly about the now-standard inclusion of a pre-party (which I’m not really into but have to help pay for) and the t-shirt (which I already have enough of, but again is built into the price).

    I don’t want to come across as unappreciative of the work that goes into BarCamp. And I still think it’s a great event for people new to the unconference concept, but I do feel like it’s moving more towards a traditional conference with ad-hoc scheduling.

    If I had to guess at what force pushes that trend, I’d say trying to keep pace with the scaling up of interest. Maybe instead of trying to make the BarCamp tent big enough to hold a year’s worth of interest it’s time to split it across two or three smaller events a year where there isn’t as much pressure to find a big venue, provide lunch, and satisfy expectations around pre-parties and swag. Just a thought, maybe it would make a good BarCamp session, but I’m already behind on my own preso 🙂

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