It’s that time of year again in Middle Tennessee. BarCamp Nashville is coming.

What is BarCamp?
For those not familiar with BarCamp, it is a un-conference. Geeks, marketers, business owners and anyone else interested in technology come together to meet, learn, and network.

Traditionally, BarCamps are consisting of unscheduled sessions by attendees. Guests show up at the beginning of the day and find a time and slot for their session. By writing their session idea on paper or a white board, they agree to discuss that topic. Maybe people show for that session, maybe they don’t. Topics range from in-depth programming details, latest technology news, or frankly anything else they want to talk about.

Nashville BarCamp
This is where Nashville BarCamp is different. Not worse, Not better, just different.
barcamp nashville
For multiple reasons, it has served Nashville better to pre-announce and pre-schedule sessions before the day of the event. This process has enabled interest to grow prior to the event. It has also enabled the BarCamp organizers to obtain sponsorship. As much as no one likes to talk about money when it comes to BarCamp, it’s a necessary evil. Space, equipment, technology and print cost money.

This “pre-planning” has allowed BarCamp Nashville to grow into a huge success.

The Problem
Of course, with success comes hurdles and struggles. Although BarCamp Nashville pre-schedules sessions, to my knowledge, it has never turned down speakers. If someone wanted to create a session, all that was required was to go to the website and create a session. Done. Easy.

However, the massive growth has caused a bottle-neck this year. This year’s session creation was closed in 3 hours. What normally took 3 weeks to fill up was now closed in 3 hours. That showed how big BarCamp Nashville has become.

Because of this, many great people missed out on a chance to create a session. This would be like showing up late to a traditional BarCamp white board to write your session down and all slots are filled up. First come, First serve.

When I say “problem”, it’s not really a problem. This is a great thing. The demand was too big to fulfill. WOW!

Dropping My Session
Of course, when I say it’s not a problem, it’s coming from someone who got a session created in the three hours. I was able to get my session in. I moved quickly. Again, first come, first serve.

However, that doesn’t sit well with me. Especially, since I have done this before. I am BarCamp Veteran, I could see based on discussion that demand had increased, so I was prepared. But now looking back at it, I think I missed the point: BarCamp is not about me.

I am going to drop my session. I have spoken at Nashville BarCamps and PodCamps since existence. I love them. I love meeting, greeting, learning, networking, and sometimes teaching others in the Nashville community. However, I also would like to see others speak. There are many great people that would like to participate. I had my chance, now it’s time to let others experience it.
Plus, I was asked to participate on a panel session: Marketing Douchebags; SEO, Social, and Beyond: A Panel Discussion. This should be a fun session and I am really looking forward to it.

I am going to drop my session: Pills, Porn, Poker, and Pay-Per-Click. When the BarCamp Nashville session creation reopens on Thursday, September 23, at 2pm, there will be another slot open.

For those still interested in this topic, you can see me speak at on October 26th, for free, in Nashville. Please RSVP here if you are interested in attending.

Don’t Follow My Lead
I am not asking anyone to drop sessions, especially if you have never spoken before at BarCamp.

I love seeing new speakers on the session grid. If it’s your first time, not quite sure, seeing low session sign-ups … don’t budge. We need you there. Sure you may be nervous and a little scared, but that’s okay. We need to hear you and you do have something to say. That is really the essence of BarCamp.

Tags: , ,
« « Site Review: Christa M. Miller  | Pills, Porn, and Poker – Don’t mess with Google » »