Frequently Asked Questions
What is BarCamp?
BarCamp Manchester is Manchester’s longest-running and largest “unconference”.
What is an unconference? An unconference is a multi-track conference without a set agenda; the lines between attendee and speaker are blurred and all attendees are encouraged to give talks, with the schedule open for anyone to place their own talk in.
BarCamp Manchester was started in 2008 as a grass-roots event in the tech community but has expanded to include a diverse range of attendees around a loose identity of “geekdom”: our attendees in previous years have included professional engineers and technologists, hobbyists from the crafting & maker community, developers, designers, teachers, students, technicians & more. It spans a weekend with an “overnight” portion continuing into the evening between the two days for social gaming.
Where is BarCamp Manchester 8?
AutoTrader are hosting us at their office on First Street in Manchester. The main entrance is next to Pizza Express, opposite HOME and the statue of Engels and you can find the reception desk there.
The venue is centrally located in Manchester, walking distance from the Deansgate and Oxford Road rail stations, the Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink stop and bus stops for the free Metroshuttle and other services. There is car parking nearby at First Street.
Is there a hashtag?
Yes, if everyone can use #BCMCR8 on their social platform of choice, that’ll help everyone out!
What time does it start?
Doors open at 9am on Saturday and the main event starts at 9.45am. Sunday will be a slightly later start, with doors opening at 9.30am and a 10.30am start. Please note that unlike some previous events, there is no overnight stay permitted this year.
Will I get fed?
Yes! Our wonderful sponsors are covering the cost of providing lunch both days and an evening meal on the Saturday, although for those who prefer a wider choice, there is plenty of options nearby! A number of dietary options will be catered for.
Everyone. Especially you (unless you really, really don’t want to). No talks are scheduled in advance, instead the a number of tracks are available in rooms of similar size and people place a card with their name and talk in one of the spaces on The Grid, the dynamically evolving schedule for the day.
Each session lasts 25 minutes, and sessions can be on anything (within the code of conduct). Previous BarCamps have seen a wide variety of talks, such as the Raspberry Pi, Cocktail Making, NFC, Life Hacking, Arduino, Roller Derby, Fencing Lessons, and Web Development, as well as other activities such as “let’s watch videos of robots on YouTube” or group discussions and activities. You might not be able to think of anything now, but a lot of people find inspiration on the day, and impromptu talks and discussions are a huge part of BarCamps. We encourage everyone who attends to give a presentation, and this can be as formal or as informal as you like. If you find that you’re struggling to see talks you want to go to, fill an empty slot with a discussion on a topic you are interested in!
How does the grid work?
The grid opens after the opening session at 9.45am. It’ll be organised into time on one axis, and tracks along another. Find a free slot, check it doesn’t clash with anything that you want to see, and put an index card with your name and session title up in that slot. The grid evolves during the day, so remember to keep checking it for talks you’re interested in!
What happens if a talk starts and I don’t understand it?
BarCamp operates on the rule of two feet. If you’re not enjoying a talk, then please leave and find another one that you will! It’s okay to join a session half way through, we want you to make the most of your day.
On the flip-side, if you’re speaking and people leave, that’s okay! It just means that they’re not a good match to your session, not that you’re boring or bad!
Does anything happen outside of the main event?
As the main set of talks grows to a close on Saturday and the evening meal starts, then social tracks start in the evening (please note that any under-18s must leave at 6pm). This includes BarCamp staples such as PowerPoint karaoke, and Werewolf 🐺.
At 10pm, AutoTrader closes and we can move to a nearby bar where we have some space reserved to continue the gaming.
What do I need to bring?
All of the rooms are equipped with a projector or TV screen, and there’s wi-fi at the venue. If you want to present from a computer, please bring that along with you, and any necessary dongles for connecting to common projector equipment (assume either HDMI or VGA is available).
Do you have a code of conduct?
Yes! We use the Hack Code of Conduct, please take some time to read the Code of Conduct before the event.