Frequently Asked Questions
What is BarCamp?
A BarCamp is a conference where everyone is equal, and talks can come from anyone on any topic. It’s different from a typical conference, where the talks are curated, the speakers have apply to speak and all the topics are on a common theme. BarCamps are free and attract talks. BarCamp is for geeks, anyone who is passionate about a topic, or people who just want a fun weekend where they can share their secret passion, or discover something new.
Talks in previous years have ranged from topic such as web development, design, inspiring women, visiting Chernobyl, building a robot for Robot Wars, learning Esperanto, mental health, and making cheese. The organisers of BarCamp coined a new word for this: the 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 started in Silicon Valley in 2005, and came to Manchester in 2008, which makes BarCamp Manchester Manchester’s longest-running and largest “unconference”. It spans a weekend with an “overnight” portion continuing into the evening between the two days for social gaming (well, until the bar closes).
The dynamic nature of the BarCamp schedule copies the idea of the lobby track at other conferences. Talks are ad-hoc, and those which go down very well often spin off follow-up talks later in the event. It’s also a great opportunity for those who are not polished public speakers to gain experience in front of a very friendly crowd.
Is BarCamp for me?Read Alina Apine's experience from her first BarCamp to get a feel for what a BarCamp is like!
Where is BarCamp Manchester 9?
BarCamp Manchester will be returning to AutoTrader’s Manchester office on First Street. The main entrance is outside HOME and the Engels statue by Pizza Express and you can come and go during the day, and outside of the main registration period building security will admit you.
BarCamp is walking distance from Oxford Road and Deansgate train stations, Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink stop, and close to parking on First Street.
Is there a hashtag?
Yes, if everyone can use #BCMCR9 on their social platform of choice, that’ll help everyone out!
When is BarCamp Manchester 9?
We will be returning for the weekend of the 21st/22nd September 2019, with doors opening at 9.30am for a 10am start!
On Saturday, talks run from 11am to 12.30pm, with lunch served at 12.30pm. Talks continue from 1.30pm to 5.30pm with a coffee break at 3pm. After the talks, dinner will be served and then evening sessions continue until 9.45pm, when those who want to stay later can move to a nearby venue for games into the small hours.
On Sunday, after a bit longer of a lay in, doors re-open at 10am for a 10.30am start. Talks then run from 11am to to 3.30pm with a lunch break between 12.30pm and 1.30pm. At 3.30pm, the closing ceremony and raffle take place, with BarCamp Manchester 9 finishing by 4.30pm.
Will I get fed?
Yes! Our wonderful hosts at AutoTrader will 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 and allergies will be accommodated, please fill in the details when you sign up!
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 10.30am. 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 6.30pm). This includes BarCamp staples such as PowerPoint karaoke, and Werewolf 🐺.
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! BarCamp Manchester is dedicated to a harassment-free unconference experience for everyone. Our Code of Conduct is based on the best practice one published by the Geek Feminism wiki, and will be introduced in the opening ceremonies. Please take some time to read the full code of conduct and familiarise yourself with it in advance of the event.