You know conferences. For sure you do. You might be a fan of them. Or not. You might be disappointed. As I was after visiting the Embedded Testing 2015 in Munich last week. Although I was invented as presenter, I was not convinced. I mean the topic was really good – no other conference or meeting available covering exactly this specific part in the Embedded Systems realm.
But the conference got stuck as a sponsor-driven event which highlights products over general knowledge, marketing over sharing of experience. One could have made a lot more out of this conference. So the participants have finally had only their others to get acquainted with each other, hear the problems, discuss and finally detect the old rule, that the best of conferences are the pauses. Free time which can be used for connecting and sharing.
In this episode I wanted to highlight the approach of traditional conferences in comparison to BarCamps. A BarCamp is an un-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is the direct response on all attendees who wanted to create and design their own agenda of content.
For me BarCamps, the un-conferences are by far the better conferences. Listen to this episode and create understanding about this popular approach to confer.
Essential Answers Provided In This Episode For:
What do participants expect from traditional conferences? And what do they really get?
Attendees regularly expect sharing of information, knowledge experience. They very often expect ideas and impulses for their own problems. They regularly focus on problem solving. Instead they get sponsors’ driven events only highlighting their own products and particular approaches.
What is most missing from traditional conferences?
The opportunity to make an impact on the sessions, their schedule or the selection of presentations. Very often there are only one or two presentations you’re really interested in.
Why is the quintessence of traditional conferences that poor?
As many of the conferences are sponsored the companies behind try to monetize their presentation for their own purposes. That often results in pure product presentation and selling event. This again thwarts the expectations of the audience.
What are BarCamps?
BarCamps are un-conferences not following the traditional approach of given schedule and predefined structure of speakers. People share and learn in an open environment not preferring the presenter over the audience.
Do these kind of un-conferences have rules? And if so, what kind of rules?
There are several pre-defined as also inofficial rulse. Listen into the episode to get some of them in detail. The general rules could be also find at BarCamp-rules.
When should you prefer BarCamps instead of traditional conferences?
If you want to experience know-how and get acquainted with interesting characters out of your environment or industry. You should join BarCamps if you’re interested more in sharing of expertise and problem-solving experience than in particular products.
What is expected from you if you join a BarCamp?
There are no spectators, but only participants. It is expected that you do not only consume, but actively engage yourself into the sessions, the discussion and share your knowledge.
And much much more.
Selected Links and Resources From This Episode
- Engineers’ talk: Internet of Things with Marcus Behrens – MES007
- BarCamp Definition by Wikipedia
- BarCamp Definition and Rules
- PMCamp Barcelona Sessions
- PMCamps in Europe
- PMCamp Dornbirn registration