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BarCampNYC2 Post Mortem


What worked? What didn't? What did you love? Let's make the next one even better.



This was my first Bar Camp experience, or anything like it. I must say it was fascinating and memorable. Great venue, great folks, and lots of fun. As a newbie in this space, I'd like to get access to the video of my presentation, so I know how to improve my public speaking skills. It appears that only 17 videos have been uploaded to Google Video, and my presentation has been omitted (Sat, Room 1, Time 11:30, Hacking MSN Search). If you can help me, please email avi {at} promediacorp dot com. Thank you!



  • Best socks contest anyone ?
  • I vote for a looong 10am-12am or 10am-2am one-day session. This leaves the next day free for whatever you do to prepare yourself for mondays.
  • I agree: The interactive sessions were the best. We should give this hint to the speakers next time.
  • The venue was awesome. Microsoft you are the best (I didnt say that).
  • More drinking water, more coffee!
  • Organizers, awesome job! Sponsors, Thank you. (Maybe we can give an "ad time" for the sponsors to talk about their companies next time ?)



  • The food was good and abundant. But next time find a sponsor for water!! Bottled water was desperately needed, especially at the end.
  • I wished we had a common session at the end, some "group closure" of the event. Perhaps the "Future of BarCampNYC" would have been a good candidate for a unified final session.
  • The presentations that left time at the end for discussions were the best. Perhaps we should ask to have very short presentations to introduce the topic, but use at least half of the session for the discussion.
  • None of the 25 minutes presentations I attended seemed to be long enough for true participation or satisfying discussion.
  • Loved the no-shoes policy. There is no way you can take a speaker too seriously if he/she doesn't wear shoes. I never realized this before.
  • The "aggregation spaces" (for example the table by the program board) were great. Perhaps we should designate formal spaces for socialization and aggregation.
  • The social environment was extremely supportive and inclusive, both during the sessions and outside of them.
  • Oh, and I had a great time overall. I think BarCampNYC2 was the most socially/networking-wise productive conference-like event I've attended. I think Amit and the organizers did an awesome jobs organzing and keeping barcamp on track.
  • I second Laura's proposal of a period social event to maintain connections and continue the discussion.


Note: all are invited to the AlleyReboot social events, see http://www.siliconalley.com for details (will get more content soon).





  • I enjoyed the "Future of BarCampNYC" discussion and agree that would have been a nice 'wrap-up' for the event.
  • Would like a monthly event, if space was easy enough to find and it wasn't a big headache for someone to have to plan
  • Great points about trying to include the right kinds of participants. BarCamp should be inclusive, however, it's probably not for everyone and that's okay by me.
  • I really appreciated the fact that since there were only a few women in some of the sessions that the folks leading the discussion really seemed to make a point of taking the time to be sure we were heard.
  • Like the idea of letting people know they could LEAD a discussion instead of having a more formal presentation.
  • Really LOVE the no shoes policy.
  • I also loved the fact it was at Microsoft. It was fun to get to peel back the curtain and check it out. Also loved Peter's handmade 'bulls eye' shirt.
  • I really had a great time. Thanks to all who made it possible.




  • Totally agree with the above about the no shoes and some sort of wrap-up event.
  • I didn't mind the 25min sessions. It worked well for some topics while others were right for the longer ones. Sunday's morning/evening time split seemed to work well.
  • This wasn't a huge problem, but it seemed like some of the times started to slip by people not really ending their session (or better, just taking them out to the hallway). I wouldn't want to make things too formal, but maybe someone should be in charge of moderating a bit to make sure the next presenters get time to setup and keep things on schedule.
  • I really enjoyed the sessions that were more of a discussion and less of a strict power point presentation. I thought it was great how interactive almost all of the presentations were. Kicked ass over the normal just lecture to you type conferences.
  • Had a great time over all and would love it if there was an event like this more often.



  • no shoes, more water, wrap-up session, agreed.
  • having both 25 and 45 min presentations was great. different events need different time limits.
  • space layout was very "spread-out" - the beanbags on one side of the registration desk, the sessions on the other; would love more "congregation space" to be consolidated. bring beanbags & more chairs and tables out to where the schedule was?
  • whiteboards! would love to have public whiteboards (maybe around the schedule?) where people could draw/scribble/write and plan impromptu stuff. saw a few of them down at the bottom of the schedule but there wasn't enough room to do much.



Sander (+)-good, (-)-bad, (?)-suggestion:

  • (++) life hack sessions (learned a LOT of good stuff, even as a PC user)
  • (+) atmosphere, people, presentations, even location (agree with it being slightly oversized though), red bull, food, connectivity
  • (-) too short, i.e. too many nice things to see and so many rooms that it became difficult to pick without missing anything
  • (-) more garbage bags, water anyone?


  • sessions
    • (?) include moderated discussion "big picture" sessions
    • (?) expand to more than two days
    • (?) use more of a 'track' approach in scheduling presentations? e.g. room 3 -> social room 4 -> drupal etc.
    • (?) consider a "build it together" track or nightly project, e.g. sat night (move bar part to friday night?)
    • (?) copy scheduled 'session' info and paste at door to prevent interruptions? include contact info of presenter


  • people
    • (?) more people/downtime (loved post day-1 beanbag discussions)?
    • (?) system to 'preview' attendees, companies, etc. (require profile? shared set of questions? preferably visual/face approach)
    • (?) facilitate some kind of mentoring links (young teaching old and v.v.)
    • (?) limit attendence, no-show without news -> spot become available for waitlisted peeps
    • (?) concerted effort on post-event follow-up
    • (!) GROUP PHOTO (Yes honey, grandpa was there and met Mr/Mrs Smith BEFORE (s)he was this famous)


  • communication/sharing
    • (!) second mel's suggestion, e.g. big announcement whiteboard, shared project whiteboard
    • (?) get a live event blog for all attendees (I know we have this Wiki, but find it less than optimal)
    • (?) detailed notes (podcast?) of sessions I could not attend (but ONLY accessible for people present until 1 month after event)
    • (?) live url/tips/hacks 'dumping place' for assigned note-takers


  • sponsors/money
    • (?) consider getting corporate sponsors to do some really cool things (gadgets, gifts, deals)
    • (?) tip jar as suggested in last session


  • initial dump, soo many notes/ideas, soo little time, more later




Just an idea - 'bring your own mug', or instead of t-shirts, give out mugs. And people can use the mugs over the weekend. I found a water dispensor (kind of dirty looking though) in a corner, and I think it's not that far fetched to have the sponsor of the place to sponsor a couple more big bottles (or we - Iridesco - could've ordered 2 bottles and brought it over), and people can just use their mugs to get drinks. We can save a lot of unnecessary trash this way. Mugs are also good for coffee.