This will be the first in a series of posts about BarCampMadison (now that it’s over.)
People who know me probably know about my skepticism/enthusiasm issues. I spend a lot of time worrying about how things will turn out, and the same time I get very excited about how they could turn out. I don’t know if this is wasted energy, or they balance each other out, but it’s how I am. That said, I think BarCampMadison was a great success. Could it have turned out better? Definitely! As for the numbers, I’ve heard estimates that we had 175 people participating throughout the event. We did not hit the 400-500 Ken had been hoping for. Honestly, I think this is a good thing. There were a bunch of people I wanted to talk to, but never got a chance. More people probably would have made this worse. Though maybe more free-time (as someone suggested) would have helped. More people also would have meant more sessions, and that would have meant missing more sessions that I wanted to participate in. Damn…
The good thing is, as we do these, we get better at them. We’ll take all the feedback, and do it better next time. I’m starting to wonder if we have too much going on at once. Perhaps there should only be 3 sessions going on at any one time. There were some scheduling issues again, but where it’s free-form and people come and go as they need to, that’s a tough one. I was there the entire time, so I could have done my session at 4AM if I wanted to.
I suppose in the long-run, it’s better to have too much interesting stuff going on at once instead of not enough. I think we succeeded in helping people teach, learn, and connect with others. I even ended up seeing people I haven’t seen in more than 10 years… Crazy!
I’m strongly considering trying to throw some smaller one-day *Camp events, like DesignCamp, MarCamp, and even DrupalCamp this year. If these sound interesting to you, let me know.