How to get a group of overworked consultants and freelancers to help run a BarCamp-style open-source tech event, with the following gains:
- Grow and mobilize the community.
- Grow the community’s skill-sets.
- Foster networking, friendships, knowledge-sharing, collaboration and volunteerism.
And these requirements:
- It takes a team effort, so first you need a team of volunteers, which is harder than it sounds.
- Make it more organized than usual.
- Make it more interesting, more fun and more useful than most tech conferences.
- Learn from other all-volunteer-run events, no matter how geeky.
- Organizers must also have fun and a sense of accomplishment, without having a nervous breakdown.
- Sponsorship, or getting someone to prove there is such a thing as a free lunch (and dinner).
- Get your head examined, I mean, you have to be nuts to do this! Those could be billable hours!
Well, being a little nuts is all a part of being a Portlander. And free BarCamp-style events are so compatible with the wacky giving nature of Portland, and Oregon.
I’ll expand on this, and have fun doing it.
I’m a South African now living in Portland, and loving it. I’ve been an IT professional for twenty years, having traded in my proprietary world for the open source world back in 2006-2007. Recently I was one of a team of volunteers who ran DrupalCampPDX 2008. I’ve helped run non-tech conferences before, but this put a whole new spin on things.