BarCampMilwaukee 2016: Beginnings

BarCampMilwaukee # 11

barcamp milwaukeeThe event planning has started for BarCampMilwaukee 2016, aka BCMke 2016.

The previous two posts on this blog were about improving the experience at day-long or multi-day tech events. BCMke will be a great opportunity to use some of the ideas and action items I’ll be discussing in future posts in the “Improving Long Tech Events” series.

If you’re not familiar with BarCamps, they are technology unconferences. Click on the BarCamp and unconference links to read about them. If intrigued by what Wikipedia tells you regarding those two concepts, use Google to learn lots more about them.

The 10th annual BCMke was held on October 3 – 4, 2015. It was an outstanding gathering of tech people, wrangled by lead organizer Dan Walters. In 2016 I’d like to participate in the 11th edition of what has been, in my limited experience at 20+ BarCamps, the truest clone of the original 2005 BarCamp in concept and execution.

Dan recently told me he won’t be able to be an organizer for this year’s tech unconference, so I offered to help round up a few people to plan and put on the 2016 event. I don’t have as many contacts in the Milwaukee metro area as I once did, but I’m sure I can connect with new people to help make this technology meetup worthwhile for all who participate.

lakefront breweryAs a first note regarding the event schedule, Steve Restless felt we should do the Friday social meetup at the Lakefront Brewery like we did a few years ago, so that will be part of BCMke 2016. They have a wonderful Friday fish fry and a fun tour of the brewery that’s family-friendly. Last time I took the tour, there was Lakefront Root Beer for young people and those of us who didn’t want beer…

Today Dan linked me to a person at a Milwaukee-area company which may be interested in providing a venue or supporting the BarCamp in other ways. I emailed them to see if they want to discuss supporting BCMke or other Wisconsin tech events. We’ll be contacting lots of other partners and sponsors in upcoming months who can help us provide a fantastic experience for all the participants.

Early Stage Events Wrangler Checklist

Over the next couple months, my goals will be to:

  • Build a core team of BCMke organizers
  • Start contacting companies about supporting BCMke
  • Identify dates of other events that should be avoided when scheduling BCMke 2016
  • Develop list of people to help publicize BCMke
  • Develop a targeted list of potential participants to personally invite to BCMke

milwaukee on wisc mapThe Milwaukee metro area has slightly over 1.5 million people. In addition to people from the immediate area, last year’s participants included people from Chicago, Madison, Appleton and a few other cities outside Milwaukee and its immediate suburbs. If we do an effective job of publicizing BCMke and extending personal invitations to people we think would enjoy BarCamping, we should easily be able to get 150 people registered by the cutoff date for getting a free BCMke 2016 t-shirt.

If you’re in the Milwaukee area and are a BarCamp enthusiast, or like the concept of BarCamps based on what a little research has shown you, and you want to help organize this event, please contact Bob Waldron, bwaldron (att) gmail [dot] com.

If you’re with an organization who wants to discuss supporting BarCampMilwaukee 2016, please contact me at the above email address.

If you don’t live in the Milwaukee area, but want to help organize the event, please email me.

Finally, if you think BCMke is your type of event, come back to this blog or to barcampmilwaukee.org for more information. And when the BarCamp registration opens up on Eventbrite, be one of the first people to get your name on the list.

See you at BarCampMilwaukee 2016!

bcmke group shot

Group shot from a past BarCampMilwaukee

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