April Update For BarCampMilwaukee 2016

Today’s post is a follow-up to my mid-April initial post about BarCampMilwaukee 2016 (BCMke).

In upcoming months, this blog will likely have periodic “events wrangler” updates about BCMke planning progress and issues. Writing these posts will help me promote the event, highlight various challenges involved with events wrangling for an unconference, and help keep me focused on next steps towards an awesome 11th BCMke.

Top Two Action Items Accomplished

Two significant steps forward were taken since my earlier BCMke post on this blog.

  1. Pete Prodoehl set up a BarCampMilwaukee Google Group
  2. Aaron Saray stepped forward to lead the event website effort at this point

Google GroupsThe Google Group is valuable because it provides a central “event organizing” communication tool, and it provides a way to start connecting a core team for organizing the event. As of midday on April 25, there are seven people in the Ggroup. As people interested in BCMke identify potential organizers for the event, they can be invited to join the group and encouraged to jump right into the conversations there or to start conversations. The group isn’t limited to the core organizing team, though — anyone interested in this Milwaukee area technology unconference can subscribe to the group at https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/barcampmilwaukee.

BCMke website browser screenshotHaving an informative and well-designed website for the event is also a big step forward. As one person mentioned, they heard about BCMke in past years but never participated in it because they weren’t sure just what “it” was. An event website that is well-done (something that is challenging both to define and to build / maintain…) will help make BCMke, or any other event, more successful. The website can make more people aware of the event, it can help them clearly understand what the event is and what participants will get out of it, and it can help make sponsors interested in supporting the event. There are other benefits of an effective website for an event, but I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

Assorted Other BCMke Activities

In addition to the two primary steps forward listed above, additional random items occurred since my last BCMke post on this blog.

  1. Google HangoutsI had a Google video +Hangout to discuss BCMke with potential organizer. What I told him aligned well enough with his interest that he joined the Google group and will consider possible ways to contribute to BCMke.
  2. There have been Ggroup discussions about potential venues for BCMke 2016. Several possible locations were mentioned, and a couple people offered to talk to contacts about those locations with respect to being a potential event venue.
  3. There were also conversations about criteria or requirements for a good BarCamp venue, about money handling for the event, and about the traditional BCMke philosophy regarding sponsors.

Upcoming Issues To Address

We aren’t close enough to BCMke to put concentrated effort into event organizing yet, but I will be focusing on the following five items in upcoming weeks:

  1. Recruiting more organizing core team members
  2. Potential Dates for BCMke 2016
  3. Discussions About Possible Venues
  4. Sponsors for t-shirts, stickers and food
  5. Conflict between concept and reality for events wrangling

barcamp milwaukeeIf 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 subscribe to the event’s Google Group or 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 join the Google Group or email me.

Finally, if you think BCMke is your type of event, come back to this blog periodically or check at barcampmilwaukee.org for more information. (The event website is in early stages of construction — check back later if not anything or not much is there when you look at it. Or join the Ggroup and talk to Aaron about how you might help develop the website!)


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