Is BarCamp changing the world? Interest in BarCamp, TorCamp, DemoCamp as a community in Toronto has been growing amongst policy makers, business makers, and thought leaders.
This morning Mark Kuznicki and I met with Allen Gelberg, Director of the Collaboration Centre at MaRS. Allen has offered to sponsor future DemoCamps. The MaRS sponsorship would be for space and facilities for 10 events throughout the year. Allen and MaRS donated the space for DemoCamp4 and they were impressed by the openness, the energy and the people that attended (see I told you it was about the attendees ;-). This sponsorship would include the facility rental for the MaRS Auditorium which is roughly $2,500/night, that’s a $25,000 donation of in-kind services (Kristin might argue my not working would count as an equivalent or larger donation). There are a few conditions of the donation of space, including:
- Guarrantee that the space is used by BarCamp/DemoCamp for the purpose outlined (an open space for people to share, learn and get excited about technology and what is going on online)
- We may be bumped by a paying customer
- We use preferred MaRS services including catering
BarCamp is inline with the MaRS mission of “accelerating the commercialization of new ideas and new technologies by fostering the coming together of capital, science and business.” Part of the discussion is that not all of the topics at BarCamp are commercialize-able and there is no reason that they should be, BarCamp is a place for people to share, learn and get excited about technology and what is going on online.
Finding space for these events is the biggest challenge. We have grown consistently since TorCamp
|Event||Date||Number of Attendees||Location|
|BarCampToronto||November 2005||66 Attendees listed on the wiki – approximately 45 actual attendees||Teehan+Lax|
|DemoCamp1||December 2005||26 Attendees full house||Bubbleshare|
|DemoCamp2||January 2006||64 Attendees full house||Radiant Core|
|DemoCamp3||February 2006||96 Attendees full house||Tucows|
|DemoCamp4||March 2006||151 Attendees full house||MaRS|
|DemoCamp5||April 2006||?? Unknown||UofT|
|BarCampTdot||May 2006||?? to be determined||Liberty Village Building|
Finding space for BarCampTdot has been one of the biggest challenges. The next DemoCamp, DemoCamp5, is being hosted by Greg Wilson at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology. There will be space constraints at the Bahen Centre, we’ll be able to spill out into the hallway, but that means less folks will be able to see the demonstrations they’ve come out to see.
When this event was smaller, it was easier to find space. We’ve reached that joyous tipping point for events/conferences of 150 people. It’s difficult to do these events in someone’s conference room. There’s been suggestions of finding a bar or restaurant to host the event. This is great for socializing and mingling, it will make presenting and the demos much more difficult. I’ve put together a list of Toronto conference facilities that includes everything from The Drake to the Air Canada Centre. Joey has offered to host an event on rooftop patio at Tucows which would be fantastic.
I think this is a conversation that the community should have about a semi-permanent home for DemoCamp. What do you think of MaRS as a home for DemoCamp?