Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
As you might know, I'm involved with organizing BarCampRDU again this year, doing the sponsor-wrangling and attendee registration duties. It's been a lot easier and stress-free than last year because I've been through it once before and so has most of the committee. No matter the stress-level, the end-result is well worth the effort.
Wrangling sponsors was surprisingly easy, even with a bad economy. Basically, all I have to do is chase 'em down, convince them to sponsor, make sure they pay and then ensure that they're recognized on the blog, t-shirt, signage and during the event. Event registration was easy too as we used Eventbrite, which is free for free events like BarCampRDU. My only complaint is there's no automated way for an attendee to cancel a ticket and no automated way to do a waiting-list.
Most of the remaining work was done by my wife Andi and our friend Alicia Weller. Andi took care of vendor selection and coordination and Alicia took up volunteer coordination and t-shirts. I think you're going to like what Alicia did with the t-shorts; very nice colors this time.
What's a little nerve-wracking about running a BarCamp is the estimations you have to make. Once it's time to order t-shirts, food and drink we have a fixed budget but the number of attendees can vary wildly. Last year, we had 250 registered attendees and only 140 showed up. We can't assume we'll have the same registered/attended ratio this year because we've been sending out a lot more email reminders. Anyhow, long story short: we did our best but if everybody currently registered shows up, some folks are not going to get a t-shirt and a lunch.
At this point, all we can really do is enjoy the show and I'm really looking forward to it. This year, I'm going to pitch a session on OpenSocial. Here's the write-up from the proposed session page:
A quick intro to OpenSocial explaining what it is, how it works and why it matters using these What's up with OpenSocial slides. Then a group discussion.on.
It's just about time to head down to the pre-party at Flying Saucer. I hope to see you there.
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