The BarCamper's Cookbook

We’ve got a few days to go before BarCampLA-5 happens and Crystal and I thought we’d share a few things with everyone before the festivities kick off.

Location

331 N. Maple Dr., Los Angeles, California 90210 [Google Maps]

Since this is a new space for us, 99% of you probably aren’t familiar with how to get there. That’s totally okay tho. The Google Maps link above should hopefully help clarify directions for most of you. The offices are on the corner of Maple Drive and 3rd Street in Beverly Hills, CA and look like this.

AOL has also been nice enough to hook us up with some free parking in the secure lot below the building. The entrance for that is on 3rd Street, at the end of the complex and you should be able to find a space without any issues. You should also be able to keep your car there overnight if you decide to join us and camp.

Checking In

Once you’ve parked, you’ll need to swing by the security desk in the lobby and check in. If your name is not on the list of confirmed attendees, you will not be admitted to the conference. That’s something we have to be firm on.

With that being said, we’ve had a number of people pull their name off the list due to scheduling conflicts. This means people from the waiting list have managed to be added to the guest list we’re handing to security. If you’re on the fence, just go ahead and add yourself to the waiting list! But do it before Thursday (February 28th) at 11:59 PM PST — because after that the form goes bye bye.

Just so we don’t leave anyone hanging, if we’ll be able to let you in, we should be able to let you know on Friday morning before we turn the guest list in to the people at AOL.

Schedule

Saturday
We said 11 AM, and we seriously mean 11 AM. There are loads of reasons that will make you want to get out of bed early and come to see us. We’ll have plenty of delicious Peets coffee and some breakfast type things. If you’re just getting your day started — and let’s face it most of us probably will be — it’ll be good to get something with caffeine (and other essential nutrients) in you.

It’s also a great chance to hang out and mingle before the talks start. Slots for sessions will be open to fill then, and we want you to get to know where everything is laid out in the space. Also, we have a super tasty (and free) lunch planned for Saturday. We’re planning to eat and do intros (no talking with your mouth full, please) as people finish getting their grub on then roll promptly into sessions. So please get there early, enjoy the food and the company and help us get started on time.

We’re going to try to keep intros short. If that means the return of the gong, so be it.

Saturday Evening
We’ve got a delicious dinner (just like last time, all BarCampLA meals will have carnivore, vegetarian, and vegan options), an awesome keg of beer, PPT Karaoke, video games, and great company. It’s worth sticking around for, so we hope to have you do so.

BarCamp After Hours
Every time we do a BarCamp, more people end up sleeping over. This year we hope that’s no different. We’ve got lots of space for people to crash — and we’ve even got a shower! So bring a sleeping bag and pillow, some soap, a towel, your phone charger, deodorant and your toothbrush and be prepared to queue up on Sunday morning to so you can resemble a real live human being.

Sunday
Breakfast is served at 10am. More yummy coffee will be provided. Breakfast foods will also nourish the famished. Come early to watch sleepy campers scramble for the shower before the first sessions start.

Oh, and please try to plan to hang around for a little while after the closing ceremony to help clean up. With 30-40 people helping, it’s a whirling dervish of cleaning and we end up getting done in no time.

General Tips

  • Bring surge protectors and extension cords if you’ve got them laying around. Keep them in your car unless we need them, but good to have extras.
  • Rehearse your talks and leave room for questions. Your audience will thank you for it.
  • Don’t plan on having wi-fi for your talk. With the network at AOL being super awesome, you probably will — but always plan for Murphy and his blasted law. If it’s really crucial to show things to people, take screenshots and do screencasts just in case.
  • Be kind on the wi-fi. No torrenting or crazy 12-megapixel full-size HDR Flickr uploads, please. Share the bandwidth, share the love.
  • Speaking of sharing, share and be helpful.
  • Shirts are free, but please don’t take more than one for yourself.
  • Please don’t bring anything illegal. It’s not that we care, necessarily, but we would like to not get shut down over anything silly.
  • No, you don’t have to speak, but we’d hope, if you’re there, that you have something to share. This is a good place to come out of your shell.
  • Follow BarCampLA on Twitter for updates. If you have Twitter sending updates to your phone, you might also want to use their track feature to keep tabs on a few keywords (barcampla, bcla, barcamp) while the event is going on.
  • Any and all photos uploaded to Flickr should be tagged with “barcampla” and “barcampla5″. Try your best to do this as we’ll have a special surprise for folks to keep tabs on the event over the course of the weekend.

Conduct

As always, the best thing people can do is to just set to doing whatever you see that needs to be done. No one is going to mind if somebody up and takes out the trash or steps in to help set up lunch. Just make sure to wash your hands in between, okay? There are a million tiny things that have to happen at an event like this and it’s impossible to schedule out all of them. It’s honestly best for our sanity (and logistics) if we don’t even try to. Larger cons have event staff for this stuff, but we have BarCampers. Just be active participants (which is the BarCamp way, after all) and help out wherever you see. If you do, we should all have a good time.

Oh, there’s also a copy of our “Code of Conduct” you ought to read over. Nothing surprising there, but it’s been linked for reference.

Rest well over the next few days, BarCampers. We guarantee you’ll need quite a bit of energy for this weekend!

Jason and Crystal
BarCamp Counselors at Large

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