BarCampManchester2 ????

There has been some talk about BarCampManchester2 on the geekup mailing list and other corners of the internet. So I got a email from a couple of people who will remain name less for now because I've not asked if they want there names on this post and I wrote a long winded email back. This is the email with a few bits cut out for obvious reasons.

Ok so from my point of view, I'll just lay it out so you guys know where I'm coming from.

Right so I'm looking into a Manchester Barcamp. I had *************** almost sorted but they wouldn't go for the overnight part (more about this soon).

I also secured the *********** conference centre but its going to cost about 3-5k to run it. On the up side the venue is perfect, allows for overnight, can handle almost 300 people if needed, has a late running bar and is 5mins from Piccadilly station and Oxford Road.

I mentioned to the London BarCamp guys about the venue and we are considering a special BarCampGB using this venue, but its unlikely this year.

I'm also in the process of talking to the ************** who have hosted ************** in the past. I will meet them and we will discuss the details.

BBC hosting a barcamp, yes that could be possible/actually too easy but I'm talking to BBC Workforce about doing a overnight event one day soon. I don't really want to derail that if possible because I feel its important that we set things up for Media City. Beebcamp3 is also going ahead for sometime this year.

I also had leads for overnight venues in Huddersfield and Newcastle.

Right so after all that, the overnight thing. And don't take any of this the wrong way, I'm just telling you whats on my mind.

The North West has been deprived of a full barcamp and because of that, people are saying they love the one or two day events. Fine, but it would be a crying/terrible shame if for the next few years it carried on that way simply because its very difficult securing a venue for a overnight. And it won't get any easier. So I'm not going to lecture you guys on the overnight thing, because that would be disrespectful of everything you guys have done and tried. And I really do think you guys have done a great job.

Alistair who did BarCampNorthEast, worked hard and got a great venue in a art centre. It wasn't perfect but actually for the 35 people who stayed it was a good barcamp. If there was more people, it would have been fantastic. Its also worth noting Alistair and that duck of his, secured the overnight venue by himself, they also almost secured a 2nd overnight venue next to Newcastle train station this year. Alistair has proven it can be done. Reason why not many people turn up is another problem which is off topic.

If we/me/who ever can pull one off, that would be fantastic. Manchester deserves a overnight barcamp in my mind. Its special, something totally different. The experience is very different, just ask Dom. It also attracts more people and gets more attention. Not everyone likes them but not having one worries me. To be slightly frank, 2 day events are getting very common. I'd rather give up my spare time for a overnight that 2 day. One thing I've learned since I've been here is the north has a great bunch of communities and there really strong. Look at whats happened with TEDxNorth! While London is still trying to sort out the venue and stuff, the north has clubbed together and straighten out dates, venues and promoted each other in the way that it should be (thanks Herb). There's some great people who we all know and honestly if we all tackle the problem of the overnight venue, we actually will do it.

So from my point of view, I'm honestly happy with you guys going ahead, hell I can even put you in contact ************************* about a venue. My calendar is pretty full with stuff like TEDx, Beebcamp and other stuff but I can easily help with a 2 day barcamp. I also don't want people to think I'm being selfish holding out for a overnight barcamp. But I'd like to echo I think Manchester deserves a overnight barcamp, people may disagree but thats fine, I encourage them to run a barcamp in there own vision.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and