Don’t just put a red tick on your calendar, make sure you block out all of Saturday, November 2nd for BarCamp Nashville 2013. This is one of the most energizing and enlightening days of the year, in which some of Nashville’s best & brightest gather together to share experiences and ideas on any number of technology- and social media-related topics.
And better yet, it’s FREE.
An Un-Technology Un-Conference
You might be a little intimidated by the label “technology” which is usually associated with BarCamp Nashville, but rest assured that there are offerings in a wide variety of fields and levels of expertise. Whether you’re a hardcore code cruncher or a casual user of technology who is just curious about how it can be applied, there is something for you.
Take me, for example; mild-mannered systems analyst by day, hockey blogger by night, as well as someone who tries his hand at affiliate marketing. Since I don’t deal with web-based technologies in my day job, BarCamp Nashville presents the opportunity to get exposed to a critical mass of creative people and ideas that I can’t find anywhere else.
- If you’re wondering about how to get more value out of your small business or organization’s website and/or social media channels, this event’s for you.
- If you are an aspiring techie who wants to network with potential colleagues, employers or customers, this event’s for you.
- If you’re a hobbyist like myself and want to see how some of the tech buzzwords you read about are actually applied to real-world situations, this event’s for you.
- If you’d like a FREE T-SHIRT (and come on, who doesn’t?), this event’s for you.
For a sampling of the diversity you’ll find at this year’s BarCamp Nashville, follow along with the Blog Tour which is helping to get the word out about this year’s happening. If you’re on Twitter, just check out the hashtag #25toBCN13 to keep track of who’s participating!
BarCamp Nashville isn’t so much about cramming your head chock-full of actionable intelligence that you’re going to apply Monday morning when you’re back to the daily grind (although you never know…), but it will expose you to ideas from outside your comfort zone, in a way which will get you thinking about the big picture, and how you’re approaching things. You’ll also have the opportunity to make connections with people who can help you put those ideas into practice, too.
Last year, for example, I brought my son along, because there was a panel discussion on Minecraft (something he was just getting in to, but I had no clue about it). He was encouraged and inspired to see grown-ups talking about a game he played along with his friends, and I was able to get an understanding about exactly how things worked, such as the ability to set up private servers so he wasn’t out there interacting with random Internet Creeps.
From there, we took in a variety of different sessions, discussing topics as diverse as the importance of responsive website design and the growing popularity of 3D printing. It was an eye-opening day for both of us, and in particular, the responsive design session stuck with me as something to keep in mind whenever making adjustments to either this website or my side project Hockey Gear HQ.
Vote With Your Feet
The great thing about the “un-conference” setup is that there are multiple sessions going on at any given time, so if you find out that a particular talk isn’t turning out the way you expected, feel free to move around and try another. Keep an eye on Twitter (there will be multiple hashtags to follow) and see what other attendees are saying about the different sessions going on, or just head to the open area, where a host of odd & interesting folks will be hanging out.
Trust me, whether you drop in for a couple hours or spend the whole day, you’ll find BarCamp Nashville to be one of the most invigorating and enlightening experiences you can find, especially for the price (did I mention that it’s FREE?).
I’m planning to be there; will I see you?