GovCamps and affiliated sessions are informal events that focus on discussions, demos and interaction from attendees. Everyone is welcome to bring ideas and materials for brief presentations.
Preparing for the event
Tech toys: Bring a laptop or i-gadget if you are into that kind of thing – it’s great for showing off that initiative you mentioned in your session. Plus, there’ll be wifi so you can browse around and look into everything you’ve learned.
Timely: Come early, but don’t come late. There’ll be coffee beforehand and it’s a great time to meet some people. Show up later, and you’ll miss some important scene-setting in the opening segments.
Be ready: Come with an idea for a session you can actively contribute to. You don’t have to be an expert at your topic; as long as it’s not too specific, there’ll probably be someone else present who can help you out. You can also contribute to the conversation during a session. This is a great way to participate, since it spreads knowledge from everyone, instead of just the leader.
Go the extra mile: Give thought to whether you might be willing to help on the day. GovCamps also need 6-10 good-spirited volunteers to assist with logistics (so easy to get lost on the way to a session!) and with social reporting. And it’s a great excuse to meet more of the participants.
On the day
Even though the format is open and loose, there are simple, common-sense rules that help the GovCamp to work well for everyone. Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join.
- When you come, be prepared to share with others. And to listen.
- No sales pitches or soapboxes. Absolutely. There’s always next week.
- Any attendee may choose to present or facilitate a session on their favourite topic or to participate in any discussion.
- Everyone is invited to share information and experiences of the event via social channels such as Twitter, blogging, photo uploads, social bookmarking and others.
- If you need to discuss a topic “off-the-record” feel free to let others know. Respect such requests when they are made.
- If you are invited to record a comment or image, also feel free to request conditions. However, typically, Creative Commons attribution applies to digital content created live at such events.
- Don’t hog the bandwidth. That means wifi, too. (Be reasonable with usage levels).
- When you leave, be prepared to share it with the world.
Adapted from various barcamp websites, including barcamp.org and socialinnovationsydney.org