BarCamp Nashville, the free, technology unconference is celebrating its tenth year this Saturday, October 15th. If you have any interest in technology (and you should), you would be nuts to miss this celebration.
My friend and co-founder, Marcus Whitney, recently wrote a wonderful recap blog post about how BarCamp Nashville came together. Our main goal was to put Nashville on the "digital map". We wanted the world to recognize the technology talent in our city. Our plan was to launch BarCamp and later PodCamp Nashville (now known as Craft Content), and pass the organizing torch to a new team each year.
CORRECTION: After our panel today, Marcus reminded me of the reason why we passed the torch. Originally, we had planned on doing the second BarCamp Nashville, but Marcus started his own company and decided not to do it. So Kelly Stewart (one of the original organizers) and I decided to pass the torch to the next group. Who knew my mind would be foggy after nearly ten years.
The model has worked well. Each year a new person takes the lead of a specific task and the previous person becomes a mentor. For example, if one person manages sponsorships in 2016, the person who managed it in 2015 teaches them everything they need to know. It's been cool to notice how different people have changed roles over the years as they have learned new skills or wanted to test to new areas of interest.
Countless New Friends
I can't speak for each volunteer, but I can imagine that their experiences have led to new areas of expertise for their careers and businesses. Plus they have made new friendships with fellow volunteer organizers. I know that personally, I have made countless friends from my involvement as an early organizer and co-founder, and later as a speaker and fellow attendee.
BarCamp Nashville was created by our community for our community. It is with deep thanks to all of the attendees and speakers who have made it an amazing event each year. I also want to thank the gracious sponsors who paid to make BarCamp happen. Finally, and most importantly, I want to raise a glass to toast all of the dedicated organizers who have continued to grow and nurture Nashville's original unconference.