BarCamp is a great recurring event, called an unconference, where folks gather to speak and hear others speak about anything and everything. Unlike other conferences, the attendees are the speakers. Anyone who wants to speak can claim a 30min time slot in one of several rooms. Last year, BarCamp Tampa had nearly 350 attendees.
It's a great place to meet interesting people, talk shop with local industry leaders, and get noticed. I can personally say that it has been a great influence on my career. I met Charles Armstrong, CEO of TourWrist, at BarCamp 2009 and later went on to oversee the 1.0 and 2.0 efforts building their million dollar prize-winning flagship product. It's really much more than a tech conference. There are folks from a wide variety of industries who converge to take the pulse of the community, and everyone walks away feeling uplifted and enlightened.
More than anything else, though, BarCamp is a great opportunity to practice public speaking. If you want center stage, draft a witty talk title and go for broke in one of the big rooms. If you just want to get some time to practice, but a big crowd terrifies you, find a spot in a smaller room.
It's a great experience for all. Register today!