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BarCamp Grand Rapids 2012!

Make sure you register on the official BarCampGR website, not just here. If you only register here, you won't get a t-shirt or a pre-printed name tag.

Geeks, Makers, and programmers lend me your Inboxes! The seventh annual free BarCamp * Grand Rapids is quickly approaching, and you're all invited.

Barcamp is about meeting interesting people, talking about what you want to talk about, and listening to what you're interested in. Subjects of discussion have ranged from web programming and digital photography to computer vision and turkey basting. (No, there wasn't a talk on having a computer visually monitor your turkey, but if you've tried it, you're welcome to report on your experiences!) You see, the talks are not set beforehand, it's you, the attendees, who give BarCampGR direction and content.

What's the format?
Presentations are 25 minutes long, with 5 minutes in between. You're welcome to sit in on a presentation or hang around in the lounge and talk; it's all the same with us. If you run a presentation, we don't care how you run it--so long as you don't get us in trouble! Give a monologue, a Q&A or a round table; it's your topic, your presentation, your audience. If people didn't want to spend 25 minutes on your topic, they wouldn't be there.

Don't know what to talk about?
Certainly you have some relatively unique experiences. What do you do for a hobby? What's something you managed to fix that you're proud of? It doesn't matter if the height of your accomplishment is changing your car's oil or if you've wardriven half of the Grand Rapids area; if people aren't interested, they won't show up at your talk. If they are, they will.

But I'm not an expert!
Sure you are! If you know the first thing about a subject, you know more than people who don't. And, yes, people who know more than you will probably attend your presentation. Interact with them; you both have something to learn from each other. Chances are, if you're both really interested in a subject, you'll find yourselves looking for each other in the lounge, later.

But perhaps you're...

That's fine. Come on in, get a look around and a feel for things. It's a two-day event; come by on Friday, sit in on presentations which interest you or hang around in the lounge and network with other people. Perhaps you'll be inspired to talk about something later, or on Saturday. You never really know.

If you'd like to be able to listen, but don't know if you'll have anything to say, you can still...

Help Out
On the days of the event itself, we typically need greeters, people to babysit the facility overnight (some folks stay overnight), people to respond to technical issues such as "why won't the projector work with my laptop" and "could someone turn down the lights so we could see the screen?"

We also have a subreddit this year, r/BarCampGR. Use it to ask for certain subjects to be covered. Use it to offer subjects that you can talk about. During the event, use it to have almost-live discussions about things with people who aren't immediately present. After the event, use it to post supplemental materials and ask followup questions. We have a lot of other ways you can keep up to date on BarCampGR news and updates via the following social media outlets:

Also, if you'd like to help us organize BarCampGR, sign up for the BarCampGR Organizers' Email Group and jump right into the conversation at

So register on the website and come on out to BarCampGR at the DeVos Communications Center, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI!

Here's the schedule:

Friday, August 24, 2012

  • 5:00-6:00 PM - Check-in and setup
  • 6:00-7:00 PM - Dinner
  • 7:00 PM - Kick things off with opening session
  • 7:30-9:30 PM - Sessions every 1/2 hour
  • 9:30 PM - after party (sponsored by Collective Idea)


  • 10:00 PM-whenever the next morning - Camping, all-night hacking, etc.
  • There will be plenty of room to crash on Friday night, so bring a sleeping bag. Better yet, bring a tent for the geek base camp.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

  • 9:00-10:00 AM - Breakfast
  • 10:00 AM-12:00 PM - Sessions every 1/2 hour
  • 12:00-1:00 PM - Lunch
  • 1:00-2:00 PM - 5 min Lightning Talks
  • 2:00-4:00 PM - Sessions every 1/2 hour
  • 4:00-4:30 PM - Closing session
  • 4:30-5:30 PM - Cleanup

* Note, despite the 'bar' in Barcamp, the event doesn't take place in a bar, only the (optional) Friday afterparty does.

Join or login to comment.

  • Shai L.

    A very impressive showing. Many people of all sorts, with a broad range of knowledge. I wish there was more flexibility in the session length to allow more Q&A and some live demos.

    August 27, 2012

  • Michael B.

    Great as always. It would be a plus to find a way to gather what people wanted to learn about so that some experts can speak on the topic. Mostly presenters choosing what to speak about this year.

    August 25, 2012

  • Shai L.

    What building on Campus is this at, and where do we park?

    August 24, 2012

  • Ben R.

    Thanks, Chad. I fixed them now. That'll teach me to copy and paste into a dodgy rich text editor.

    August 1, 2012

  • Chad W.

    Several of the links in the middle of the post have trailing break tags, preventing the links from working.

    August 1, 2012

  • Ben R.

    Please register for BarCampGR on the BarCampGR website, not on this meetup event. Thanks!

    August 1, 2012

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