Barcamps are usually defined as non-conferences. While the programme and list of speakers of a traditional conference are determined by the organizers, in a barcamp only the time schedule is given and the participants create the programme themselves. At the beginning they introduce themselves briefly with three keywords. Then all participants are invited to suggest topics and suitable formats such as open discussions, workshops or lectures. Finally, a selection of topics is assigned to sessions of 45 minutes each and the available rooms. In this way, a programme is created directly on site that corresponds exactly to the interests of the participants.
A barcamp thrives from its participants. All who are interested are welcome and can participate. The barcamp is only limited by the time and space available. The most important condition for a successful barcamp is that the participants meet at eye level and seek an open dialogue. Especially first-time visitors of barcamps are welcome to suggest topics, to create a session and to get involved. With active participation, barcamps offer an inspiring setting for discussions, the exchange of knowledge and the development of new ideas - and above all, they are great fun!
As a parody of the rules in the film "Fight Club", the rules of barcamps were once defined in this way:
1st Rule: You do talk about Barcamp.
2nd Rule: You do blog about Barcamp.
3rd Rule: If you want to present, you must write your topic and name in a presentation slot.
4th Rule: Only three word intros.
5th Rule: As many presentations at a time as facilities allow for.
6th Rule: No pre-scheduled presentations, no tourists.
7th Rule: Presentations will go on as long as they have to or until they run into another presentation slot.
8th Rule: If this is your first time at Barcamp, you HAVE to present. (Ok, you don't really HAVE to, but try to find someone to present with, or at least ask questions and be an interactive participant)