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Feedback from BarcampLeeds

Imran Ali’s e-mail just reminded me that I have not written about BarcampLeeds, which I attended on Saturday. An event full of networking and presentations opportunities! I had a decent crowd for my presentation, which had two halves – first looking at pros and cons of Wikis – the production environment, and then introducing edocr for post production interactivity. I also invited Guy Fraser, CEO of Adaptavist to contribute to the presentation, as his businesses is based on providing rich plug-ins and associated services for enterprise wikis. The audience came up with number of ways to improve the service.

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Our video link with Ottowa never materialised with the result of giving a second presentation to the local audience. Unfortunately, I suffered from significant technical problems resulting in a disjointed presentation.

From the day’s presentations, Guy Fraser’s speech was the most inspiring. Guy spoke about how he set-up his company and created a market niche for Wiki plug-ins. Dean Sadler spoke about giving profitability more importance than anything else, and building an entry business application in five weeks under ?4000. I have heard Lee Strafford’s story number of times, but for a first timer, it would no doubt have been very inspiring. Lee probably has the best story to tell, but after you hear it number of times, the impact begins to wear off. Bit like Ajaz Ahmed’s story. Both remarkable and now well heard by the Northern community. From my point, its what these exceptional individuals do now and in the future that matters the most.

Here are some facts taken from Imran’s e-mail:

  • Organised in 28 days.
  • 150 people registered interest, 106 got tickets and 90 showed on the day.
  • Hosted 31 sessions divided into 4 tracks.
  • Had 2 British Sign Language interpreters for the hard-of hearing.
  • 30 pizzas, 112 cakes, 300 sandwiches, 168 sodas, 168 bottled waters, 125 smoothies, 56 juice boxes, 100 teas, 250 coffees and 8 pints of milk.
  • Gave away 2 iPhones, 1 product (RED) iPod nano, 108 mugs, a Wii and PhotoShop CS3.



Responding to Imran’s queries:

  • Keep details for the mailing list – no problem
  • What went well – good mixture of people
  • Repeat at the next BarCamp – everything plus add more goodies if you could
  • The format, venue, networking, side events and sessions work – I would not change. It’s was simply superb. Thank you guys!
  • Improvements for the next time – make sure systems are fully checked and maintain technical assistance throughout the event + voting should only be possible after all the events have completed + punctual start

The networking events left for this month:

  • 22 Nov – Business North West
  • 23 Nov – DSIC Breakfast meeting
  • 23 Nov – NWDC meeting
  • 27 Nov – OpenCoffee Manchester
  • 27 Nov –
  • 29 Nov – NWAA meeting

Cannot attend Oracle Partner day, which is on tomorrow in London due to having a Board meeting – bad planning on my part!

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