This was my first BarCamp experience and I loved it – in fact this was my first (insert prefix)camp ever – and I am hooked on this type of conference format! BarCamp is not your typical conference, it’s an unconference. An open, crowd sourced conference where participants are highly encouraged to contribute, engage, present and participate. One of Miami’s social media community leader @AlexDC opened up the 5th Annual Miami Barcamp with an overview of how it would be structured.
He passed out the post notes and the crowd quickly gathered by a grid outside of the conference rooms. Participants used sharpies to scribble the topic of their presentation on the post-it note and then picked the slot on the grid that they wanted.
I scribbled “LinkedIn for Business” on the post-it note and picked the biggest room and the 10:45am time slot. I presented right after another LinkedIn Pro Mr. Dick Raman – who I happened to meet on LinkedIn before meeting him today in person for the very first time. He’s a super nice and knowledgeable man.
Besides the great presentations – the highlight of my experience was finally meeting my social media friends IRL (In real life). @NatashaOS, @Ines and Karl are folks that I’ve been engaged with online for a while and just now finally getting a chance to shake their hands and give them a hug. They are even more amazing and beautiful in person. The Miami Social Media Club was heavily represented – @IamJeffCohen, @MikeLaMonica, @MiamiShines, @BrendaLeguisamo, @MatthewASolari and of course @AlexDC were all present.
My 4 takeaways from Miami BarCamp 2012 aka #BCM12
1) Miami’s tech and social media community is vibrant! There were people at BarCamp that drove from all over Florida to take part in this event. Miami has become a breeding ground for entrepreneurs, tech heads and social media mavens. There is a lot of local talent doing great things in their respective field. We are truly Silicon Beach!
2) Everyone has a story to share! BarCamp brought a bunch of folks that had a story to tell. Whether it’s a story about their new idea, their favorite social media platform or their business – everyone has something to share and bring to the table. So share it! Presenting at BarCamp is a great way to build momentum towards reaching your goals.
3) The show must goes on! Mike LaMonica got hit by a van and still made on time to teach a presentation on instagram. He even incorporated the event into the opening of the presentation which quickly caught the attention of the audience. Thankfully his picture taking finger was unharmed. BTW I hear it was the StartUp Bus that ran him down.
4) Our miami social media community is generous. Miami Dade College donated the facilites, volunteers donated their time, the audience gave their attention, participants donated canned goods, the speakers gave their presentations and Jeff from HTHoldings even bought lunch at Tre Italina Bistro for the crew. I am very grateful for this giving community. Thank you to everyone and remember that givers always gain.
What were your take aways from BarCamp Miami 2012?