What is Barcamp Nashville?

First held in Nashville in 2007, BarCamp Nashville is a free, technology-focused “unconference” that is equal parts networking, knowledge-building and fun. BarCamp has become the premier technology and digital event in the city, bringing together the best minds and representations of the top companies in the mobile and web development, entrepreneurial and software industries, among others.

Attendees are encouraged to get involved through volunteering, presenting an insightful session or inspiring and leading community learning through active discussion and networking.

In 2013, BarCamp Nashville will take a new approach to determining the event’s schedule by allowing attendees to participate in two voting periods the day of the event. This replaces the random session draw that has been used in previous years.

What is an unconference?

While it’s an unusual term, the concept behind an unconference is not complicated.

Content is driven by the attendees. That means that the people who sign up to attend the event are the ones that determine what the topics of the conference will be.

It’s free. Other than the cost of lunch (and/or adult beverages), the event is produced at no cost to the attendee.

The rule of “two-feet” applies. If you’re in a session and it’s not what you thought it would be, or there are two sessions happening simultaneously and you want to catch a little bit of each, simply get up quietly and walk out. It’s not rude. In fact, it’s encouraged. It’s your event – get as much out of it as you can.

Encourage conversation. Did you get a lot of information at a session and want to continue the conversation? Grab a conversation table, write the topic you want to discuss and keep talking! You don’t have to attend a session in every time slot. We only ask that you vacate the session rooms in a timely fashion so that the next group of presenters and attendees has adequate time to prepare.

Flexible scheduling. Can’t stay the whole day? Not a problem. Come when you can. Stay for as long as you can. Leave when you like. You set your own schedule for the day. (Just be sure to come early enough if you want a t-shirt!)

History of BarCamp Nashville

In spring 2007, Marcus Whitney and Dave Delaney devised a plan to bring the legendary BarCamp-style unconference to Nashville. The objective was simple: to put Nashville on the digital map. While the world knew Nashville as the home of country music, it often overlooked that some very talented technology-savvy people lived in Nashvegas too. With the help of fellow organizers Kelly Stewart and Dean Shortland, and the BarCamp Nashville crew and sponsors, they built an unforgettable event.

The first BarCamp Nashville was held Aug. 18, 2007, at the Exit/In and Cafe Coco. The Exit/In featured a pre-scheduled stage, while Cafe CoCo offered a more traditional sign-up-and-speak style, more true to BarCamp form. New media luminaries graced both venues for what was acclaimed as a celebration of the digerati. The event ran for 12 hours from noon to midnight which gave it a true festival feel (as did the 100+ degree temperatures and ample cold beverages).

Keeping community in mind, Whitney and Delaney handed BarCamp over to the BarCamp Nashville crew. Passing the BarCamp torch has become an annual custom to keep the event fresh each year, as well as to involve new members of the Nashville tech community.

In September 2008, Plugged In, Inc., was formed to facilitate the funding of BarCamp Nashville.

In recent years, Nashville has risen to the spotlight in the tech and digital community, becoming home to a wealth of tech-savvy businesses and startups.

BarCamp Nashville 2013 will mark the seventh-consecutive year that the event will be held in Music City. Hundreds of people continue to attend each year for a new exchange of information and ideas.