Yesterday was BarCamp Tampa Bay, the unconference I co-founded 6 years ago with Gavin Stark, Joel Lopez and Brenda Young. Five BarCamps, 1 combo BarCamp-Code Camp, 3 IGNITE events and about 50 monthly events in the past 6 years.
We couldn’t have done it without many teammates including our star players Susie, Michael, Ken, Victoria, Ben, Sean, Megan, Ashley and Jessica.
It takes a lot of effort to put on a BarCamp or IGNITE – especially for a Volunteer organization (and I use that term loosely). It takes months of work, effort, sweat.
We have been lucky to have a group of sponsors that have been with us since the beginning, including Haneke Design, Prospect Smarter and SourceToad. You cannot put on an event for 600+ people without sponsors, so to our sponsors over the last 6 years: Thank you very much for your support! I truly appreciate your supporting the community.
I want to thank this year’s volunteers. Lots of new faces. Thank you for helping all day from the crack of dawn until it was time for beer.
There have been mishaps over the years. To those that were on the receiving end of that, I apologize.
I have tried to step away a couple of times, but this year was truly my Last Hurrah. Six years is a long time. The politics behind putting these events on is a grind. The who’s penis is bigger contest gets tiresome. So many things have gotten complicated over time. I also realized that if I put just half that effort in my own business, I profit. Hmmm….
I’ve met a great bunch of folks and if anyone wants to catch a drink, just drop me a note. I’m glad I had this experience. I think we built up a nice community. We had 12 rooms of speakers going most of the day.
The other reason to step back is that I am starting to take a lot of this stuff personal. I need distance and time so I can get away from that.
So with that, I say thank you for joining me on this six year journey – and now it’s your turn to step up. I wasn’t kidding in the 4 pm Cranky Bastards session when I said I was retiring and that if you wanted another one IT WAS ON YOU!
Our events are UGC – user generated content. If the sessions weren’t to your liking, well, step up and give a great presentation – or get together with someone or two and do a kick ass panel. BarCamp at its core is your event – it’s a community building showcase. Over the years we have had some awesome presentations and some lousy ones. We had some memorable people like Tony and the Accordion guy. Thanks for that! See you around.