We Made A BarCamp!

Wow. We did it. We made a BarCamp!

We’ve been pinching ourselves that we pulled it off in just 28 days – sponsors, ticketing, food and venues. But that’s only half the story, in the end it was you guys – the BarCampers – that made everything work.

We wondered if people would show, if people would present. You didn’t disappoint. The board filled up within minutes; one-third presenters, two-thirds audience. We had a couple technical hitches and the drinks never came, but no one complained, everyone ignored the hiccups and just had a great time.

So in the afterglow of Leeds’ first unconference, we thought we’d share a few interesting facts from the day…

They’re not just numbers, but the metrics and the datapoints that show that the North is a place for technology and creativity. We had people from as far as Dundee and Brighton, but the greatest concentration came from Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and the North East; right along the M62 corridor, home to 15m Brits, a quarter of our country. Could we make this Supercity the next Highway 101…the Pennine Parallel?

Interestingly, the maps to the right show that visitors to the BarCamp Leeds site, were concentrated in London and the M62 corridor, but the attendees map clearly shows that no one from London bothered to show up…the lazy bastards.

We think we can, and the next few months will see more of OpenCoffee, GeekUp, BarCamps and Geek Dinners. You can follow news of the North’s digital culture on the forthcoming .north. Hopefully those of you that were disappointed on the waiting list will be able to grab tickets next timearound. In the meantime, here’s a little of what people have been saying about this weekend…

Everyone’s blogging…

What happens next?
We’re already thinking about BarCamp Leeds {2008}, perhaps in the Spring, but we want to make sure you all can be a part of it again, so we need your help, your ideas, your suggestions and </coughs> your money!

  • Can we keep your email details to keep you informed about future events?         
  • What do you think went well? What should we make sure we keep doing at the next BarCamp? How would you like to see the format, venue, networking, side events and sessions work?
  • What could we do better next time? (apart from making sure the after party drinks arrive at the right time!).
  • If you’re one of the few people who got a ticket but didn’t attend – why not? What put you off at the last minute?

You guys made BarCamp Leeds {2007} work, so we’re counting on your help, your ideas and your guidance to put together an even better BarCamp for 2008!

Lastly, we’d like to put a shout out to people like Linda Broughton of nti and Leeds Met, Katherine & Johnathan of Kooji Creative, Richard Hamer of Blue Sky PR, Mohsin Ali‘s 300+ photos, Yuuguu’s Phil Hemstead, Rockstar Games, Stewart Townsend from Sun, Ian Green at Green Communications, Plusnet‘s Dean Sadler, Stickyeyes, Apple and Adobe for all contributing their time and resources to make BarCamp possible for the rest of us. And of course, to all of you.

See you all in the Spring.

Deb, Dom, Imran & Tom 🙂


  • In the iPhone prize draw, we found some irregularities in voting for best presentation…though we rectified this by running a live query on screen for the BarCampers, the husband of one of the organisers won! So much for transparency…
  • I only made it to several full sessions – Ben Dalton’s Paleo-futures, Mark Sailes’ TV3, Valerie de Leonibus’ Civic Regeneration and Ian Green’s co-creation…however, sessions are just a means to meet people and I had a blast hanging around the corridors and spaces just chatting 🙂
  • I got to meet Keith Mcmahon of Telebusilis and Telco2, Ikechukwu Nzeribe and his Doodol concept, Vagueware’s Paul Robinson, Paul Bacchus from the University of Leeds and Ross Brown, with whom I had a great chat about the flailing regeneration projects in Bradford 🙁
  • My old friend Ian Hay re-ran a new version of our Web2Expo Berlin talk.
  • For anyone interested, you can download the Google Analytics report on barcampleeds.com here.
  • Some of the staff asked us to polaroid BarCampers as they checked in – this turned into a cute networking wall throughout the course of the day.
  • Though the linkup with BarCamp Ottowa didn’t go to plan, Peter Childs and i started talking about organising some stand alone DemoCamp events for early 2008.


  1. Sounds like you guys had a fantastic camp – and have an exciting vision for your region.
    It was a pity the DemoCamp portion didn’t work. If you, or Dom has the time I wouldn’t mind learning what you were using, as well as any suggestions to fix the issues.
    Connecting camps is such a cool, and long term useful, idea.

  2. My first ever BarCamp and so it seems appropriate that this was outside of the London belt! And I am so please that I participated! This was not just about attendance, but encouraged participation, feedback, chatback and even voting! You can’t get more Web 2.0 or ‘un-conferency’ than that!
    I’m more than looking forward to getting involved with more events ‘up north’ and anticipating future BarCamps.
    If you didn’t come you missed out; if you did i’ll see you at the next one! 🙂

  3. Leeds Barcamp? Cool.
    As for flailing regeneration projects of Bradford, well, when I was there last what struck me was that the stuff that’s now being knocked down is the first wave of regeneration; the old stuff is doing just fine.


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