Frequently Asked Questions

HologramDaVinci’s Faire and BarCamp events are a little different from your standard conference experience.  To help you prepare, we’ve answered some common questions below…

What is a BarCamp, anyway?

More than 400 business and technology enthusiasts typically participate in BarCamp Sarasota-Bradenton’s “un-Conference” events. Many local authorities will speak on business and technology issues ranging from Video Marketing to LinkedIn to Search Engine Optimization Rock Stars to How to Write Online Press Releases to Writing Business Plans. It’s about sharing what you’re passionate about! You can find out more information about what to expect at a BarCamp un-conference, and about BarCamp.

Why an “un-conference”?

There is a very unusual dynamic that occurs during our events, with the agenda created on the fly.  Inspiration and creativity cause unexpected things to happen during the course of the day.  Hear something that compels you to share your ideas? Grab your own timeslot.  Want more detail about the topic?  Ask the speaker to add it to the schedule.  Feel you know more about a topic than the speaker?  Schedule your own talk!  Find it hard to share your passion in front of an audience? Create a panel or use the discussion group format.  The process is very fluid, and naturally leads to great outcomes.

Where is the List of Topics and Speakers?

In short, there isn’t one… yet.  Because of the way BarCamp events are run, nobody will know what the speaking schedule is going to be until the day of the event.  Speakers who are interested in giving a presentation, facilitating a panel or roundtable, or holding a BoF (Birds of a Feather) group will register their presentations in multiple tracks on the morning of the day they will be speaking.  The schedule will be posted on a large wall of times and rooms which can be referred to throughout the day to decide which presentations to attend. The schedule is also available via screens near the rooms and in a mobile application.

What kind of topics can I expect?

People who have come in the past have given talks on educational topics, information technology how-to’s, funding, business development, entrepreneurship and start-ups, using social media, marketing, science-fiction, inventions and gadgets, community and economic development, robotics, art and design, new developments in software engineering, website development, marketing, and almost any topic about the relationship between technology and running a business, educational institution, charitable organization, professional organization, etc.  Since this is an event to foster creativity, the sharing of innovative ideas is a central theme of the event.

What kind of activities can I expect?

In the rooms you’ll find Birds of feather sessions, panel discussions, discussion groups, presentations, performance art. It’s all about sharing information and doing it with personal passion. In the main hall, you’ll find the Robotics teams, Makers & Inventors, the Science & Technology mini-festival, and the Board Gamers area. No sales pitches allowed—just sharing of information.

Can I speak?

Of course! The topics for the conference depend on you. If you have anything you’d like to share, sign up at the event to speak. Everyone is invited. Here are the guidelines – you must want to help others learn what you know, you are not here to sell, you’re giving away a very valuable commodity – your knowledge. If you don’t want to present a topic alone, there are a number of panels you can join, you can start a panel discussion of your own, or create a Birds of a Feather session on a topic with like-minded people.

Can I give a sales presentation about my company or service?

In a word, no. While the speaking time slots are open to everyone, we ask that presenters stick to information that will appeal to our membership base of technology and business enthusiasts.  One of our missions is to educate and share knowledge.  In the past we have had people speak regarding specific technologies or processes, but we ask that it be educational in nature.  Our members are not interested in sales pitches in the presentations at the conference event. You are free to establish yourself as an expert to share information, and those interested will ask for more information after your presentation.

How do I register to give a presentation?

We will have a table set up for speakers to schedule their presentations at the event.  The schedule will fill up quickly, so we recommend arriving early to reserve your preferred time slot.  You will be asked to write the name of your presentation and your first and last name on a sticky note.  You can then choose to have it placed into any available time slot on the schedule. You may schedule more than one presentation if the schedule permits.

How long are the presentations?

BarCampThe presentation schedule is broken up into half-hour blocks.  Speakers are encouraged to reserve one block for their presentation, but may reserve an hour if needed and if slots are available.  It also takes a few minutes for people to shift around the various presentation rooms between time slots, so it is recommended that presentations be designed for 20-25 minutes to allow for attendee transit between rooms.

How many presentations rooms will be available?

We don’t know, yet! There will be a variety of rooms and layouts available for presentations and discussions, usually in about a dozen rooms.  If you are speaking, please confirm the room capacity and layout visually and with the scheduling desk before scheduling your presentation.

Will projectors be available for presentations?

We will do our best to ensure that each room has a projector with a standard VGA connector which will work with most laptops.  We will have some roaming technical volunteers who can assist with connecting the projectors, electricity, or any other technical needs.  We cannot guarantee availability of a projector in every room, however.  Please check with the scheduling desk to ensure the room you’re planning to use has the necessary equipment.

Will whiteboards be available for presentations?

Most rooms have white boards which can be used for presentations.  Please check with the scheduling desk to ensure the room you’re planning to use has the necessary equipment.

Is electricity available for presentations?

Yes, all of the presentations rooms have electricity available to use when giving presentations.

What sort of food and beverages will be available?

BarCamp will provide lunch free of charge on the day of the event.  Bottled water and water fountains are also available at the conference location.  You are welcome to bring a bagged lunch with you if you prefer.

Will you have coffee or snacks in the morning?

We usually obtain a morning coffee and snack sponsor so that we can provide coffee and snacks to our guests in the morning.  If you are interested in sponsoring coffee and snacks, please contact us.

How are you able to put this conference on for free?

It’s not easy!  We rely on our generous sponsors to provide the necessary funding and materials to put on our various events throughout the year.  It simply would not be possible without their support.  Please take a moment to visit our Sponsor page and visit our sponsors to say “thank you” for their continued support.

We also rely on a small army of volunteers who handle everything from keeping the website updated to arranging the chairs prior to the event, and cleaning up once it’s finished.  If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact us.  Our volunteers wear “staff” shirts at our events.  If you see one of our volunteers, please let them know you appreciate their efforts.

I know I pre-registered but lost my tickets and cannot find the confirmation e-mail.  What should I do?

If you cannot find any record of your registration, please register again to ensure your name is on the list.  We will have a list of everyone who registered available at the registration desk so we can find your registration that way if needed. You don’t need to print and bring your EventBrite ticket to the event.

I’m from out of town, where can I stay?

Check out our hotel information page.

You didn’t answer my question!

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.