My friend, client and former boss Joe Drumgoole is helping to organize BarCamp Ireland 3.0 (and here's the blog). We've signed on to sponsor the event, and we're planning on making it to Europe in time to attend and participate. I helped to organize BarCamp Vancouver last August, and of course we're organizers for Northern Voice, now in its third year and bigger than ever.
Joe asked me for some advice on organizing an unconference, and here's what I wrote. They're eleven slightly random points, but I figured I'd post them as they might prove useful to other organizers around the globe:
Despite it being an 'unconference', where everybody's all groovy and doing their own thing, you still need a few people to be dogged organizers and keep things running smoothly. Specifically, you need to make sure sessions start and end on time. This is an unpopular but fairly essential job.
On a similar note, you should definitely do an email out to all attendees a few days before the event. Not everyone's going to be watching the wiki or blog, and the email can cover everything they need to know. Here's a copy of the email I wrote for Barcamp Vancouver. This is particularly handy if you've filled up and want to get people on and off the waitlist.
If more than two people are organizing the event, you'll need some permanent, ideally public place to have online conversations about planning. For BarCamp Vancouver, we used a public Google Group.
You should be able to borrow projectors from participants. They're expensive to rent.
We served pizza because it was fast, easy and delivered. Mind you, I can't remember if pizza delivery exists as a service in Dublin.
Put something clever on the front of the t-shirts, and the sponsor logos on the back. Gathering sponsor logos can be a pain, but they appreciate it as a persistent, tangible benefit.
Let people vote on the t-shirt colour. It sounds trivial, but people care more than you think. If you run a survey where people can vote, you can blame the wisdom of crowds when people complain about the