I’m spending the last two weekends in October Camping. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
No, this isn’t the pitch-a-tent, build-a-fire, roast-some-marshmallows kind of camping. (Although smores do sound pretty yummy right now.)
It’s BarCamping. And PodCamping.
I’ll start my adventure by attending BarCamp Nashville 2012 on Oct. 20. Then I’ll trek up to my homeland to attend PodCamp Pittsburgh 7 on Oct. 27 (and the meet-and-greet on Oct. 26), where I’ll also be presenting a session.
So, why am I devoting so much of my life this month to these Camps? Lots of reasons.
The diversity. Appropriately named, BarCamp Nashville (BCN) is held, yes, in a bar. The atmosphere is very casual and conversation, even with fellow attendees you don’t know, is very easy. PodCamp Pittsburgh (PCPGH) is held in a more academic setting, better suited for taking notes and doing some serious learning. But it’s definitely not all serious. The two events, while in the same Camp family, are very different.
The people. Quite simply, the Pittsburgh social media community is unlike any other. They welcomed me with open arms back when I attended my first PCPGH back in 2008. It was their enthusiasm that caused me to get involved on the planning crew in 2009 and still maintain a presence even after I moved to Nashville in 2010. Now that I’m involved with the PodCamp and BarCamp teams in Nashville, I’ve learned that they’re just as welcoming. And they’re a great team to work with.
The education. BCN is directed more toward programmers and developers, of which I am neither. But I’m attending anyway, because there are sessions that I suspect I’ll learn a lot from, even though I’m fairly certain I won’t understand everything being said. And that’s totally fine. I’m also looking forward to meeting people that I haven’t met through other networking events in Nashville. PodCamps are geared more toward online content creators, which is more up my alley. PCPGH is operating with the theme this year of “Building Your Digital Toolbox.” There will be attendees at all levels of content creation, from newbie to experienced vet. And I can learn equally from both.
The networking. No other way to put it – it’s fantastic at both events. BCN lends itself to networking throughout the day. (The bar may have a little bit of something to do with that.) And in Pittsburgh, with literally hundreds of attendees, it’s easy to get caught up in a conversation and totally miss a session.
The after parties. The fun doesn’t stop at either Camp after the day is technically over. Rumor has it that there may be karaoke involved at BCN’s after party this year. And I’m looking forward to (or dreading, depending on how you look at it) the 6-4-9 tradition in Pittsburgh.
They’re fun. They’re educational. They’re full of fabulous people worth talking to. And both events are free.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
So, that’s why I’m Camping. And you should too.