BarCamp Manchester 2015 – Share your passions

Update: 30 September 2015

Our roundup of blogs and resources coming out of this year’s Manchester Barcamp:

If this has piqued your interest, find out how to run your own BarCamp.


BarCamp Manchester is an annual 2 day tech unconference. While attendees predominantly hail from the tech sector, our topics also often cover all STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), and much much more!

The unconference can be quite a difficult concept to grasp if you’ve never been to one before, so let me explain how it works. Imagine your average technology or business conference, you spend around £100 on a ticket, and the organisers schedule speakers who they think have something interesting to say for you to come and listen to. But what if it turns out that what the speaker has to say isn’t all that interesting?

What sometimes happens at organised conferences is that you end up having more interesting conversations with other attendees, and this became known as the lobby track. Sometimes it’s the people who attend conferences who have the most important things to say, and having a more informal setting, means that instead of being talked at, you are engaged in more of a discussion.

So here’s where the BarCamp is different. Instead of paying £100 for a ticket, you pay nothing, and instead of having a number of scheduled speakers, you have none! At a BarCamp, the attendees become the speakers, and there are lots of opportunities to step up. Anyone who comes can speak about anything they feel passionate about. You can prepare a formal talk, a workshop, a discussion, a debate or even a demonstration, and the topics that can be presented at a BarCamp are endless!

The other big aspect of the BarCamp is the fun factor! While being less strict on what topics can be covered, there are all sorts of new and interesting things you can discover at a BarCamp. We’re big on pushing the community aspect too, so all BarCamps are free to attend, with costs covered by sponsorship from companies who want to support the community and get more involved, and we have plenty of cool SWAG for you to take home too!

So if you’re still not sure if a BarCamp is for you, I’ll tell you a secret, BarCamps are for EVERYONE! If you have passion, a thirst for knowledge and a desire to get involved then the BarCamp is the perfect place for you.

BarCamp Manchester 6 will be held on the 26th and 27th September 2015 at the Auto Trader Offices on First Street in Manchester, and will be sponsored by Layershift,, Capgemini, Cyntech Components & Fedora. If you would like to join us, please grab your free ticket from Fatsoma now!

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Why are you networking?

Why are you networking?

Do you go networking for sales opportunities, or are you ready to listen to people you meet on and offline?

Networking isn’t just face-to-face it’s online, email, dm’s and so much more. Ever since we developed ways to communicate we’ve networked, word of mouth is never going to be surpassed and never going to be put in a book or blog so that you can understand it either. Like many things in life we learn from experience.

So when do you know it’s beneficial and adding value?

It would be so easy to go along to an event expecting to get at least ten business cards and give out twenty or more. Is that really effective though? I’ve seen so many card dealers at network events and they’re always the people who work 24/7 and give 150% but don’t have time to enter the business details into a useable database or similar.

So rather than collect cards that really just go in the recycling bin we should have one thing in mind, to meet people [usually like minded] and listen to them. If you take this attitude then you will get a chance to tell people who you are and what you do too – show you care and they’ll show you they do too. Meeting people who are like-minded helps so much, why collect cards of people you have nothing in common with?

Remember; networking is about being you, but it’s not about you.

You don’t have to lie; you can be happy and can express your feelings about what you do both at work and at home. I don’t like meeting people who just work, as they don’t usually have a life or feel like they are alive but just working to get money to stop working. Much better are those who sing and dance and are animated and excited when talking about what they do.

Don’t worry you don’t have to be a performer, you just have to be you it’s the one thing nobody else can be both online and offline. I learned this from my favourite business coach Dr Seuss, you’ll get the best quotes from his books and have more fun and find things that you want to share in all his books.

Being you means you are far more likely to be remembered, trusted and talked about when someone mentions something that you’ve talked about. We share things about people we know, like and trust it’s not rocket science it natural human behaviour.

So be like you are at home, in the coffee shop or the boardroom – be someone who likes to listen and help people they meet. One thing we don’t know is the person we are going to meet next; as long as we listened to the people we have met we can share information with the new person.

There are no short cuts to building relationships and being part of a community. If it’s natural it lasts a lifetime and takes you to places you never thought of.

That for me is why I go networking on and offline.

Why not leave a comment about your networking experiences below?