Archive for June, 2008

How to organize a BarCampBank?

Since the first BarCampBank in Sept. 2006 in Paris, BarCampBanks have been springing up everywhere as William Azaroff noted on NetBanker. With such a number of BarCampBanks currently scheduled or being planned, it made me think that we could use some sort of “How To” guide for anyone interested in getting the ball rolling in their city. I decided to throw a shot and put down on blog a couple of ideas and tips. This only represents a personal view and need to be elaborated. Please, anyone build on this and create your own version.

Rules?

  1. What is a BarCampBank?: this is a BarCamp where people gather around the mission of “fostering innovations and the creation of new business models in the world of banking and finance“. This means that people will be enjoying the power of the unconference format with the expectation of finding like-minded people interested in innovation in banking and finance.
  2. Should it be free?: the goal of a BarCampBank is to attract very motivated people. A fee should not be a barrier to get interested and interesting people in the room. But we know that having people pay a small fee shows commitment in participating and helps planners arrange for logistics. My view is that a fee of the order of a good meal at a near-by restaurant could serve as a landmark. We should try to get sponsors to cover most of the expense and let costs be supported by the fee only for essential things (which means that we should definitely get a sponsor for the room)
  3. Should I use the BarCampBank logo?: my view is that we should benefit from having some sort of visual link. While I think it is great that logos reflect as much “localness” as possible, it would be great to keep a central recurrent theme. The BarCamp’s logo with the piggy could serve this purpose at this time.

How to get started

  1.  create a page on BarCamp’s wiki with the naming convention BarCampBankMyCity and possibly a number if this is not the first one in your city
  2. start filling out the page, using possibly content taken from http://barcamp.org/BarCampBankTemplate
  3. register on http://barcamp.org/BarCampBank under the “Getting planned” section
  4. broadcast the news to see if it gets momentum
  5. if you get enough interest, set a date (having a firm agreement for a venue usually helps in the choice of the date)
  6. move on http://barcamp.org/BarCampBank to the “Firm” section
  7. open up registrations. This can be done directly on the wiki, but – because of regular defacements on BarCamp’s wiki – I would recommend using a tool like EventBrite or equivalent to keep a clean list. You’ll need this tool anyway if you are planning to ask for a small fee.
  8. broadcast even wider when date and venue are set. You can use the different BarCampBank groups on Google, FaceBook,.. to make your BarCampBank known.*

OK, now if you are playing with the idea of organizing a local BarCampBank, hopefully this will help you get going. There’s only one thing to remember: you’ll never know if this is going to work if you do not give it a shot!

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Join us for BarCampBankLondon on July 5th

This is going to be quite a fastuous Summer for BarCampBank this year with no less than 4 events happening across the globe: BarCampBankDallas, BarCampBankLondon, BarCampBankMadison and BarCampBank Vancouver are the 4 BarCampBanks on firm dates.

I’m personnaly involved in the organization of the only European BarCampBank in this series: BarCampBankLondon. Antony Evans and Thomas Barker have done a wonderful job making this first UK BarCampBank a reality and I’m excited and honored being part of their team. While I wish I could have intended every single BarCampBank on earth, I must admit that being 2 hours away from London makes this most convenient. With the commendable determination of attending every BarCampBanks in the US (and Canada..), Morriss Partee will thus surely hold very soon the record of participation to BarCampBanks. We should all applaude his stamina. I’m nonetheless equally happy that London has now joined the club and offers a valuable opportunity for European fi-startups to gather and show the vibrance of entrepreneurship in this sector.

I hope meeting a lot of you there. Resgistrations happen on http://bcblondon.eventbrite.com/. Thank you for all your help in broadcasting this event and making it an absolute success for innovation in financial services.