Frequently Asked Questions
DaVinci’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…
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.
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.
In the rooms you’ll find Birds of a 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 Gamer’s area. No sales pitches allowed in sessions— just sharing of information. Here’s a great video that highlights the kinds of things you’ll get to experience at DaVinci’s Faire.
Where is the List of Topics and Speakers?
In short, there isn’t one… yet. Because we encourage all our attendees to share, we post profiles and topics from people who are planning on coming to speak. We also have profiles from people who have spoken before so you can personally get inspired. However, nobody will know what the full speaking schedule is going to be until the day of the event. That’s the thing that’s special about the BarCamp format. 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.
Can I speak?
Of course! The topics for the conference depend on you. If you have anything you’d like to share, sign up to speak at the event. 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.
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, where 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?
The 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.
You may want to bring an adaptor depending on what type of machine you have. We will have some roaming technical volunteers who can assist with connecting the projectors, electricity, or any other technical needs.
Can I get a table to show off my cool inventions and stuff?
Absolutely! When you register, simply choose the Maker/Inventor/Science/Engineer – Reserve Table option. It’s $10 to reserve a table (no cost if you’re a high-school robotics team). Be mindful that the tables are about teaching, not about selling. You may have product information available – but the focus here is enlightenment, and not about your sales cycle. Make it fun and interesting, ideally for all ages, and you’re welcome to show off a little 🙂 When you get a table – be sure to plan on taking a speaking slot and giving more information about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how it works.
DaVinci’s Faire will provide lunch free of charge on the day of the event. Bottled water and coffee are also available at the conference location. You are welcome to bring a bagged lunch with you if you prefer.
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.