August 2019 Update

Published on August 13, 2019 by William Riley

Hello everybody!

Welcome to the next phase of BarCamp Omaha. My name is William M. Riley, and if you haven't heard of me, I adore this event and I'm going to work my butt off to make BarCamp thrive for our community at an exhausting time when America needs these kind of events more than ever.

As this is our first update, I'm going to cover a lot of ground here. I'll go over where we're at on BarCamp Omaha, what I'm trying to do to keep BarCamp Omaha going for future events, and what BarCamp Events is going to become, and how we're going to take advantage of Open Collective.

BarCamp Omaha

I want to lead this post with thank you all for the patience as things have shaken out. We first learned that BarCamp Omaha wasn't going to happen about a month ago today. Here's a high level on where we're at.

  1. Tickets are on sale for BarCamp Omaha on November 9th!
  2. Bones Co are doing the design for BarCamp Omaha 2019!
  3. As of today, nearly all BarCamp Omaha material has been transferred over. (Twitter, the domain, some of the sites, with the Facebook and Flywheel sites to come!)
  4. Sponsorship emails will be sent over once we have design, which is coming at the end of August.
  5. BarCamp Events and BarCamp Omaha are different entities - this is for admin and to keep BarCamp Omaha happening every year. I am aiming to establish BarCamp Events as a 501(c)(3) before the next event. First, I want to put on BarCamp Omaha, successfully, first.
  6. BarCamp Events is not just a 501(c)(3), but also a site/app. It's in design right now. Here's a sneak peek of the app:

Here's a general timeline of what happened between then and now.

July 11th Cara mentioned on Twitter that there was no announced BarCamp. I start asking around to figure out what happened to the event. As any web person does, I start searching for a good alternative domain to

July 12th In a Slack, some Omaha friends - notably Cara - started "Friendcamp" to try to put something together by the end of the year. I asked if it would be okay if I tried to put it all together.

July 13th While continuing to find alternative domains, I purchase and make similar social platform channels after trying to figure out the best new name for the event that would help us keep the "BarCamp Omaha" name. Cara set up a slack team for Friendcamp, and I start meeting with folks. I tweet out that I'm going to do my best to make something happen by the end of the year

July 14th Lots of brainstorming and organization and emails, and then that evening after work I DM Brandon Herbel (@allworknosleep on Twitter) to see if he and his wife Missy (who just started a design company - you should hire them! would like to do the design for BarCamp Omaha 2019. They accept, and I shoot them a down payment.

July 19th The President of AIGA Nebraska (Katie Krcmarik, who is amazing!) reaches out to say that the board voted to hand off BarCamp Omaha to me. 😱We get the process of signing and handing off everything to myself.

July 22nd We correspond that we'll host at Kaneko, with contract to come.

July 23rd Tickets for BarCamp Omaha 2019 go on sale!

July 29th I begin talking to a lawyer about the best ways to keep BarCamp Omaha alive and do taxes appropriately. More to come on that front. We establish this Open Collective (after about a week and a half or both trying to find a fiscal sponsor as well a lot of research on whether or not this we right for us. Spoiler alert: it is) so we can start collecting sponsorship funds!

July 30th I begin designing BarCamp Events in Figma. View the progress in Figma! Bear in mind: these are very high level at this point. I'm using a UI kit called Platforma that I bought a while back for my personal work.

Some small/miscellaneous "under the hood" type updates until...

August 12th Nearly all BarCamp Omaha material has been passed off to me. Hurray! 🎉

As of today, we've sold 14 tickets!

What to expect for August and September

In no particular order:

  • We'll kick off sponsorship emails over the next week.
  • By the end of August, we'll have design and...
  • a site at, at least by mid-september.
  • We'll pay off the Kaneko expense!
  • We'll send out a volunteer form!
  • We'll send our sponsors their free tickets!
  • I know what you may be thinking - I bought a ticket AND I'm a sponsor, or I can't attend, but I sponsored! We can figure something out, and/or I can work with you to give away your tickets to folks who wouldn't otherwise attend the event. I'll create a ticket code for you specifically so you can do whatever you want!
  • I might have design for the BarCamp Events site and app completed by mid september, just in time for our next open collective update!
  • More messaging and organization. I have my job cut out for me - we have people in the community who believe BarCamp is a Design event. Also, a developer event. I want people from all walks of life to attend - as long as they are diverse, inclusive, positive, open, and non-toxic folk. Our CoC is going to be designed around this. Speaking of which...
  • We'll have a CoC, published and available by mid-september.

Thank you's

This month could not have been possible if not for our amazing sponsors, and the amazing community we have here in Omaha.

First, I want to thank AIGA Nebraska and the current board members, as well as the past board members for all the hard work they have put into BarCamp Omaha. Thank you for believing in me to continue on the legacy of building our community. Thank you specifically to Katie Krcmarik and John Gawley for everything they have done to make this possible.

Second, I want to thank Cara, Holly, Shannon, Andrew, Courtney, Sumeet, Beth, Brendan, Rebecca, Matt, Lauren, Corey, Naomi, Molly, John, Adam and Micah for being unimaginably supportive folks in helping scrap this event together. I want everyone in our community to celebrate you - thank you for making this event happen. If you would like your last name mentioned, let me know and I will edit!

Third, thank you to Tia and Molly at KANEKO for giving us a gracious discount on a venue that is aa genuine staple for BarCamp Omaha's life.

Fourth, thank you to Brandon and Missy from The Bones for doing the design this year. You're amazing folks.

Finally, a massive 🙏 thank you 🙏 to our first round of sponsors: Gabe Kangas, John Henry Müller and Beth and Sumeet who are all Silver Sponsors. Josh Collinsworth and Cassey Lottman who are both Bronze Sponsors. And our recurring level Carbon Sponsors: Jen Homann, Skid Vis, and John Hobbs.

And thank you to everyone reading this!

I hope you have a great month, and I can't wait to see you share your passion!


ps. I hope this format works! Feel free to leave feedback.