BarCamp is an international network of user-generated unconferences primarily focused around technology and the web. They are open, participatory workshop-events, the content of which is provided by participants.
The name BarCamp is a playful allusion to the event's origins, with reference to the programmer slang term, foobar: BarCamp arose as an open-to-the-public alternative to Foo Camp, which is an annual invitation-only participant-driven conference.
Initially, BarCamps focused on early-stage web applications, and were related to open source technologies, social software, and open data formats. The format has also been used for a variety of other topics, including public transit, health care, education, and political organizing. The BarCamp format has also been adapted for specific industries like banking, real estate and social media.
The first BarCamp was held in Palo Alto, California, from August 19–21, 2005, in the offices of Socialtext. It was organized in less than one week, from concept to event, with 200 attendees. Since then, BarCamps have been held in over 350 cities around the world, in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Australasia and Asia. Attendees have often travelled internationally to attend BarCamps.