Barcamp NZ renamed to Gather, to be held June 30

Auckland's answer to Webstock gets a rebranding, as well as confirming dates

Barcamp New Zealand, the popular Auckland-based conference for creatives and technologists, has been renamed to Gather.

Organiser Ludwig Wendzich revealed the name change on Twitter this morning, along with announcing that it will be held at Botany Downs Secondary College on June 30.

Barcamp is a loosely associated network of international conferences, with a focus on attendee-generated content. Wendzich organised his first Barcamp NZ in 2007, when he was 16. Last year's event had around 300 attendees, with a further 50 people having to be turned away due to capacity.

Wendzich, who is now a web designer for Lee Ter Wal, told Computerworld the name Gather fits better with the atmosphere of the event, which has a much more Kiwi-feel than its overseas counterparts.

“This new name is a better representation of what happens during the day with people with fascinating interests gathering and sharing them with others,” says Wendzich.

He adds that the name previous named confused attendees of the event who weren’t familiar with the overseas versions. Being 16 at the time he organised his first Barcamp, he couldn’t get alcohol for the event and says the sleeping over aspect was pretty much out of the question.

Wendzich says Gather will keep its Barcamp-style unconference format, where attendees of the event prepare and present content on the day. Between now and June 30 attendees will submit and request topics to be covered on the day. In past events the topics have ranged from opensource information technology used in the health-sector to the history of music album covers.

This year will be the first time the event will charge attendees. Delegates can choose to pay $15, $30, or $50 - depending on their own personal financial situations.

“It’s all about economics. We have some terrific sponsors, but to keep this event going in the future it needs to be sustainable,” says Wendzich.

Wendzich says responses for this year the event have surpassed his expectations. There are only 275 available spaces, which he expects to be sold out by the end of the early bird period on May 23.

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