How can I organize my own BaconCamp?

It’s one of the most common questions that we get: how do I start my own Bacon Camp? Well, we’re going to try to assemble some simple answers.

So, a couple things to remember:

Failure is an option — albeit an unlikely one. It’s important to embrace this; if you accept that you’re participating in a big experiment, the pressure will lessen and you’ll enjoy planning your event!
The less planning you do, oftentimes the better the event is.

Distribute as much ownership of the event as possible. While central planners and catalyzers are necessary to push things forward, the more people you can spread the responsibility to, the better — for you, for the event and for the other participants! Delegate, delegate, delegate!

To get started, here’s what you need to do:

Find a venue. Definitely the hardest part of the process. Venue donations are ideal! Since we’re talking food, its even better to find a venue that will allow the heating (or cooling as the case may be) of bacon dishes. Restaurants can be a bit leery about this so make sure you tell them people will be bringing dishes to the event, make sure they aren’t bad. Nobody likes a surprise.

Pick a date. Once you’ve got a place picked out, figure out when you want your event to happen. We’ve tended to try to hold BaconCamps simultaneous with other events to mix up the attendee pool — since you’ll draw from both local and out-of-towners. What’s most important is that it’s convenient for you and works for your community.

Communicate. Blog, Email, Twitter, wiki, use Upcoming and document everything! Seriously, the more transparent and communicative you are about your BaconCamp, the more successful you’ll be.

Say what you need. Participants can be helpful and giving — but if they don’t KNOW that you need a few extra dollars to cover t-shirts, cups/plates/utensils, whatever, then they can’t step up to the plate and help. Remember: everyone participates. So, give everyone the information they need to be able to participate! Tell them to bring ingredients, bacon, bacon grease, whatever.

The rest you make up yourself. It’s not meant to be complicated, so if you find yourself stressing, step back, realize that you’re doing it for you and your community and that it’s supposed to be fun! Stress probably means you’re overthinking it and need to simplify.