BarCamp ASEAN and Our Journey to 10,000 Participants

2018 was a special year for Barcamp Cambodia, especially Barcamp ASEAN. It is the year where we celebrate our 10 years anniversary, but more than that, it is the year that Barcamp Cambodia has finally achieved the unthinkable: topping the world as The Biggest Barcamp ever. With more than 10,000 participants, Barcamp ASEAN has surpassed Barcamp Yangon who has held the helm since 2013. From the most loved tech & startup event in Cambodia, to taking on the region and the world, it has been an incredible journey. Today, let us revisit Barcamp ASEAN from our earlier day until now.

So how it begin?

It’s all started in 2008 when two young aspiring Cambodians sought to expand the technology landscape and perspectives in the nation. The first Barcamp Phnom Penh was held on 20 September 2008 at CJCC with 300 attendees. Many amazing geeks and tech lovers come and share about stuff like blogging, email management (yes, coz email was a thing), some new platforms such as Twitter… (“bring back memories” ~ said writer).

Barcamp Phnom Penh went on to conduct the event annually until 2012 when we decided to start doing more of Barcamp in Cambodia. Barcamp Angkor became our first Barcamp outside of Phnom Penh. At that moment, the team decides to form the current Barcamp Cambodia team to continue spread Barcamp to more provinces in Cambodia. 7 years later, Barcamp Cambodia has covered more than 10 provinces across the kingdom such as Battambang, Banteay Meanchhey, Kampong Cham, Rattankiri and many more.

So…. what is Barcamp?

In 2016, the team aspired to bring together BarCamp organizers, Technology Professionals and Tech Startups in ASEAN countries to share and showcase their new Tech and Innovations in Phnom Penh city, Cambodia. Hence, Barcamp Phnom Penh transformed into Barcamp ASEAN. The event was held at Norton University on 4-6th November 2016 under the theme “Growing Technology Together”.

During this 3-day event, 100 speakers, 100 topics, 60 Fedora & Redhat community members from around the globe, 10 angel investors, 50 exhibition booths came together in this user-generated “un-conference” to bring an immersive, collaborative and dynamic atmosphere for Cambodia tech and startup lovers and gurus.

The Biggest BarCamp in the world

Last year, Barcamp ASEAN 2018 was held on 20-21 October at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (also known as Sala Techno), under the honor of H.E Dr. Kan Channmeta, Secretary of States of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications . Over the two days of event, over 10,000 participants, 60 exhibitors, over 95 speakers on 85 topics and 1,000 companies and organizations came together to share, discuss and learn from each other on wide varieties of topics under the theme of “Powering Your Future”. The event is supported by both the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the Ministry of Educations, Youth and Sports, as well as the Institute of Technology of Cambodia. Last year, our biggest parnter is SMART ATAXIA, EZECOMS, Sabay, TOTAL, Koompi, Khmerload, Kouprey, NIPTICT, Open Institute, Emerald Hub, PassApps, Bookmebus and many more. The event is also joined by communities of content creator which sparks the venue ignite with cheers and delight the event-goers with inspirations and determinations.

Another big highlight of the event is the launching of Koompi computer, the kingdom first laptop brand, and their operating system, Kramar OS. This historic event attracted 2,000 Cambodian tech enthusiastics and aspiring youngsters, who came to show supports and to witness the unveiling of Koompi laptop by Mr. Thul Rithy. The team hopes that this amazing atmosphere will inspire Cambodian next generations to aim higher in the global stage and discover many more breakthroughs for both the country and region.

Each year, the organizing team always try to introduce more programs and agendas to the event. In addition to our cornerstone agenda, the breakout sessions which is famed for hosting up to 100 topics over 2 days, the team also work to invite young students and innovators to showcase their projects. Dubbed as “student showcase”, this program is met by many positive reactions from participants. We are happy to see Cambodian students having the opportunity to present their achievements and would love to continue providing this supports for many more years to come.

We are also forever thankful for the community of speakers who always support the culture of free sharing and participate in our event to share their knowledge and inspirations to our next generation. Over the years, we are lucky to receive over 1,000 speakers who bring about 1,500 topics to our event.

Apart from these, attendees also can enjoy the exhibition spaces, where they will find booths with interesting products and services. This is also a space where they can interact with one another, producing the exciting feeling of community and unity. Cambodia is blessed with many young people who always want to discover new things and learn about the world around them. BarCamp Cambodia determines to continue building platform whereby we connects our future generations to the next possibilities.

Together Toward Digital Future

These wouldn’t be possible without the passion of our team – who are the heart and soul of BarCamp Cambodia. Even though they come from different background, Barcamp Cambodia team share the same value and passion that drives them to design, gather and connect individuals, teams and organization in the Tech & Startup community. The 40-strong team consists of both the Organizers and Volunteers from all walk of lives. The team hopes to continue improving the events from year to year, and set out to make 2019 another year of success.