BsidesLondon part Deux
Another year and another bsides. This year I was lucky enough to attend bsideslondon, however this time I wanted to see bsides from a different point of view. I had already seen it from the attendee’s point of view but wanted to see how much hard work and effort went into the day so I contacted geekchick aka Iggy and put my name forward to help out.
I turned up on the day around 9am as I had to visit a client site before hand. I gave my ticket in and got my green arm pass. I then asked if Iggy was about as I offered to volunteer I was quickly pointed to her as she was dashing about trying to get things sorted. I asked her how I could help and was told to get a crew top and speak to someone else, which was pretty crazy as everyone was dashing about and I was looking for someone that I had never met. But the great thing about the bsides crew is that everyone is really friendly and in a few minutes I had found the person that I needed to speak to. He asked if I could help fill the swag bags as they were a bit behind with, so I jumped to it. This took about 20 minutes to complete, as there were four or five people all mucking in to get the job done.
Once I finished I went downstairs to see what else I could do and was asked to give Mark a hand, who again was really friendly and helpful, since this was my first time as a crew member I didn’t have clue what was expected or what I really had to do. We put some signs up and just make sure the three rooms on the ground floor were all ready for the event, nothing too complicated but it had to be done. He then asked if I could just hang about as people had started to enter the event and just point people in the right direction. Which was again pretty easy but again vital to the running of the day as many people asked me for help so I felt I was filling a small but an important role in a much bigger picture. Throughout the day I had the chance to see some of the talks and talk to a lot of different people and catch up with a few friends too. Throughout the day I had to tidy up and put rubbish in the bins but again this was a team effort it would have been very easy for the crew members to make all the new members clean up but they don’t, everything is a real team effort and an enjoyable one. You are treated like you are part of big family having a joke with others and there no real hierarchy structure, it’s all about getting the job done and being involved which makes it all really fun.
After the event you have to get the bin bags out again and tidy up and pack up the event but everyone gets involved. We finished around 7.30ish which makes the day pretty long but really worth it.
I think if you are shy and find it hard to speak to people at events you should really get involved in being part of the team, which was a really awesome experience. I managed to see how much work really goes into the event from the crew but have a better understanding of how much work the directors of Bside London put in throughout the year. I was so impressed with how much work is actually involved that I approached Paul who is running things now, Iggy and someone else asking if I could be move involved with things. I gave them my contact details and I hope that they haven’t lost them as I really enjoyed the experience and cannot wait to get involved in more events.