SpaceUp San Diego is an unconference, also known as a user-generated conference or a BarCamp. There are no spectators at SpaceUp, only participants. Everyone gives a demo or a talk, or participates on a panel or in a roundtable discussion. Sessions are proposed and scheduled the same day they’re given.

It’s not as scary as it might sound, though. Sessions at SpaceUp are conversations, just like every conversation you’ve had (or wanted to have) at any other conference. The only difference is that the sessions are planned on the spot, which means we’re sure to be talking about topics we find interesting.

For more information on how SpaceUp works in general, see the How It Works page.


11:00 Check In
11:30 Opening Session
12:00 LUNCH and Session Grid
1:30 Sessions
3:00 BREAK
3:30 Sessions
5:00 Closing Session
6:00 Party Starts!
7:00 T minus 5 Talks
8:00 More T minus 5 Talks


9:00 Breakfast (and Sunday Check-in)
9:30 Opening Session
10:00 Session Grid
10:30 Sessions
12:00 LUNCH
1:30 Sessions
3:00 BREAK
3:30 Sessions
4:30 Closing Session

Check-In and Introductions

Checking in and getting your badge only takes a moment, but be sure to get to SpaceUp in time for the opening session. That’s where everyone in attendance will introduce themselves, so you can keep an ear open for people who share your interests. (You’ll probably hear some names you’ve only seen online, too.)


Sessions at SpaceUp are proposed and listed on a big board called the session grid. It starts out empty, with a spot for each room during each session time. Proposing a session is as simple as writing the name (and yours) on a sticky note and putting it in your preferred time slot and room. Presentations, demos, discussions, and panels are all handled the same way.

There will be at least one session by San Diego organizers about SpaceUp itself, to talk about what we did well and what we can do better. Watch for it on Sunday afternoon.

There will also be a session for the official Moonpie Eating Contest. Oh yes.

The Law Of Two Feet

We can’t emphasize this enough:

If you find yourself neither contributing nor learning, it’s your responsibility to get up and find (or create) a place where you can contribute or learn.

If no one is asking the question you want answered, propose it as a roundtable discussion. If no one is talking about your interest in parametric models of rocket nozzle design, start a session and see who attends. If all else fails, go get a snack and listen in on the conversations there.

Party and T minus 5 Talks

If you’re itching to give a presentation with slides, we have a place just for you: the T minus 5 talks. T minus 5 talks are in the Ignite format: you get 5 minutes to talk, with 20 slides that rotate automatically every 15 seconds.

We’ll hold blocks of T minus 5 talks during the party on Saturday night, which is tentatively scheduled for 6:00pm to 10:00pm. These are the only talks that will be scheduled beforehand. For more details and how to register your talk, see the T minus 5 talks page.

For inspiration, see Andy Cochrane’s excellent talk from the first SpaceUp, or another about how to give an Ignite-format talk.

60 Seconds to Land

If you want to take part in a SpaceUp and you can’t be there in person, SpaceUp Stuttgart had a great idea for how to contribute: Send a one-minute video of yourself that they can play to the assembled crowd, just like a mini T-5 talk. Each SpaceUp gets to decide if and when they want to show your video – maybe during the opening session, maybe in with the other T-5 talks – but many of them are more than willing! See @60secondstoland on Twitter for examples.