Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s everything we can think of that you might want to know about ORD Camp:

Pre-Camp coordination

You asked for more ways to coordinate before showing up for ORD Camp, and we delivered!
Use Slack and visit/edit the Pre-Camp Coordination Page for all your scheming needs.


  • What should I bring?
    • Demos, slides and talks that can teach, inspire, and expand the horizons of your fellow attendees
    • (Optional) Camera, for memories of the event
    • (Optional) Musical instrument for impromptu jam sessions
    • (Optional) Things for people to try, play with, or taste
    • (Extremely optional) Wireless-enabled laptop, useful for hacking stuff, demoing your projects, etc.
  • Connectivity?
    • Wireless Internet will be available

Travel and Accommodations

  • I’m from out of town, where should I stay?
  • When should I arrive at ORD Camp?
    • Sometime between 2:00 and 4:00PM on Friday, January 24th. That will give you time to register, settle in, and have a tasty beverage before ORD Camp officially kicks off. 
    • When should I book my return flight?
      • The second day of ORD Camp goes pretty late, typically ending around 5am or 6am (No, really!), so we recommend booking a flight for later on Sunday, after you’ve gotten some rest. Some die-hard campers even stay at camp til the wee hours and then head straight to the airport (!!!)

Getting There

  • Where is ORD Camp?
    • ORD Camp is being held at Google’s offices in Chicago, 320 North Morgan St. Enter the lobby and follow the directions. Here’s a map.
  • How do I get to ORD Camp?
    • You can drive, taxi, Uber, or take the CTA Green Line to the Morgan stop.
  • If I drive, where do I park?
    • Parking near the new Google office is nothing short of abysmal. There’s parking in the building (entrance on the North side), but it’s rather pricey, so you might want to see if SpotHero can get you a deal.


  • What’s the deal with presenting? What’s expected of me?
    • This is not a traditional conference with a distinction between prepared speakers and audience. Instead, everybody’s expected to participate and contribute something interesting, whether through leading a session or contributing your insights to various sessions. Given our limited time together, it’s unlikely that everybody will have a chance to present, but at the very least, you should have something in mind to talk about.
  • What are some examples of presentation or discussion topics?
    • How you reverse-engineered hardware / software to do something interesting
    • Tell us all about your obscure hobby
    • Demonstrate your techniques with horseback archery (Sorry, no horses allowed at ORD Camp)
    • Behind the scenes of your Web startup
    • Start an interesting debate about deep issues
  • When do I need to let you know what I’m talking about?
    • On the first day of ORD Camp, we’ll have big agenda boards where you’ll be able to reserve a time slot and write down your topic.
  • Should I bring toys?
    • Yes! Robots, hacked Wii remotes, your crazy inventions — bring anything fun that people would find interesting.
  • What about musical instruments?
    • Yes!  We have a piano and we’ve already got a guitar and a banjo coming, and hopefully more.  Impromptu jams usually start late in the evening after dinner.
  • Do I need slides?
    • Nope, in fact, most ORD Camp talks don’t use slides. Also, we don’t expect to have a projector in every presenting area. Be prepared to present without a projector.



  • Can I bring my friend/significant other/soulmate/obscure relative?
    • Sorry, but ORD Camp is open to invitees only.



  • Where will I eat?
    • Thanks to our sponsors, we’ll be providing all meals!
      • Friday: Afternoon snack, dinner, midnight snack
      • Saturday: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, midnight snack
  • Will there be vegetarian, vegan, meatatarian food?
    • Yes


Playing well with others

  • Does ORD Camp have a Code of Conduct?
    • Yep. And it’s right here.
  • Can I pitch my startup to other attendees?
    • Nope. While a lot of attendees are involved in startups, ORD Camp is designed to be a safe place for attendees to share ideas, not a place for you to pitch your startup or find your next investor. Pitches are not allowed at ORD Camp.
  • Do I have to sign an NDA or anything? How do I know people won’t tweet everything I say?
    • ORD Camp operates under a frieNDA.ORD Camp tends to be a mixture of public knowledge (here’s what we’re up to, here’s a fact about X that you probably didn’t already know) and private conversations (we tried X and it didn’t work, we’re going to compete against Y by doing Z). Be aware of this and confirm the status of any information before you blog or write up something you heard.We don’t have a strict policy about blogging but we do expect that if someone tells you something in confidence, that you will respect that confidence as if it were told to you under NDA. We call this frieNDA. Much of the free interchange that happens at ORD Camp comes from people’s confidence that they can tell each other things off the record. Please respect any request for privacy.We’d rather not have the sessions recorded or live-blogged. We’re hoping to encourage spontaneous conversation, and the idea that someone is recording can act as an inhibitor to that spontaneity. If you want to do a detailed writeup on a presentation you attended, it’s probably a good idea to check with the presenter, or in the case of a discussion, the participants. That being said, many sessions benefit from someone taking notes and putting up the results on the wiki. So the point is really just to use discretion. There’s a big difference between recording what went on for the benefit of the participants, and turning your experience into a media event. We’d prefer that you write about ORD Camp as a participant, not a reporter, and focus on your own experience of the weekend.[Ruthlessly cribbed from Foo Camp’s OTR policy]
  • Can I smoke at ORD Camp?
    • Smoking is allowed outside (brr).
  • Are you a Werewolf?
    • No, I’m just a lowly villager