With barcamp, the dominant opinion holds that you pay admission
through your participation -- doing a talk or volunteering. However,
that policy is not universally followed. For example, from
"Consider charging a nominal fee such as $10 at sign up. In exchange
you can give away the t-shirts to attendees. Many people signed up who
did not show up."
At our Colorado events, we experienced some attrition, but it didn't
detract significantly from either event. So I'm personally not so
worried about no-shows. We get fresh people showing up who never
However, at our org meeting some made the argument that attendees will
value the event more if they have to pay. I countered that if people
pay, they won't feel any obligation to do a talk themselves. Indeed,
they earn the right to complain.
As with the t-shirt issue, I'd encourage organizers to experiment.
Just be sure to set expectations of the attendees so that they're not
surprised and annoyed on the day of the event by whatever policy
Note that some venues will prohibit you from charging for admission,
such as libraries. That could even include the ruse of 'suggested