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Of BaconBar and Fire Safety

Of BaconBar and Fire Safety

For several years CodeMash has had a unique snack event called the BaconBar. This was a cool thing where we would have a buffet of bacon, and various bacon toppings. Toppings such as whip cream, caramel, pretzels, etc. We would have two or three bars, and open them up in secret places, at a secret time Friday afternoon to give people that final boost they needed to finish CodeMash strong. It truly was as awesome as it sounds.

To get to the point, CodeMash will no longer have a BaconBar. It just isn’t sustainable anymore for a variety reasons. What reasons? Just reasons.

Ok, that’s probably not good enough explanation, so I’ll list the ways.

1. It was too expensive. We spent about $40,000 to host the BaconBar. That is two six feet talk pallets of bacon. Such a sight is glorious, but too expensive for us. CodeMash is non-profit, and run by all unpaid volunteers. Our goal is to also offer an affordable and accessible conference. This was just too much of our $950,000 budget. We needed the cash to offer other features, like more speakers, better shuttles, and more KidzMash.

2. Quality and flash mobs. Everyone would race to the bar, and people would wait 90 minutes for some tasty bacon. In this time of infinite waiting they would get upset. Even though they were getting bacon, it was still a long wait in a long line. Often people would get to the front and there wouldn’t be any bacon left, which leaves people sad. With this mad rush, the hotel just couldn’t cook enough bacon, with high enough quality, fast enough for the mob. We did the math, and it turns out you can’t do it with the laws of physics we have. We are shopping around for better physics though.

3. Safety. Basically, with EVERYONE in line for bacon, in the hall, certain fire safety codes were in question. The halls were too packed, and crowded for safety reasons.

4. Overpowering. Look, we love bacon. It’s great. But bacon was starting to overshadow the brand and value of CodeMash. CodeMash was becoming a bacon festival, with a side of technical content. We needed to pivot back to our core gear values.

So we had to bid farewell to the BaconBar. It did play a unique role, and helped us keep CodeMash quirky and snarky, just like we like it. We are looking for other new things we can do, but for now we have to sunset the BaconBar.

We know people really look forward to this, and we do to. But it came down to the CodeMash team really focusing on delivering a great experience (for attendees, speakers, and sponsors). It just took too much effort, time, and money to keep doing it. It got too big to handle.

Let’s all eat some bacon with breakfast (or any meal!) tomorrow in memory of the BaconBar.