The top 10 things to know about TransparencyCamp 2014

Sunlighters show off some gear at TransparencyCamp 2012. Photo credit: Sunlight Foundation


TransparencyCamp — Sunlight’s annual opengov “unconference” — is rapidly approaching! For the last five years, TCamp has brought people together to share their knowledge about new technologies and transparency policies to make our government work for the people — and to help people work smarter with our government. Many people have already signed up, and you can join them — registration is open now!

So, want to know more? Here are the top ten things you need to know to be a savvy camper! (You can use the list to the right to navigate around, too.)


1. TCamp’s an unconference — what’s that?

You’ve heard us call TCamp an unconference — what is that anyways? Unconferences are events run by participants. Attendees set the agenda for what’s discussed, lead the sessions and workshops that fill the schedule and create an environment of innovation and productive discussion. For TCamp, the events focus around government transparency, opening up public data and more! Watch the video below for a full unconference run-down.

2. When and where is TCamp 2014?

This year, TCamp is happening on Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31. It’s located right outside D.C., too:

  • George Mason University
    School of Public Policy, Founder’s Hall
    3351 Fairfax Drive
    Arlington, Va. 22201

Here’s a map with a quick overview of the location.

It’s close to the Metro, parking is available and there’s also a BikeShare station right on campus. For more logistics information, check out our essentials guide here.  

3. Who should come to TCamp?

Everyone is welcome at TCamp! From opengov veterans to transparency trainees and anyone in between, we believe all attendees bring an important contribution to the environment and thought-leadership of an unconference. If you’re interested in opengov, open data or transparency, TCamp is for you!

With this inclusiveness in mind, we developed the TCamp Ambassadors Program. To help first-timers reap the benefits of the entire TCamp experience, we’re pairing first-timers with seasoned vets who will be their ambassadors into the community. Be sure to sign up as an Ambassador or as a newbie who’d like a buddy on your registration form. Perks include meeting new folks, making new connections and some nomsy noms.

People eating lunch and talking at TCamp 2012
Attendees chat at TransparencyCamp 2013. Photo credit: Sunlight Foundation

4. What’s registration like?

Registration is a breeze! Just head on over to the registration page, pick your ticket type and fill out the subsequent form and payment information. Easy!

In addition to the TCamp Ambassadors Program, there are a couple classes that campers can register as:

  • Camper: This is the basic ticket type — a classic camper!
  • Student: Students in college or high school get a discounted rate!
  • Super Camper: The actual cost of attending TransparencyCamp is over $130 per person. If you register as a Super Camper, you’ll help us cover the true cost of TCamp!
  • Volunteer Camp Counselor: As a Camp Counselor, you will help with registration, keep sessions on time, direct lost campers and help with other troubleshooting. If you have a knack for logistics and a friendly customer service demeanor, we need your help!

Once you sign up, you should get a confirmation email from Sunlight noting your registration — congrats, you’re going to TCamp!

5. What to bring to TCamp?

Besides the basics, not much! For registration, just remember your name and we’ll take care of the rest — no tickets to print out!

If you’re planning to use a projector during a presentation, please try to bring your own adaptor. We’ll have a limited supply to work with, and, while every room will have a projector, we can’t promise we’ll have the right adapters for your computer.

Wi-fi will be provided, so feel free to bring your electronics along. Chargers for your devices is also a good idea.

Attendees wave at TransparencyCamp 2013. Photo credit: TamasSzemann/Flickr

6. What should I wear to TCamp?

Anything that makes you feel comfortable! TCamp is a come-as-you-are environment. If that means jeans, sandals, ties or pearls to you, then so be it. Most people dress casually — but feel free to wear whatever you want!

7. Will there be food?

The answer to the most important question: yes! The cost of food is included in your registration so all attendees will get breakfast and lunch on both days of TCamp. Due to popular demand, we’ll be bringing back food trucks for lunch, so there will be several options to choose from. Another bonus: We will be offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for all campers.

In addition to lunch, we’ll also be providing a light breakfast as well as coffee to get you through the day. Even opengov champs need their caffeine fix!

Food trucks lining up at TransparencyCamp 2013. Photo credit: TamasSzemann/Flickr

8. What else is happening around TCamp?

There are a couple other things for campers to do outside of the main event. Let’s say you want to get a jump on things — sign up for Lobby Day! Join the Sunlight Network for breakfast and a briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, May 29 before going to the offices of your senators and representative to discuss transparency issues like better lobbying disclosure, smarter open data and mandatory electronic filing of campaign finance reports.

If you want a more relaxed time, head on over to the Sunlight Happy Hour! After a long first day of TCamp, unwind with your fellow campers at the Clarendon Grill, located close by at 1101 North Highland Street, Arlington, Va. Arrive at 6 p.m. for light fare and drink specials.

9. Should I write/tweet about TCamp?

Absolutely! Feel free to share stories, tweet at friends you think should go, write up a preview of TCamp or anything else. Make sure to use the hashtag “#TCamp14” to add your voice to the discussion!

And, if you’re a reporter or blogger who plans on covering TCamp for your media outlet, contact Sunlight’s Gabriela Schneider and we’ll set you up with a press pass.

10. What do I do if I have more questions?

Check out for a more comprehensive rundown of the event; you can sign up for email updates at the bottom of that page, too. You can also tweet your question to @TCampDC, and keep track of the hashtag “#TCamp14” to follow the discussion online.


So, there you have it: what you need to know about TransparencyCamp 2014. A very special thanks to our sponsors so far:, George Mason University, Beekeeper Group, Granicus, GitHub, Socrata, ForumOne and the New Organizing Institute.

We hope to see you there!

A TransparencyCamp logo, with a robot and dates for the event.