What’s up with these pod camps?

I have been hearing about podcamps/ barcamps/ democamps  for a couple of years now I guess, and while I have yet to attend one, there is certainly a buzz about them.

But what are they? I hear that they are not limited to “social media” types nor just “techy” fests. If so, are regular folk attending?

I guess maybe Ottawa’s Cupcake Camp last year was a “pod camp” of sorts, but really it was not what I think most of them consist of – but it was fun! Just FYI, I believe another will be coming up soon…

So, I am asking for help in alleviating my ignorance…

If you can explain to me – and anyone who happens to stumble across this post – what a podcamp/ barcamp/ democamp is to you, endlessly karmic gratitude will flow into your life – I swear!

And even better, if you have already posted on your own blog information about podcamps – or any similar open concept gatherings, PLEASE post the link in the comments so that I can take some time to check out everyone’s information and have it handy in one place for reference!

Your time is much appreciated and your help is invaluable!  I am seeking knowledge so that I can look into setting up a potential event for one of my own niche interest groups.

Also post any info about any upcoming events that might be a good way for me, and anyone for that matter, to check things out in person to get a well rounded, in person idea of what these events are like.  My schedule is pretty full, but if I can make it – I’ll be there!
Thanks in advance,