The Journey So Far
Hi all! This is our first News section item; so we want to write an overall story of what has happened so far. If you are not that interested in conference organising, we also have a fast ⏩ summary.
The fast ⏩ summary: We will start announcing the schedule very soon, as we are reaching out to people who have submitted proposals right now. We had an amazing amount of proposals, and this alone means that the conference could have been more than 3 days. We stick to the usual 3-day talks + 2-day sprints format, but hey: There’s energy and potential for so much more! We will also add more details about the conference venue and the sprints venue soon.
Now the longer 🦕 story: We started looking for a venue in August. In September, we got things confirmed and rolling. The team is quite large (13 people), and the timeframe is quite narrow, because we will do the conference already in April. This meant that we had a bit of added coordination due to the team size, but we are winning in terms of diversity of experience and capacity. The chosen dates were a great timing, because many people can extend their stay in Copenhagen due to holidays (Easter). We also avoided an overlap with other conferences.
So please do consider making the best of your travel efforts to stay around the area. This is not a sponsored message, we just think you should make the most of the trip :) There will be a lot of you in Copenhagen, so worth planning to meet new friends and explore the city and its vicinity after the conference and sprints.
One of the reasons why a few of us from Copenhagen have been reluctant to do a bid for DjangoCon Europe has been a preconceived idea of our city being expensive and thus excluding. We don’t think that this is totally dealt with, but we have found a venue that wanted to work with us in a way where it didn’t bump up the ticket prices compared to previous years.
And it’s a fantastic venue! Normally it’s a production school for theatre and artistry, and they have great facilities for conferences. The venue is also interesting because it will accommodate smaller workshops in adjacent rooms. This is we provided an option for workshop events in the CfP. We will accept an amount that means we are also able to accommodate a few additional spontaneous workshops/meetups. We really appreciate the ones that are prepared, but we also want to make space for something that happens while people meet IRL.
Oh you might want to see a photo from the venue?
Quick word on food: We don’t know the exact menu, but we know that it will be locally sourced and organic. There will also be coffee, breakfast and an afternoon cake, no worries :) If you have any dietary needs or allergies, we will definitely sort this out, and if there has been a shortage in the response fields during the ticket purchase, please do reach out.
We have listed some discounted Hotels and Hostels that we hope can help people find a decently priced room, and moreover we encourage you to use an soon-to-be-published ticket-holder website to help coordinate both accommodation and ride sharing.
Leading up to the early-bird deadline, we sold a lot of tickets, and we are now close to being sold out. Being new conference organisers, we hadn’t anticipated the pace of activities and weren’t able to build an invoice system fast enough. We also wanted to seek out professional consultation to ensure whether or not VAT could be deducted for non-Danish buyers: It cannot. But we have the invoices generated now, and we will send out emails next week – not just about these invoices, but also invitations to join the new ticket-holder website. This website is a common-ground, so please don’t mind if you send in a PR with your idea ;)
We are adding a bit to the live-streaming online experience this year: Knowing that not everyone who sent in an application for Opportunity Grants such that they can be present at the conference, and knowing that there are so many other reasons not to be able to go, we will read questions from internet-participants. It’s an experiment, but we will do our best to make it work out. For ticket-holders, we are also opening up Slack channels for organising meetups etc.
We also would like this conference to add an environmental and climate-friendly effort: Please do try see if you can travel to Copenhagen by train, bus or ride-sharing. Once you are here, we also have an option to try out the city’s bicycle-friendly infrastructure by riding the bikes provided through a collaboration with a local social enterprise. Bicycles are not included in the ticket prices, but can be ordered on the ticket-holder website (to be announced) at affordable rates.
Merchandise? We didn’t mention this. But that’s a surprise ;)
Finally, a big shout-out to the previous conferences whom are the shoulders that we are standing out. Their efforts, instructions, documentation and guidance are priceless.
Right now, the organising team is quite submerged in putting together the program, responding to grants applications, catering to visa requests and reaching out to sponsors. So if it’s possible, we really prefer that practical needs are dealt with during late-March.
- General inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sponsors: email@example.com
- Speakers and content: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Code of Conduct: email@example.com
- Hospitality, visa and travel: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you soon!