Blender Conference 2008

Ok here goes something:

Some of you might have followed the threads about the blender conference. Lets just say that I’d like to help improve the Bconf 2008 by adding a community effort to organising it next year. I have not talked to anybody about this yet, this is my first post about it, and I’m only trying to help… If people are already working on this through the Blender Institute, or are still collecting themselves I understand completedly that they would like a breath before the community gets organised.

Please keep this thread about what you would like to see in 2008, only what you want to see, and no comments about this year unless it comes with a suggestion about how to do it better. Also welcome are reasons why we should not do it, with suggestions about what to do instead.

Suggestions:
-Going to a conference center in the centre of Utrecht or Rotterdam. So people that come from over the world for a second time can see a little more of the Netherlands than just Amsterdam.
-Have at least one stream per room available through blender.org or blendernation
-Organise centrally a sleeping place for the blenderheads close to the conference, preferrably as affordable as possible (an entire room or floor with locks from a youth hostel or something in the like). And make it possible to pay for these at the registration.
-have a special price for students or educational people to make it more affordable.
-pitch it to different creative university/schools courses to get some influx of new people.
-Add in a day before the conference with a guided tour to make it more than just a business trip.
-maybe make a family package.
-conference location: as many rooms as needed for the planned schedule (one presentation room, one workshop room) and at least one “free room” or cafeteria with a room with a free-for-presentation-with-beamer corner. The presentation room should be able to house everybody, workshop room about half to 1/3, cafeteria room should allow for 1/2 of the attendees to fit in, and have screens with live feeds from the workshop and presentation room. Access to the cafeteria should be free, and also have room for stands from the sponsors.

Timetable:
Discussing stuff: untill January 2008
Fixing venue, sleeping place, setting dates and so on, early february 2008
Fixing techies to do the broadcasts, movies and stuff: from february onwards working with what the conference venue has available
Starting etching the schedule for the conference: February 2008, finishing the first draft around may 2008 so that people can look what they are registrating for. Also use the Premiere of Peach to pitch the Bconf 2008.
starting media offensive, with the updated schedule: around end of August 2008

Amount of attendees: we should be able to get at LEAST 100 paid registrations by August 2008, with room for about 150-300 attendees. The budget should allow for the conference to be profittable, meaning that every attendant above the 100 means more stuff in the swag bag, or more drinks or food at the conference.

Options:
Change the conference venue to a university venue.

Unlikely options (but still: who knows?):
Going to the Twente university, or hosting the event together with other Open-source projects like Scribus/gimp/inkscape and the like.
Get more sponsors for the event to make it bigger, or the price more affordable.
If at all possible: a swag bag with a shirt and some stickers for every attendee, write this off as PR material, having walking billboards all over the world is always usefull.

Other nice stuff:
I don’t know how it has been done in the past, but here are some things that should be made clear for people wanting to do presentations at the bconf:
Entrance fee: free if you do a planned presentation as per following instructions:
Your presentation name and subject should be known by August 2008
Sheets and other digital material has to be delivered before 20th of Septmber (to leave the time to update the website, and prepare the content). If you have closed source/proprietery content try to at least make the slides available, or a short text resuming your presentation.
There should be a room for people to organise free presentations, deadline will be before the printing of the conference booklet. Or one day before arrival. If a lot of people register for an open presentation a schedule will be made and people will have to organise themselves about their schedules, if possible one day in advance, or on the same day on billboards with the schedule in the main conference area.

Reasonnable conference fees, these are targets the final price may vary a bit:
Pro’s: 90 euro’s for a 3 days pass, 35 euro’s for 1 day.
Freelancers: See above :slight_smile:
Students/teachers: 35 Euro’s for a 3 day pass, 15 euros a day.

Extra costs: Saturday Dinner is included in the price. Friday and Sunday are optional dinners at 20 Euro’s a piece depending on number of registrations
Hotel costs: youth hostel: dono about (10-20 euro’s/night)
Chamber Hotel: dono (around 40-70 euro’s/night)

Thursday arrival and Guided tour of the city (including lunch) starting if more than 25 people intersted:
Around 40 euro’s/head.

First possible location: Theater de Kikker in Utrecht:
Seats 172 people in the big room for presentations, and about 70 in the small room for workshops, and presentations, with a cafeteria in between

Follow the URL for some pictures:
http://www.theaterkikker.nl/verhuur/

Prices: on contact, but they seem to be very open to organise events.

Seems I’m the only one posting in this thread, continuing merryly:

Anothe option would be to contact a university to see if they can host the event. This would make them some publicity, and usually they have decent accomodations. Preferrably a university with computer or graphics related studies.

The Nemo in Amsterdam would be very nice, but I bet it’s too expensive, unless we can find a good sponsor for the event.

How about this… why don’t you ask Ton if you can help him in some way?

A lot of what you mention was already the case this year. And a lot of the other things aren’t really worth the trouble… like changing venue? What would be the big plus of hosting it outside amsterdam? This way it’s easy to reach for all the foreign attendees. Also… why get a new influx of people? The conference is really for the people that already use blender. I don’t think it’d be interesting at all to just a bunch of students, unless you spend some time teaching them blender first.

In the past there already was a pre-conference dinner… I’m sure that can be done again if someone wants to organise it.
family package? I know a couple blenderheads became dads recently, but I think that may be pushing it somewhat :wink:

In short… I think you’re better off picking one thing you really want to do and asking Ton if you can help with that.

The big plus of hosting it outside of Amsterdam: Prices, the fact that people from previous years have now seen Amsterdam and could do with seeing other stuff next to the conference.
As stated, The waag is not an option anymore due to the number of attendees. And the Zwijger, although a nice place, just doesn’t have that homely feel to it (although, maybe that’s just me).

Going from Shiphol to Utrecht or Amsterdam or Rotterdam isn’t that big a difference for foreign attendees.

I disagree with the conference being for people that already use blender:
A conference is the best place to market Blender, to show off, and get new people in besides the forums or IRC, doing so in a place that attracts these people, or has people around that might be interested would be good for blender. Utrecht is at the hart of the transport network for students and would make the venue that much easyer for them to come to. And we always need to attract more people, if we stop that now, in about 20 years we won’t have any newbies anymore.

Please be specific about what isn’t the trouble… like adding a little more fun to a businesstrip or conference, to make it easyer for international attendees to see a little bit more than just the conference? I mean, if you have to buy a plane ticket for a weekend, why not stay a little longer and see the place a bit? And doing so with a group of like-minded blenderheads would add value to pleasure.

When organising an event like this only potentially interested students show up, trust me, the uninterested students stay at home or are at their parents place over the weekend.

I will ask Ton if I can help in some way, but I like the forums because I often lack a reality check… And because a lot of readers here attend the conference we (I) need to know what they want, instead of blindly planning stuff.

hmm…

so, when and where is this going to happen?

because i with my friend were thinking seriously about going to next Bconf :slight_smile:

thx

When: like every year, around 13 Oktober.
Where: I’ve narrowed it down to "Somewhere in the Dutch area known as “de randstad”, meaning the Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Utrecht area. Basically within 45 minutes by train from Schiphol and Amsterdam.

Hi, I also would like to attend (for the first time ;o)). If I can say than for me it is important that the ‘airport-conf. builiding path’ is easy to find and take.
Am looking forward ;o)

Also another important factor for me is the surrounding area of the conference, with the city center or confy dining/venue a very short walk away.

it might sound selfish, but what I want to see is de waag.

I was extremely happy to see the old location chosen again. Much better than de zwijger.

Amsterdam isn’t boring and yes (after 6 conferences), it’s quite convenient to know the locations instead of having to search for new solutions for known problems. I know all the ways, i know where to get the food I want, I know where to sleep etc.

I don’t attend the conference for sight seeing purposes. and even if I did, I wouldn’t be through with everything amsterdam has to offer.

And yay, de Waag it is!!!

Haunt

P.S.:

Sorry for pulling the old thread out of the mud, but the date isn’t quite obvious to these threads unless you check it on purpose. And I’m quite absentminded right now.