The Drupalcon Szeged 2008 schedule page is up for some time now, but we recently did quite a few changes to it. First, we added night time events, then added exhibition day information, and for a better overview, we also added the code sprint.
Several people asked us on the forums and through our contact forms to have a printer friendly version of the program. Well, we sat down, crafted and tested a printer friendly stylesheet for the schedule page, which is now up. Just try printing the schedule and you'll notice that it will only print what is required for you to know. We tested Firefox, Safari and Opera. Opera proved to be the best printer, not breaking pages in the middle of table cells, so we suggest you try that browser for best results.
Another popular request was to have a personalized schedule with sessions you voted on. For this, we modified the voting widgets, so you can cancel your votes, and added a personalized version of the program which highlights (via thicker borders and boldface) the sessions you are most interested in. Of course you can print this page, and the thicker borders and the boldface should survive the print simplification.
Finally, a public service message about the program. If you have a BoF and you did not schedule it yet, you loose out on people picking their favorite topics to go to, so why not schedule your BoF now? There are almost 50 BoFs submitted, and only 16 of them are scheduled at the time of this writing. You can put your BoF to a specific room and timeslot by going to your BoF page and using the drag and drop controls on the schedule tab. Let us know if you have any issues or questions.
Less then one week until Drupalcon, looking forward to meeting you there!
Finding a conference venue with good wifi for hundreds of Drupal geeks is not easy. Since these conferences grew big, it was always a challenge to work out. This year, we also started planning early on ensuring good wifi coverage for the event. Our venue has some wifi coverage, but it was not adequate in itself. We asked for cable based internet for speakers, we set aside a BoF area with switches so if you bring your ethernet cables, you'll be able to plug in and we even ordered a computer cabinet with English speaking setups for those without their laptops.
But to solve good wifi for the Drupal crowd, we needed a professional partner. Thanks to university connections, and our venue's dedicated people, we managed to strike a sponsorship deal with Cisco, so we get the equipment to set up on the broadband university network. People at the university are working hard on configuring the network for us to ensure a good experience over all days of the event.
We also have some surprises for those staying for the code sprint this time. You might have heard that the second edition of Pro Drupal Development is out. We will hand out 15 free copies of the e-book version for code sprinters thanks to the publisher Apress! Another natural fit for code sprint sponsorship is ActiveState, makers of the popular Komodo IDE. They provided two Komodo IDE licenses and some Komodo shirts for hard working coders.
I'd like to hereby thank all three for their support for the conference and for helping us get stuff done at this Drupalcon again.
We are just in the final hours to have the list of selected sessions built up for the conference, and I bet you will all have your tastes filled nicely in our program. In the meantime, some people approached us that it would be much better for them to decide once the program is out there, so we decided to extend the 120 EUR ticket pricing for a week! This mens you can still register for this great price for one more week. And we will have the exact program list published soon, after we cleared out all the panels we set up based on similar proposals and we see the presenters are fine with that. Check back soon!
Now that the program timetable is getting along, it was time to announce our two keynote speakers with great honour: Drupal project lead Dries Buytaert and PHP creator Rasmus Lerdorf. Those who might not know them for some reason (although it is hard to believe) would find the introductions on our homepage useful.
Dries Buytaert is passionate about the web, open source and photography. He is the original creator and project lead of Drupal, co-founder and chief technology officer of Acquia, and is also working on Mollom.
Rasmus Lerdorf is known for having gotten the PHP project off the ground in 1995 and has contributed to a number of other open source projects over the years. He is currently an infrastructure architect at Yahoo!
We are delighted to have these great keynote speakers on board, and are sure you will love this Drupalcon's keynotes again. Are you not signed up for Drupalcon yet? Why hesitate? Go ahead and register.
Up to July 24th, we made it possible for you to sign up for Drupalcon Shuttle bus tickets, and specify your preferred times in your bios. Now since the signup is closed (and we got most of you to fill in your preferred times), we sat down to build a schedule based on your preferences. A few of you specified times before August 26th and after September 1st, but the numbers did not add up to buses we can order. Unless one of the spots in the now announced timetable is fine for these people, we will reimburse them at the registration desk.
The selected times will get some people wait a bit in Budapest, or take a bus a bit earlier in Szeged. The latter is designed so that nobody would miss their flights from Budapest. Some useful information about the shuttles:
To make it possible to pre-plan and order the buses, and for the buses to pick you up at the right place, make sure your preferred times are properly set and that you take the bus with the slot you signed up for. Otherwise the bus might be full and you might not be able to get on, also the bus will not go to your hotel then. Make sure you won't miss the bus by specifying your details properly.
As announced earlier, we are closing the room booking system on the Drupalcon Szeged 2008 site at the end of this week, so it will not be possibly to book rooms on our site after July 24th. This means that there is only three days left to take advantage of our room service and to specify roommates. After that, we will transfer the list of names and rooms to the accomodation providers. We will maintain a list of the locations and their contacts on the website, but from then on will not help you book a room. This frees up some of our resources to work on more important tasks to ensure a great program and service.
We are also closing on the session submission deadline quickly. Next monday (July 28th) will be your last chance to submit sessions for Drupalcon Szeged 2008. The unconference (BoF) submissions will be open until the conference ends, so anyone can submit BoFs on the spot, but sessions will be planned and put into a timetable next week. So next week we should have our program up on the website!
Together with our exclusive design partner Factory Creative Studio, we prepared a few buttons and banners for you to use on your websites to help proclaim that you are a Drupalcon attendee, or you are a supporter of our event. We also prepared banners in bigger sizes to put up on your sites if you would like to help get the word out even stronger. Thanks for your support!
Attendee badge (125x125):
Supporter badge (125x125):
Drupalcon banner (180x150):
Drupalcon banner in drupal.org size (200x221):|
Drupalcon banner in standard size (468x60):
While taking to some people, we realized it is better to publicize more that due to our requirements to pay for rooms and the shuttle buses in advance, we need to know what is taken and we should give back the unoccupied rooms to the hotels. Otherwise we would need to pay for their reservation even if not taken, which would be a risk our budget is not ready to take.
So make sure that if you intend to take our help in finding a room, then register for Drupalcon (only €120 for a ticket) and book a room on our website within two weeks from today (by July 24th). Same applies for shuttle bus tickets. We are going to make up a shuttle bus schedule shortly based on the preferences of those who signed up for tickets, and will refund money for those, who found that the final shuttle schedule will not fit their needs.
Also, if you booked a room but would share with someone else, please ensure that you get your roommate in by the same deadline. We will send over the list of people taking rooms to the locations. Those not specifying roommates might have issues if they show up with roommates, so make sure you set this up properly. (Create an account for your roommate on the website and get her specify her name in her bio to be able to specify her as roommate, if not a registered Drupalcon attendee).
That we need to end the room service is not the end of the world though, since it means that several rooms we pre-booked will fall back on the locations, and we will keep up a page with contact information for the locations we had previously, although we cannot guarantee that they have the space for you or you can arrange your room with them. Those not going with the shuttle will find the train information handy on the travel page.
So far we collected our list of sponsors in the background, but it was about time to publish a list and give them the prime time they deserve for signing up early for our great offers. We prepared four sponsor packages: platinum, gold, silver and bronze with varying benefits for companies interested in supporting Drupalcon Szeged. And there is also a fifth option for individuals, that can buy a sponsor shirt as part of the registration.
We are pleased to announce that several companies and individuals already signed up. Acquia takes the first platinum spot (so there are still three more to take), Sun generously signed up for a gold sponsorship (still two more spots left there), while there are a handful of silver sponsors: Development Seed, Erdfisch, Factory Creative Studio, Madcap, Pronovix, Senza Limiti, and of course the University of Szeged. The John von Neumann Computer Society is our first marketing partner we want to acknowledge for the organization of the Szeged pre-Drupalcon event. Last but not least, our individual sponsor list has grown significantly since my last round of thanks to them: Erik Stielstra, Jürgen Brocke, Károly Négyesi, Mohamed Nanabhay, Roel De Meester and Vesa Palmu all bought a sponsor shirt.
Thanks to them all, and we are looking forward to having even more of you as sponsors. There is still plenty of floor space for your booths, so choose a package that fits you and contact us!
We just closed the "earliest bird" (80 EUR) pricing for Drupalcon Szeged tickets a few hours ago. Yesterday, we had more than a hundred new registrations, and lots of the bank transfers for those using wire transfer will only arrive in a few days, so we got a considerable backlog of transactions to process, so be patient with us please.
So the conference became 40 EUR more expensive, but don't worry if you missed the deadline with our cost cutting features that shouldn't matter all that much to you! There are plenty of ways that you can save more than 40 EUR:
Have a look at the top of our attendees page, we have several options to help you reduce costs. Our travel sharing pages are flying high with lots of people offering or looking to share cars, vans or just looking for mates to travel with on sleeping trains. If you come from Europe, this is a great option to travel cheap. If you come from outside of Europe it might also be a good idea to arrive in a major travel hub, and then share travel from there (or pick a European budget airline, see our travel page).
Once you are here, you will still need a place to sleep at. Well, our room sharing page caught up quite a bit recently. There is almost a dozen people who are looking to share their rooms, to cut on their costs and cut on yours; as well as have fun with community mates. You can also team up with people before booking a room and just share your room with them without advertising that publicly. We have nice automated means to do that.
It might happen that cost cutting is not enough to square your finances. In that case just fill in your bio with information on why are you looking for financial help to get here, and you will be featured on the page of people looking for financing. Feel free to cite your community contributions and link in your fundraising page if you have one (using the ChipIn service for example). That should help a lot for others in the community to contribute (smaller) amounts to your trip.
All in all there is a lot of scope for saving this Drupalcon if you follow up on all these features you should be able to save a lot more than 40 EUR.