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Drupalcon Szeged Blog

Voting for sessions and BoFs is open!

Submitted by Gábor Hojtsy on Tue, 07/01/2008 - 19:44.

We just opened voting for session and BoF submissions. We have lots of useful purposes for the votes, so we would love if you could participate in voting for your favorite submissions (and get your submissions in so you can get more votes!). Let's see where will we make use of the vote results:

  • It is less then a month to go before we need to close session submission, and our track chairs will put sessions to place in our program. Your votes will help them decide on the sessions preferred by the community. So they will use the data to support their decisions.
  • We have session rooms of different sizes. We need to have a reasonable idea of what sessions will be more attended to put those to bigger rooms. Trying to do our best, we can only execute this well based on data we get from you! We would like to ensure that no small room is overpacked, while bigger rooms are far from being filled up at the same time.
  • First time this Drupalcon, we have three BoF workgroup rooms, which serve as bigger spaces for focus groups (additionally to the usual open spaces for BoFs). Some BoF organizers asked us to help them gather people around their BoFs, and we'd like to support them in using the bigger workgroup rooms if the interest for their topics is outstanding. Your votes count a lot in helping each of us know which BoFs would be more suitable for the bigger workshop rooms.

If this is not all convincing, all I can say is just go ahead and have your say for any of the submissions (vote on the individual session pages).

Ps. of course we have commenting open on all session and BoF submissions form the start!

Passed 180 attendees, still a few days to take the 80 EUR tickets

Submitted by Gábor Hojtsy on Fri, 06/27/2008 - 16:35.

We just passed 180 attendees today, which means we doubled in two weeks! We hope the signup rate keeps going since the 80 EUR discounted tickets will only last until Monday (inclusive) and we will switch to selling 120 EUR tickets from Tuesday. Those who decide soon get more benefits, since our room offers are also going fast, and it is less then a month before we need to close room bookings to avoid loosing money paying for rooms you will not take (we will sell conference tickets after that but not rooms or shuttle bus tickets).

So it is the time to wrap up your decision, choose a room (or tell us you will not book a room in our system at all) and pay for your choices. You get four days of conference, a bigger than ever unconference, lots of networking opportunities, a welcome party, a wine tasting, and the list just goes on...

We set out to help you come to this conference as affordably as possible, so we provide means for people to share travel to and from the conference and also to offer their rooms for cost-sharing.

Our sponsor offerings also continue to catch up, we are closing negotiations with several companies who offered sponsoring on all the different levels we announced. You will see the logos appearing on our website prominently soon! I'd like to give special thanks to the three attendees, who thought it is best to give back and buy a sponsor shirt: Erik Stielstra, Jürgen Brocke and Mohamed Nanabhay. We are looking forward to others contributing with this option as well.

If you already booked your ticket, and feel like helping out, there are a few (prospect) attendees, who are looking for financial help to come to Drupalcon Szeged. The list includes the Panels co-maintainer and a previous Drupalcon organizer. Helping out these fine folks would be money well spent for those supporting their Drupalcon attendance.

Detailed track information available

Submitted by Gábor Hojtsy on Sun, 06/22/2008 - 17:59.

Drupalcon Szeged is going to host four days of sessions, organized into four tracks, in four parallel rooms. Each track is chaired by field experts, who know Drupal but are also reaching out to new frontiers in their areas. From the 10th grade student to senior architects and programmers, this group covers lots of angles. I am here to tell you, that after considerable time debating what to cover in each track, they are ready to present you the mission statements for each track and focused ideas on what each track will cover. If you have expertise to share in any of the areas, feel free to submit sessions for one of the tracks.

Drupal core, contributions and trends is chaired by Balázs Dianiska (snufkin), David Strauss, Nathaniel Catchpole (catch) and Peter Wolanin (pwolanin). Code development is overseen by Doug Green, Florian Lorétan (flobruit), Károly Négyesi (chx), Matt Butcher and Moshe Weitzman. Showcases, user experience and design is chaired by Konstantin Käfer (kkaefer), Thomas Moseler (eigentor), George DeMet and Shannon Lucas. At last, but absolutely not least, Growing Drupal is chaired by Ken Rickard (agentrickard), Charlie Gordon (cwgordon7), Joel Farris (Senpai) and Eric Gundersen.

I am thrilled that we managed to attract this volume of talent, and I am sure we will see a very compelling program coming with their help.

90 attendees already signed up, more program details published

Submitted by Kristof Van Tomme on Thu, 06/19/2008 - 17:08.

We have announced Drupalcon Szeged 2008 registration a week ago, and are now seeing 90 attendees signed up in our attendee list. Some of them are still in an ongoing payment transaction wrestling with either PayPal or their wire transfers, but we are trying to be quick in helping on our part to keep the process as smooth as possible. It is just 12 days to go to take advantage of the great discounted price of 80 EUR for Drupalcon tickets, so act know! Our room offerings are also going on a similar pace, so keep an eye on registering now to take the one which suites you best!

We also just published our detailed program page today. We know you are eager to hear more about what this con has to offer, so we elaborated on some of the notes we had before. Our program page underlines that we give just as much space to the regular session program as before (more information on each track coming up), while expanding on the space for BoFs with three BoF workshop rooms additionally to the regular open spaces. The unconference part of Drupalcons always go very well, and we are fully prepared to support this self-organized effort as much as possible.

New this year are the four thematic exhibitions covering our job fair, a service providers exhibition, partnering with regional companies and a designer exhibition. Each sponsor gets exhibition time included in the packages, while (if there will be any exhibition spots remaining), we will also sell the remaining booth space for 500 EUR each in August. The service provider night will also be coupled with a wine tasting event with fine Hungarian wines at the venue, and we also made sure to throw a welcome party for you on the first night at the heart of the city.

If this all was not enough, we also organize a code sprint right after the four day conference, and would like to invite you to brainstorm on concrete workgroups so that our time could be more focused. Finally, we also suggest you and your non-attending family members and colleagues some nice side programs in and around Szeged. Check out our updated program page for more information.

Isn't this all too nice to miss? Well, if you are not yet among those registered, start booking your place now!

Drupalcon Szeged 2008 registration opened!

Submitted by Gábor Hojtsy on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 17:58.

Drupalcon Szeged 2008 registration opened earlier today, and some of the early birds are already in! We announced and explained pricing ten days ago. As we detailed, you can buy tickets for 80 EUR until the end of the month, and the price will increase to 120 EUR in July, move to 160 EUR at the start of August and end up as 200 EUR for people showing up without pre-paying.

Today, we launched the ticket registration system and several other components, which make up our Drupalcon registration process. We are not only selling tickets, you can optionally sign up for quite a few other things. We promised to sell shuttle bus seats, and although we did not manage to go below the train ticket prices, this service should be useful for those, who prefer to pre-organize their travel online, make sure to go with Drupalcon fellows from Budapest, and/or arrive too early or too late to take the train. We also offer hundreds of rooms in 18 different locations. Each location is mapped, we have directions from the locations to the venue, and pictures and website links where possible. Except around a dozen rooms, all have wired or wireless internet access, and we negotiated breakfast for you even in pensions, where these are otherwise not available.

We know some people would happily pay a bit more for the Drupalcon to further ensure its good quality and help make it possible to set the registration fee low enough for those, who otherwise cannot afford it. Therefore we added a way for each attendee to optionally sponsor the conference, getting a nice and exclusive t-shirt in the process. Finally, our organization partner, C&T prepared some tour ideas for you. You can sign up and express your interests in these options. If there is enough people signing up, C&T will organize the tours and discuss payment with you.

We heard that some people experience high flight prices, so additionally to trying to get good deals and putting our hands on hundreds of rooms to make sure you get what you want, we built in another nice feature: room sharing. Most of our rooms have multiple beds, so to cut your costs (and in true geek fashion), you can share your rooms and discuss sharing costs with your roommates. This is of course completely optional. Don't have colleagues coming with you to share rooms with, but still looking for someone to share with? Check your profile and make sure to mark yourself as looking to share your room with someone else. People will be able to contact you on your contact tab and discuss sharing with you. Another way to optimize your costs this Drupalcon!

There are two methods to pay. You can pay by PayPal, which allows you to use your PayPal account or credit card to complete the process. Our system keeps track of the transaction and upon feedback from PayPal informs you that you are all set. It is also possible to pay by bank (wire) transfer, in which case you would transfer the money to the bank account of C&T and route the money with the special message we provide you to end up in this event's pool. Finally, you can always check your registration status (including whether you were marked as roommate for a room) on your registration status page (under My account).

All-in-all, this is the time to register for Drupalcon Szeged! We hope to meet you in the hallways, the socializing spaces and the session rooms at the end of August.

Call for sponsors for Drupalcon Szeged 2008

Submitted by Kristof Van Tomme on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 00:58.
Sponsorship packages overview
Sponsorship contact form

For Drupalcon Szeged the Drupal Association is again providing sponsorship packages for businesses and organizations that wish to support the conference.

This August we are expecting an even bigger group of attendees (1000 expected, maximum 1300). The bulk of the preparation for this conference is done by volunteers, but we also enlisted a professional conference organization company. Next to the regular Drupalcon attendees we are reaching out to upcoming developers in Central Europe with this conference. Community members and (potential) contributors in this region are especially price sensitive. To be able to keep the attendance fees low enough, we need your support.

With the expansion of the conference and with the new program items, we are able to offer you in return even more valuable sponsorship bundles than on previous Drupalcons. New are:

  • the BoF session rooms that will be named after Gold sponsors
  • the sponsor lounge, a room that platinum and gold sponsors can use for meetings
  • 4 exhibition days: a job fair, an exhibition day for service providers, CEU companies and designers
  • an “I supported Drupalcon Szeged” t-shirt that will only be available to people that did a considerable financial contribution to the conference

To make the conference possible and to be able to maintain a financial seed from which we can organize the next Drupalcon, we need to raise 100,000 EUR in sponsorships.

Check out the sponsorship packages with all the benefits we offer. Please contact us if you are interested. Thanks for your support!

Call for papers for Drupalcon Szeged 2008

Submitted by Gábor Hojtsy on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 03:33.
Propose a BoF
Review existing submissions

Update: Session submissions are now closed. We welcome your BoF submissions until the end of Drupalcon.

We would like to let you know that Drupalcon Szeged 2008 session and BoF suggestion submission is now open! Sessions on our four tracks will be scheduled and put into place on the last week of July, so make sure to get your suggestion in by then. BoFs will still be possible to submit on-site, so there is no deadline there.

You have the ability to categorize your session based on the track you submit to. See the brief track descriptions while our track chairs work out the more elaborate summaries for their tracks. You can tag your session with multiple target audiences, a session type and an intended session length. In the case of sessions going to one of our organized tracks, the track chairs will get back to you if any of your intentions are not suitable for the given track (ie. there is not as many long session slots, or the slots are to be used for different session types).

You can also specify co-presenters and provide a description so that attendees can understand your submission and (in case of sessions going to one of the tracks), our track chairs can decide on inclusion in the final program. BoF slots will be attendee scheduled again this year, but we are determined to provide control for you to pre-schedule your BoF submissions as the conference gets closer and we have times for the slots BoFs will go to.

Announcing pricing for Drupalcon Szeged 2008

Submitted by Kristof Van Tomme on Sun, 06/01/2008 - 12:44.

After much consideration, calculation, debate and discussion with the Drupal Association and Drupalcon Boston organizers, we are announcing the following pricing information for Drupalcon Szeged 2008. The conference registration price depends on when you register, but includes the same services. We would like to encourage you to register early, so we set prices increasing as the conference gets closer.

In Barcelona a pass was a fixed 50 EUR, in Boston it was a fixed $195 (around 130 EUR). Carefully calculating our budget and the expected number of attendees, we decided to sell tickets in June for 80 EUR, in July for 120 EUR, and then increase to 160 EUR until the conference week, when we switch to the 200 EUR door price. Adding additional services last minute for those registering late is expensive for us, so we hope you get registered sooner then later. We went to great lengths to make it possible for all of you to register on a lower price then in Drupalcon Boston, hopefully opening up this event to even more attendees, especially from around the European region. So the first two months we will sell tickets on a price lower then in Boston.

This does not mean that we set a lower quality target at all. We have a modern venue, lots of volunteers contributing and we are recruiting high profile Drupal community members to ensure the quality of the session program. It just happens that the venue and food we have will cost less and that we expect even more of the Drupal enthusiasts and brand new wanderers to come, while keeping sponsorship targets high. This is an ambitious goal, so we hope that you do your part by spreading the news about the event.

Although the price for the conference pass depends on when you register, it includes the same services, which are the following:

  • 4 days of sessions in 4 rooms in parallel, totaling to around 80 pre-planned sessions
  • 4 days of unconference with attendee submitted and scheduled BoFs at the same time
  • Attendance on the code sprint on the following day (August 31st).
  • Sandwich lunch on all days of the conference (including the code sprint day for the sprinters).
  • Coffee and water on all days of the conference throughout the day.
  • One night-time social event with welcome drink and limited snacks.
  • Conference shirt and other event necessities.

You need to cover international, national and local travel, hotel costs and any other expenses yourself.

We are going to open the conference registration system in the coming days, so stay tuned and follow our announcements.

Update on the Drupalcon Szeged 2008 program

Submitted by Gábor Hojtsy on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 15:56.
Submit session or BoF suggestion
Review existing submissions

We are working hard in parallel to start the conference registration system (which will have several goodies no Drupalcon had before) and the session registration system. While the session registration system proves to be a much easier technical task, we found Drupalcon Boston's notion of track chairs very useful, since it helped distribute the volunteer work and put the power in the hands of people, who know more about their field of expertise.

Therefore the organization team has been brainstorming and came down to a skeleton for Drupalcon Szeged, for which we are in the progress for some time now to recruit track chairs from the community. Not later then when we have the track chairs joining our conference management system, and they defined their track focus more specifically, we will announce our call for presentations.

Drupalcon Szeged is going to be focused towards the site builder, design, user experience and developer community, with an eye on growing the ecosystem and our horizon in different directions. We defined the following four tracks (working titles):

  • Drupal core, contributions and trends which will focus on Drupal 6 and 7, as well as killer and upcoming contributed modules with some spice added on trends we follow (like the semantic web effort).
  • Showcases, user experience and design will focus on the site builders, themers and those interested in delivering a killer user experience both for Drupal itself and for their own sites.
  • Code development is our hardcore developer track on topics like simpletests, coding practices, scalability, deployment and so on.
  • Growing Drupal communities and businesses will be our business and marketing oriented track with a good amount of local community building and focus on efforts such as the Knight Drupal Initiative, Google Summer of Code and GHOP.

Although we are still gathering the track chairs for these topics, I thought it would be important to provide you with an update on what are our plans with Drupalcon Szeged, so that all of us can get the best out of this event.

Not to forget, this Drupalcon will also have its full fledged (unmoderated) unconference in the form of BoFs, which you'll be able to submit and schedule online all by yourself as well. We are going to have the usual round table open spaces to collaborate and will also have bigger workshop rooms for people to schedule bigger impromptu (or pre-planned) meetings and discussions.

And at last, but not least, we are also going to host a code sprint day right after the conference, where like-minded Drupal developers will meet and code together to fix issues and develop new and exciting features.

I bet you agree this is all something you should not miss!

No question that Szeged is indeed the city of sunshine

Submitted by Gábor Hojtsy on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 16:42.

This week proves to get us some hot pre-summer days in Hungary, and even more so in Szeged.

Here is a comparison of Budapest and Szeged in terms of current and projected weather for the rest of the week (temperatures in celsius, based on current data).

Szeged has an accumulated (through multiple years) average of 27 degrees celsius in August, when Drupalcon happens, so we should have nice sunny days with almost no rains. (Information from, only in Hungarian). This is something we could not guarantee of course, but history suggests that the weather will not disturb the conference.

Check out Yahoo Weather for continued updates on Szeged weather conditions, if you are interested.