Last updated: August 22, 2008
About Drupal and Drupalcon
What is Drupal?
Drupal is a wildly popular social publishing system that blends web content management and social media capabilities with a massive library of powerful extensions - all supported by a thriving open source community. Read more on http://drupal.org
What is Drupalcon?
The twice-yearly gathering of Drupalers to learn about, discuss and advance Drupal, and to network with other Drupal community members. By tradition, Drupalcon is in North America in the first half of the year and in Europe in the second. Previous Drupalcons were in Boston (Mar 2008), Barcelona (Sep 2007), as part of the OSCMS in Sunnyvale (Mar 2007), Brussels (Sep 2006), Vancouver (Feb 2006)>, Amsterdam (Oct 2005) and Antwerp (Feb 2005). Check out our photo gallery of previous Drupalcons.
Why is this Drupalcon in Szeged, Hungary?
Drupal is thriving in Hungary and the region as a whole. We realized that at the rate these conferences have been growing this was probably our last chance to host a Drupalcon in Hungary. We started working on the event in 2007, submitted our proposal in January 2008 and got selected by the Drupal Association.
Szeged has a very nice venue, and is a great town with a good atmosphere. This is also the first ever Drupalcon in Central Europe.
What is Drupaltown?
Szeged is big enough to host our event at our one thousand attendee target, but would not be able to host a bigger event, so we are basically taking over the city (hotels and restaurants). Everything is walking distance in Szeged, so you'll easily find Drupal people as you are around the city. We think that taking over the city is fun, and really enables you to connect with the community, so we decided to also dub the city Drupaltown for this occasion.
But it is so far away!
Well, the globe is quite big, and not all Drupalcons can be close to everyone. If you consider the value of attending a Drupalcon however, the distance might be a smaller problem after all. Meeting with the big names, working together on issues, getting your pet bugs fixed or just drinking out with friends from around the world is all too big fun to miss. We try to do our best to make it easier for people that come from farther with travel sharing and room sharing options, as well as shuttle buses to get to Szeged directly from Budapest. Budapest airport is well connected to other airports, there is a direct flight from New York for example. Also see our travel page.
The program and the dates
Why did you pick this date? It is in conflict with (X)!
Well, we needed to consider a lot of things. The olympics ends before our event, so you can attend both, if you want. The Szeged open air theater festival also ends before our event, freeing up hotel rooms we need to house you. However, there is going to be a "Woodstock style" youth music festival with a few well known international names and lots of well known local names preforming at the same time for extra fun.
We picked the end of summer so that the weather is still (expected to be) very nice, the city has enough space for us and we don't conflict with some of the major events around the globe and major religious holidays. This is also a nice time to tour around in the beautiful countryside of Hungary and the region before or after the conference.
What's in the program?
Check out the program page for an overall view and the schedule page for details. You can still contribute to the program by sending in and scheduling BoF submissions yourself. See also the What's included in the registration price? answer.
What about side programs? Will there be a code sprint?
We organize the main conference to take four days just as it was in Boston with sessions and BoFs and numerous side events to help you get to know people from the community and build your social network. We are organizing a usual code sprint day after the conference where developers gather to reach goals together.
The conference days also offer some fun extra programs. We host exhibitions on all days, as well as a welcome party on the first night and wine tasting on the second. Check out the program page for more details. We also suggest fun side programs there!
Can you tell me more about Hungary?
Budapest by night
Hungary is a landlocked country in the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Its capital is Budapest, and the country is a member of the NATO, the EU and is a Schengen state, with around 10 million inhabitants. Hungary is one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world. Despite its relatively small size, the country is home to numerous World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere reserves, the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grassland in Europe (Hortobágy).
Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungary and check out the map we plotted Hungary and Szeged on:
Do I need a visa, what kind of restrictions apply to traveling to Hungary?
Hungary is a member of the European Union, and a member of the Schengen region, so people coming from the EU will not even need to go through border controls. People coming by car will experience this comfort at the border, attendees coming by plane will see that EU flights arrive at terminals without border controls. Regular Canadian and US citizens are not required to hold a visa to come to the country. Everybody else: make sure you examine your visa requirements!
Can you tell me more about Szeged?
Szeged is the fourth biggest city (around 180 thousand inhabitants) in Hungary, approximately 180km from Budapest. It is dubbed as the city of sunshine due to the great amount of shiny days all year compared to other Hungarian cities. The main river of the city is the Tisza. The most spectacular view you can't miss is the Szeged Dome (on the right) which is also a great bearing point due to the fact that this is the tallest building in the city. Szeged is also well known for its fish soup, paprika and Pick salami.
How should I pronounce Szeged?
The Wikipedia article has this helpful information included: [ˈsɛgɛd] There is also an OGG file to help you practice: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f1/Hu-Szeged.ogg
How will I get there?
Check out our detailed information on the travel page.
What about public transport while I am there?
Those, who booked their rooms on our website should find information on their room pages (just check your registration status page among your profile pages) about distance from venue and suggested public transport lines.
Public transport in Szeged requires a ticket to be validated on the vehicle. There are trams, buses and trolley buses available, and all use the same ticket system. You can buy a ticket at kiosks for 220 HUF, or 10 tickets at once for 1980 HUF. These tickets can be used for one journey. A weekly ticket costs 2470 and is valid for a week on all vehicles.
A map of Szeged city public transport lines is downloadable from our website. A limited map with trams and trolleys only is also available from the public transport company site. WARNING! Compared to these maps, the tram and some bus lines have detours in the city center around the venue, so watch out for the detour map we translated for you.
More information about local transport also on our website.
How can I communicate with the locals?
Generally people in the accommodation and catering sector speak English and/or German. Also Szeged is a very young city in terms of population and the youth easily speaks English and often various other languages.
What are the most important words or phrases I should know?
We will try to give you some advantage over the people who usually do not read the FAQs by providing some words and phrases you can impress you colleagues with:
- egészségedre! - cheers (right before you taste your drink)
- egészségedre! - god bless you (for example when somebody sneezes)
- jó étvágyat! - good appetite
- Mennyibe kerül ez/az? - How much is this/that?
- sör - beer
- (fehér|vörös) bor - (white|red) wine
- pálinka - a very famous hungarian spirit, which is also a hungaricum
- Mondtam már hogy milyen szép vagy? - Did I tell you how beautiful you are? (You should never know when you meet one of our beautiful hungarian girls ;))
- A Drupal konferenciára jöttem - I came for the Drupal conference
We recommend the Sztaki dictionary which has audio functions. Listen to the word "étvágyat" as an example.
How will I find a hotel or hostel suitable for my needs?
With our organization partner company, C&T, we looked at hotels and hostels in Szeged, and decided to reserve hundreds of rooms and beds in advance, so that we can ensure you are getting the accommodation that fits your needs and that you are close to the action. We had an accommodation selection form as part of the conference registration previously, but closed the reservation service as pre-announced on July 24th.
Those, who ordered a room before that deadline have ways to share rooms either with known partners or colleagues or by looking for room mates from the community. This should lift up some burden from your shoulders.
For others, we suggest looking at the list of suggested hotels we have on the website.
How can I register for Drupalcon?
You should start at the introduction page and walk through each tab as presented at the top of the page. Sign up for a conference ticket first. Depending on when you sign up, you will see different prices increasing by time, so act early! Then proceed to choose a sponsor shirt or say you are not interested.
I'd like to pay, how can I do that?
We have two options to pay, and the "Pay" tab in the registration area details your options. Paying by PayPal allows you to use your PayPal account or use your credit card (and your card details will not be shared with us). Choosing the bank (wire) payment option lets you transfer the money to a bank account we have. You need to complete all the steps to proceed with payment and the payment page will help you do that.
My (non attending) partner is coming with me and/or I have non-attending children coming. How can we buy rooms, shuttle bus tickets, etc?
If your partner is staying in the same room with you, and you ensure you booked a french bed or 2 bed room, you should be able specify her as a roommate. She does not need to buy a Drupalcon ticket or anything else, just have a user account on the Drupalcon site. If you come with multiple non-attending people (children for example), then feel free to book multiple rooms yourself on your own account. Again, they don't need a Drupalcon ticket.
What if it turns out that I need to cancel my room, shuttle bus ticket or all my bookings altogether?
We can transfer your money back if you cancel before our booking deadline: July 24th. After that, we need to ensure that all rooms you booked are payed and cancellation will not be possible.
I need an invoice (in my company's name). Can you help with that?
By Hungarian law, we are required to provide you with an invoice. So your bio includes fields to specify invoicing details (regardless of whether you ask for an invoice for yourself or for your company), which we will use to print the invoices for you. You will receive your invoice at the registration desk. If you need your invoice before payment, C&T can provide you with a pro forma invoice electronically (use the contact form to ask for that). They can also provide you with an electronic invoice once your payment is in, if for some reason you require it sooner then your attendance in Szeged.
How much will this cost to me?
See also our travel page and the accommodation details above. 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 it 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 (which both are below the Boston conference price), 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. Read more in the pricing announcement.
What's included in the registration price?
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
- Exhibitions on all conference days with different focus areas
- 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.
Can I use my dollars, euros, credit/debit cards in Szeged?
Only a limited number of shops accept euros and a few accept dollars, so you will need forints (HUF, Hungarian forints, our local currency) for most of your expenses. You will probably get the best exchange rates in the exchange offices in the city center (e.g. if you bring cash in dollars or euros). Exchange rates at the airport and in banks are lousy. You can also pull forints from any ATM with your credit card. Check out approximate exchange rates at http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic?lang=en&exch=USD&expr=HUF (choose your currency in the select box on the left).
Lots of restaurants and hotels accept credit cards, so you can rely on credit/debit cards mostly.
What about living costs?
It depends on whether you plan to buy a drink all four nights for the organizers or not. :) Beer prices are steady, in general you can get a 0.5l "korsó" for around 300-500 HUF (~€1.20 - €2 and ~$1.90 - $3.20), a 0.3l "pohár" for around 160-300 HUF (~€0.6 - €1.20 and ~$1 - $2.10). Wine prices however vary greatly. From 1000 HUF to 18000 HUF / bottle (~€4 - €72 and $6.25 - $112.50) you can taste wonderful lowland and hill wines that Hungary is famous for.
You can have a fulfilling dinner at 2000 HUF / person (~€8 and ~$12.50), a breakfast or quick brunch around 500-1000 HUF (~€2 - €4 and ~$3.20 - $6.25). A liter milk is 250 Ft.- (~€1 and ~$1.50), a 1kg bread is 200 HUF (~€0.80 and $1.25) just to get your bearings up to date.
Will I be able to use my power plugs to charge my laptop/mobile?
Electrical sockets (outlets) in all around Hungary are a mix of the two European standard electrical socket types (depending on grounding built in or not): The "Type C" Europlug and the "Type E" and "Type F" Schuko. If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Electrical sockets in Hungary supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. Otherwise you need a voltage conversion appliance too.
More information and picture illustrations at http://www.adaptelec.com/index.php?main_page=document_general_info&cPath...
Will my mobile phone work?
Hungarian carries use the 900 and 1800 Mhz frequencies. If your mobile phone supports these frequencies, then you should be good to go. There are three carries in Hungary: T-Mobile, Pannon (a subsidiary of Telenor) and Vodafone. If you are about to buy a cheap local pre-paid phone, you can look at eg. the Vodafone offerings. They sell cheap phones or 5-6000 HUF which also includes 500 HUF to talk, and you can buy further credits of course.
You tell me Szeged is a small town, so what about going out at night, bars and parties?
The SZIN Festival (a youth music festival) that is taking place during the conference should be a nice option for any of the evenings. The program page also has some further information on different fun options in town.