YAPC::Europe 2013 in Kiev, week minus 47. Venue Research
There was a tweet from Viacheslav Tykhanovskyi last Friday: My life during last weeks: waking up early to visit the next venue for yapc :-). Do you know what stands behind that less-than-140-character message?
In Barbie's Perl Jam book, there's a section called Research Your Venue where you can see a list of problems arising before the organisers: finding a venue, requirements for the main auditorium, floor plan layout, breakout area, storage room, hackathon and BOF rooms, speaker preparation rooms, accessibility, internet connectivity and Wi-Fi, location, cost, catering, dietary requirements, morning and afternoon breaks, lunch, dinner, early arrivals dinner. The things in this list following catering combine a separate list of headache reasons for the organisers.
For the conference in Kiev we've got seven different venues in mind, and I would like to thank the guys in Kiev, Viacheslav and Yaroslav, for helping with both preparing a list of potential places and doing hard work of detailed exploring them one by one. Viacheslav is the main force behind that.
In our internal wiki (an instance of MediaWiki in PHP :-) we keep a table where we make notes about venue parameters, including their price. It will help us to make a decision after we explore all the venues. I hope this will be done before the end of this year, presumably in November.
Here is our primary checklist:
- Big room with 300 to 400 seats.
- Two or three rooms for 100 people.
- Hall space.
- Lunch area.
- Catering facilities.
- Two coffee breaks a day.
- Wireless internet access for 300+ devices.
- Open SSH etc. ports.
- Multimedia projectors and screens.
- Additional projector or big monitor in the hall.
- Microphones on the stage.
- Microphones in the room (at least in the main one).
- Possibility to connect your laptop's video.
- Possibility to connect your laptop's audio.
- Sound recording.
- Video recording.
- Power supply.
- Venue access (whether the attendees need to have any documents with them).
- The size and date of prepayment.
Each of the items is not just a boolean value but rather a container keeping lots of details. For example, catering may include just a space for a break, or the venue may force to buy their food, or it may include the need to search for the cafes outside. Or the rooms for talk tracks: smaller rooms may be physical or virtual, that is it may be configured from a part of hall areas, which is not always great.
When I prepared a proposal for hosting YAPC::Europe in Kiev a few years ago, I approached couple of local universities (which are by default the most suitable venues for any conference). One of them was rather curious in that it was not possible to rent the venue to have three subsequent days within a week because they had an agreement with some local non-official church who gathered two times a week there, every Sunday and Wednesday. More to add to this strange situation, when we discussed the details, the director of the venue spoke to me in Ukrainian while I talked to her in Russian. I still don't know what that was and why. I have no problems with understanding Ukrainian but I also believe she had no problems speaking correct Russian. It's like when you speak Italian and receive answers in Spanish.
All in all, once again thanks to the guys in Kiev for their detailed research. We will keep you informed and announce the date and the address as soon as we can.
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