- Conference Details
- Additional Program
- About Granada
- Questions and Answers
- NAQ (newly asked questions)
YAPC::Europe::UGR - University of Granada proposal for YAPC::EU 2015
use YAPC::Europe::UGR qw(pick_best_venue); say "And the winner is... ", pick_best_venue(2015);
This is the proposal presented for hosting YAPC::Europe 2015, which will be in Granada in 2015. What follows is the final version of the proposal. Feel free to re-use it under the same terms that Perl itself. While we set everything up, this is a hint on what awaits us in YAPC::Europe 2015.
The OSL (Oficina de Software Libre, Free Software Office in Spanish) at the University of Granada with the support of Madrid.pm and Barcelona.pm presents this bid for YAPC::EU 2015.
We are the OSL at the University of Granada, led by JJ Merelo. Under the name of Granada.pm we have traditionally had a great involvement in the Spanish Perl Community.
The key local persons supporting the proposal are these:
He has already organized other conferences in the past such as PPSN 2002 and ECAL 1995, in the evolutionary algorithm area and has also collaborated in the organization of other conferences such as CEC 2011 or EvoStar 2014 (~150 persons), and many events such as NotBarraLibreCamp. He collaborated also with the organization of CIG 2012 (~100 persons), JENUI 2008 (local conference on Informatics Teaching, ~100 persons).
He has attended several Perl events in the past and made presentations, including several YAPC::Europe (2002, 2010) and FOSDEM Perl devrooms (2013, 2014).
He was the local organizer for the Computational Intelligence in Games conference and the CoSECiVi 2014. He is currently a postdoc at the University of Granada.
He is a long-time Perl hacker and instructor.
He is the head of the GeNeura research group who is also collaborating in the organization of this conference, and has been involved in the organization of all CEDI conferences (big Spanish annual CS event), several PPSN, EvoStar, IWANN, JENUI2008 and the CIG2012.
Maribel Garcia Arenas
She is assistant professor at the University of Granada, with a PhD in Computer Science, and has been the organizer of several events, latest one EvoStar 2014. She is sporadic Perl user, but makes up for that with her organizational flair.
Other local organizations and groups of people supporting the event are as follows:
Volunteers and other people attached to the OSL.
IT Delegation of the University of Granada
Other people not from Granada collaborating with the organization of the event are Alex Muntada, Salvador Fandiño, Diego Kuperman and other members of the local Perl Mongers groups.
For the time being, the contact email for any matter related to this proposal is mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org (OSL direction address).
In case we win the bid, we will setup a new address @ugr.es specifically for supporting the event.
We will hold it at the most convenient place at the University of Granada, with campus all over the city of Granada (Spain). Granada includes such beauties as the Alhambra, the Albayzin neighborhood, natural park of Sierra Nevada and some of the most beautiful graffiti in the country. Moreover, the beach is just 70 kilometers (35 minutes by highway) away from the city.
We have pre-acceptance for holding it at the Facultad de Ciencias and ETSIIT (Computer Science School), which is in the outskirts of the city but has all the facilities needed for a multi-room conference and is, anyway, well communicated with the rest of the city. We will buy enough extension cords for conference users; being a university building, it is well prepared for lots of people using electricity. All university buildings fulfill EC rules regarding accessibility, including access via wheelchairs or magnetic loops systems for people with hearing difficulties. No wired connectivity is previewed, in principle, but if needed a meeting room with access to the university network will be arranged.
The IT services at the University of Granada provides an easy way to set up WiFi guest access. EduRoam is also available for those coming from an academic environment and it works without a glitch. The network is able to support up to 5k devices concurrently. If absolutely necessary, we can supply some physical Ethernet connections, which will have to be shared by all the attendees.
We will provide backups for audiovisual equipment just in case it breaks down in the middle of the talk. Any of the university campuses has fixed projectors, as well as a few portable ones that can be used if needed.
Regardless of the university campus we choose, we will set up a couple of additional rooms for organizational purposes, storage, short meetings, BOFs and anything else that is needed.
We will use volunteers with good English skills (taken from our student pool) to staff a help desk during the whole conference. We have already done that successfully at previous events. If they are from outside Granada, we will also pay (bus) trip and (student) lodging, as well as registration. These students will be used as technical support for all rooms, as well as countdown service.
All rooms that we will use in the conference are provided with air conditioning; these are usually in the ground floor of the university building. In some cases, and since classes are usually off during summer, other rooms are not provided with it. However, we will not need to use them for attendance below 1000 persons.
All rooms are equipped with public-address system, computer and FullHD projectors. MAC and HDMI adapters will be available from the organization upon request.
The biggest rooms are auditorium-style, with tiered seats. For talks with smaller audiences, we will use regular class-rooms which can hold up to fifty persons comfortably and are flat.
We will have almost no restrictions on the usage of the university spaces as in August there is little, or none at all, academic activity.
This means that we can easily run five parallel tracks. However, in principle there are around 75 talk slots, 25 per day, which can be fit easily into three or four tracks.
As our request to use university buildings for the conference has already been accepted by the University board, it is very unlikely that we could need to move the event to a different venue.
In any case, these are the alternatives:
The University of Granada has at least three other campuses inside the city which could fit conferences with up to five hundred attendees, including the Facultad de Letras (Humanities) whose main hall has capacity for five hundred and sixty persons.
If the conference blows up to epic proportions, we could move the event to Granada Conference Center which can cope with attendances on the thousands. The costs for this are non linear and have been inserted in the tentative budget.
Our first choice for a expected attendance of around 400 persons would be the Aula Magna at the Sciences Faculty which has been recently renovated and includes can hold up to 506 seats. This campus is right next to the second one and also practically in the city center. It has many classrooms with capacity from 60 to 150. These two places actually have a tram stop nearby. That the tram will be actually passing by it next year is a riddle. It might, having been under construction for 9 years and all, but then it might not.
For up to 250 conference goers, Our preferred venue is the ETSIIT, whose biggest room can fit 196 people, with room for a few more in the sidelines or standing up. If attendance is not more than 250 people, we would go for this venue, since there is also a OSL storage room, the offices of most organizers, and it is the obvious choice, being the Computer Science School and all. There are air-conditioned classrooms with capacity for 100 persons, and other rooms with 78 seats, 8 of each + 3 more classrooms, also air conditioned, with a capacity of 60 PAX. The cafeteria can sit up to 120 people (but we would do the tapas crawl for lunch, something we successfully did during EvoStar). This place is conveniently linked by public transport to the city center, and not far away from a tram stop.
As you see, the main factor for choosing venue is the number of simultaneous people it can hold at the same time. Since this will depend on the attendance of the current YAPC as well as how many people we are going to attract, we cannot commit ourselves to one of them right now and we keep our options open; if chosen, we will make a pre-reservation of spaces in both and will discard the one that is finally not used. At any rate, any "big room" mentioned before is inside the university building with the rest of the rooms used close by, in the same building a few meters away. Toilettes are not far away either.
In previous events (EvoStar 2014) we have organized a Tapas Experience for lunch and our intention is to organize it again this time. There are several reasons for this, the main being that it is difficult to serve 400 people from a central location and simultaneously. It is a load-distribution algorithm, but also a way of sharing with the local community. It provides more choice for attendees and also more opportunities for networking.
We will provide every attendee with several "tapa" vouchers that they can exchange in the pubs and bars around the venue (5 minutes away, top) at their discretion in order to have lunch, dinners or well, anything at any time they feel hungry.
A "Tapa" are a small dish usually served accompanied by a drink (it is actually the other way round, but you get the drift). Every bar has its own specialties and style and as a whole they provide great variety (including vegetarian and vegan). Granada's tapas are quite remarkable. They form part of the essence of the essence and are at the center of its social life. You can have conference lunch anywhere, but nowhere but in Granada you can have a Conference Tapas Crawl.
This is also a good way to increase networking, since you can have a "tapa" in some bar, then go to another one where you can meet a different set of people. The experience in EvoStar 2014 was very positive in terms of quality and satisfaction. Not so much so for the speakers in the first session in the afternoon, but those never get the best deal anyway.
We would ensure that we have enough bars to cope with the attendance and that they all have offerings covering special needs, specifically vegan dishes.
As an alternative to the "Tapas crawl" we can use the canteen located on any of the two university buildings, supplemented with additional space to fit all the attendees (probably in the hall or another university canteen nearby). In that case a buffet style lunch would be served. Anyway, the university canteen will be included in the tapas crawl for those people that do not want or cannot move from the building.
The conference dinner will take place in the city of Granada, with enough supply of banqueting places for any kind of events. The Abba hotel itself has enough space for several hundreds, but there are at least 5 salons in the city of Granada that can hold up to 500 persons.
Granada is linked to Madrid, London and Barcelona by regular daily and frequent flights and also to Mallorca and to other places (but flight frequencies vary often and are sometimes seasonal). Málaga is roughly one hour away by car or 2 hours by bus and is linked to all major European cities (and many minor, as long as they have enough sun-and-party-hungry punters). There are also buses and trains to Madrid and Seville, but coach is always the best option outside the plane.
The ETSIIT is linked to the city center (with many lodging options) by three bus lines. Depending on the date, student residences might also be available (July is the best date for that, since usual guests will be on holiday; some might be available in September, and none in August).
It is also possible, but not likely, that Granada tram system will be working by August 2015. There is a station close to the ETSIIT that would link it in minutes to the railway station and other points of interest in the city, including hotel areas.
It is going to be, AFAIK, the YAPC::EU southernmost conference, so this fact will have to be taken into account in the details of the conference.
Due to budgetary reasons, the university is locked during most of August; best date for YAPC, if that is workable for everybody, would be early September. However, if it is a requirement that it takes place in August, our chosen dates would be the last week of August.
We propose The Art of Perl as the conference theme.
We believe that coding is a mix between craft and Art.
As hackers, just solving problems is not enough for us. We also need to do it in elegant and beautiful ways!
When we are programming we create Art!
When using code, when reading code, we enjoy it, and joy is the basis for art!
And Perl, because of its expressiveness, concision, flexibility, stickiness (or rather glue-ness) and power, is one of the best languages for doing it!
Because Perl bends around your mind and not the other way around!
On this conference we want to proclaim that programming in Perl is an Art!
Also, there has been people using Perl for more traditional forms of art such as Poetry for as far as our memory (Google) can reach. There would also be a place for that kind of art at the conference. Also procedural content generation, interactive art, writing novels using Perl (hey, people do that all the time) and so on.
In order to reuse the database from previous conferences, we will use the Act! toolkit for the conference web. We have used it successfully for out Granada Perl Workshop and are starting to use it for the Barcelona Perl Workshop.
We will consider having for early birds a perl golf contest or a Perl quiz; for those staying late we could also consider that. It is also an option to consider during cocktail parties the first day. Any suggestion will also be welcome.
The OSL maintains a presence in social networks (identi.ca, Twitter, Facebook), and the people in the organization do have that too. We would use email, local free software events (there is a Free Software in Administration conference planned for October, small framework and OS-focused events during all the year), FOSDEM devrooms, and a sandwich man walking around inconspicuously around PHP and Python developer conferences.
We are developing an app for creating a personal schedule, and as in past conferences, we will use whatever people have scheduled for creating a preference. Which will be probably for those dressed as Star Trek fleet ensigns or anything that is not simultaneous to talks by Damian, brian or Mark. This app will be connected to the services available in Act.
Granada offers a great amount of options for people from 2 to 22. Sorry, to 222. We will organize a tapas crawl in the best watering holes of Granada, artistic trips through the graffiti art in Granada streets. And, yes, also Alhambra and all those things. We will also organize courses for those interested and beginning courses in Spanish.
No innovation here. We will provide space during or preferably before the conference so that people that want to give tutorial or courses can pay trip expenses giving them. The organization will only collect a racket, sorry, a cut for, you know, protection.
For a boost of visibility (or outing) of the Spanish Perl community, we will also offer courses in several levels in Spanish. Any other languages can also be arranged, specially English
Any side trip within a reasonable distance of Granada can be arranged; we will contact a travel agency so that they can offer packages for a good price. But the usual thing is:
Alhambra and Generalife.
Sunset in front of the Alhambra, through the world heritage quarter called Generalife.
Renaissance in Granada: cathedral and other churches and palaces.
Tapas crawl including fried fish, meat and everything you can include in a little dish.
In previous conferences, JJ Merelo has organized a tour of graffiti in Granada. He will be happy to offer it again, just for the conference attendees and buddies.
Now we are talking business. We have tried to stick to the same registration costs as the last conference. Part of the venue is low cost, since it is organized as an institutional (meaning university, as belonging to the University of Granada) event. The University of Granada covers insurance costs too. This will leave us some leeway to give a better attendees dinner.
We are talking of a ballpark of 30K € for the regular and expected scenario. We will also apply to local science funding agencies and the university to defray part of the cost. The Free Software Office will absorb any deficit if there is one. Since funding agencies pay the grant after expenses have been incurred, in some cases years later, temporary deficit will have to be absorbed by the OSL and any surplus that is obtained after the conference also will go to the Free Software Office operating costs and a local Free Software Prize to fund a special Perl-based application prize. Any surplus obtained from registration fees and sponsors will be returned to the YAPC::Europe Foundation. The full budget is published in a Google Drive document.
Main income will be levied on attendees. Planned attendance fees are in the same ballpark as previous events:
- Guests, Speakers, Organizers: 0€
- Full-time students: 70€
- Early-bird: 90€
- Regular price: 120€
- Corporate tariff: 240€
Final fees have to be announced. We will request any amount from sponsors, and past events have gathered around 6000€ exclusively from local sponsors. A minimum of 1000€ can be expected from those sources.
There are several costs per attendee. Please check the budget for values and different scenarios, including must have and nice-to-have items and scenarios.
This is around 75€ per attendee, fully covered by early-bird fee and with a deficit for speakers and students. This will be balanced with the surplus provided by late arrivals, corporate fees and sponsors.
The budget will be adjusted mainly by changing the number of lunches and coffee breaks, but also taking into account the other nice-to-have features.
The spreadsheet provides different scenarios with associated costs. In any case we have room for cutting some corners and if we run into a deficit it will be covered by asking for support from the local official organism.
Granada is being pushed as a technological city by consortiums such as On Granada Tech City which is supported by major technological companies and local institutions.
We have contact with local tech companies will will be willing to help with small amounts; we will have no minimum requirement for sponsorship. Companies such as Codeko.com or Blulabs have supported OSL events in the past. We will mainly look for direct support of tchotchkes such as t-shirts or bags. Other companies contacted after the initial proposal such as ElasticSearch, Qindel Group, Capside and the local technology transfer office have answered positively to our support requests. These offers have been included in the current version of the budget.
Support will also be requested from institutions of all kinds. Being the economy of Spain in the shape that it is, we don't expect much from that, but we will do it anyways and have obtained support in the past.
Granada is a student city which has been the preferred destination of Erasmus students for a long time, and that accounts for something. It's a lively city with many services for visitors.
Granada has an international airport, but easiest way to reach it is to connect at Madrid or Barcelona. From July 2013, there is a five times a week direct British Airways flight to London City, which can be also used as a hub to reach us, although it is not the cheapest or even the fastest way to get here (maybe cheaper if used as a connection).
Some price for return tickets to Granada; these are for next September 2014, and of course might vary for September 2015. You would have to add 3euro bus ticket|http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/Satellite/Aeropuerto-Federico-Garcia-Lorca-Granada-Jaen/es/Page/1237554498674//Transporte-publico.html> or around 30euro for a taxi ride. These are prices obtained using LastMinute.com, and to Granada itself. Going to Malaga would add around two hours and around 15€ bus fare.
- London: lowest 226€, average around 275€. To Malaga: 128€.
- Paris: lowest 206€, average around 300€. To Malaga: 137€.
- Rome: lowest 226€, average around 260€. To Malaga: more or less the same.
- Frankfurt: lowest 282€, average around 350€. To Malaga: 184€.
- Vienna: lowest 306€, average around 400€. To Malaga: lowest 169€.
Most flights are in the 200-400€ range. After the MH17 incident, flights to Moscow have shot up to the stratosphere, so I have eliminated them. Flying to Malaga usually saves you some money, between 50 and 100€ but in some cases it would add time to the trip (in most cases not, since it will be a direct flight).
There are many more options to Malaga, which is a big airport, including low-cost flights, but then you have to take a bus or train to the bus station and another bus (two hours) from there.
The local bus company provides also a direct bus to Granada from Madrid airport, with two frequencies a day and a low price. Check out the ALSA site for timetable.
Some sample prices and itineraries:
- Malaga Airport - Granada: 1h30m, 10€, 4 buses a day.
- Malaga Bus Station-Granada, every hour on the hour (roughly, some exceptions) until 21:30. There are buses and trains from the airport to the bus station.
- Madrid (Estacion Sur) - Granada: 5h (ALSA), several buses a day, roughly every hour; normal 5h and 17.53 €, supra economy 4.5h and 26.81€ and supra+ (with WiFi) 4.5h and 35-87€ (only two of these 13:30, 19:30).
- Seville-Granada and back, 41€, 3h15m.
There are buses also from Granada airport to the city center, costing 3€; taxis are roughly 10 times more expensive. We can organize taxi pools if needed.
Granada includes the Alhambra and Albayzin, an ensemble that has been declared world heritage site by the UNESCO. That is only part of its patrimony, that includes also Renaissance palaces, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, and a rather unknown but no less beautiful set of modernist buildings.
Organized or self-organized options for tourism are available all year round. The beach is 70 kms and a bus run away. There are also many opportunities for trekking up in Sierra Nevada or in the Alpujarras. Granada is a prime touristic destination and it shows.
The bid from the Free Software Office at the University of Granada is organized by a group of persons with experience in organizing events including the Granada Perl Workshop in June 2014, some experience attending YAPC::Europe events (including, possibly, this next Sofia YAPC::Europe), will take place in an incredibly nice city, easily accessible by plane, in a venue (the University of Granada) with all needed facilities and with support from local university government, local free software SMEs and enthusiastic Perl Mongers which, so far, have not seen a single YAPC::Europe in Spain.
While we have not been asked these questions by the organization, they were made to other proposers, so here are the questions that have not been answered before and some that were asked in the previous incarnation of the proposal.
- What's the price of beer?
In the bars around the ETSIIT, Facultad de Ciencias and in town, average price this year (2014) is a bit over 2€ and that includes the tapa, that is, a small dish with usually warm food. That's the price of a tubo (1/3 liter). It's not usual in Spain to have bigger portions; you just order a second one.
- What's the weather like in August, September?
It's definitely hot, with maximum that can go up to 40 degrees; it goes down in September, but daily maximum are always over 30°. September is milder, which is another reason why we intend to use it.
- Can people get receipts?
Whether we choose a professional services company to organize registration or the university itself, there is no problem with providing receipts. We will see what is the more convenient option in terms of work needed, but also financially; the University can provide VAT-free registration while the external company can not.
If you have a good map and can orient yourself, it is pretty easy. In pure geographical terms, Granada is not a difficult place; on the other hand, the Spanish educational system has made sure that very few, if any, speak other than the mother tongue. However, they will speak loudly and kindly to you until they make themselves understood.
- It would be nice to have more details on accommodation, with a range of the prices that can be expected for different levels of accommodation. Can most attendees fit in one hotel? Is Internet access widely available in accommodations?
This is taken almost verbatim from CIG 2012 site, which Antonio Mora organized too. Prices should not have varied too much, although they will post new prices starting September 2014.
Granada is a city accustomed to a large touristic inflow, so its offers a huge number of accommodation options for all budgets. In addition, due to the number of students living in the city (more than 60000 during the year), there are a big amount of visitors in these ages, so there are several economical lodgings. So the city provides dozens of hotels ranging from 5-star to 1-star ones. It must be noted that hotels in Spain (and maybe more in Granada) are usually well priced due to the competition among them. Thus, a 4-star hotel may often be in the 75-100€ range and a 3-star hotel in the 50-75 € range. Of course, some fluctuations can happen depending on the particular hotel and the zone where it is, but special packages are also possible, allowing more economic prices.
As far as we know, there are no big events announced for dates (late August or early September 2015). It is low season anyways and there are thousands of rooms just in 4-5 star hotels, so no booking crunch is previewed.
- Recommended hotels (approximate prices)
- AC Palacio de Santa Paula - 5* (130€ by night)
The best hotel in the city. Located at the main street (Gran Vía) in the city centre. Well communicated to reach the ETSIIT.
- Abba - 4* (75€ by night)
New hotel (less than 3 years old), close to the train station and near the city centre. Well placed to get to the ETSIIT (Avda Constitución). Usually has good offers for University events, including free WiFi and access to the spa, which we would arrange.
- Vincci - 4* (80€ by night)
Well-considered hotel in the city, close to the train station and near the city centre. Well placed to get to the ETSIIT (Avda Constitución).
- Granada Center - 4* (65€ by night)
Good hotel, not very expensive and close to a good tapas area (Severo Ochoa street, in front of the Faculty of Sciences).
- Carmen - 4* (55€ by night)
Cheap hotel, but with good quality. It is near to the city centre.
- Macia Gran Via - 3* (50€ by night)
In the main street and quite cheap.
- Puerta de las Granadas - 3* (70€ by night)
Just below the Alhambra. Smack in the middle of the tourist area. Only 14 rooms.
- Juan Miguel - 3* (45€ by night)
Cheap hotel in the city centre, close to the city hall.
- Student accommodation
As you can check, the prices are quite cheap even in four star hotels, but there are a huge amount of guest houses (Pensiones in Spanish) in the city. Or if you prefer, there is also a Youth hostel (Albergue in Spanish). During July, student dorms might offer also cheap accommodation; in September it is less likely. There are also two university residences, which are very nice, but not so conveniently located for accessing the ETSIIT (or other university venue we might choose. However, they might be used for invited speakers, mainly if we manage to pay them from university budget.
The assets are there, and it would be possible to record at least one of the tracks. That would be free for the conference, since the OSL is part of the IT dept of the university which includes the virtual department too. The ETSIIT includes also self-recording facilities in some classes, which we could use for some tracks (but this is not available in our preferred venue, Facultad de Ciencias). However, this is additional work and/or cost, so except for keynotes no plans to do any recording have been made.
We plan to do a pre-conference drink-up and post-conference excursions. If sponsorship allows, we will organize a speakers' dinner the first conference day.
- Do you have any plans for an associated hackathon?
In the OSL we organize hackathons to the tune of several every year. We would love to organize one and try and attract local talent to Perl. Our experience says that it is better to organize them with at least one day and a half, which we would prefer to do before the conference. The venue could change, since we have contact with local coworking spaces that would provide the site and the connectivity, as well as in some cases free drinks and coffee. They can even be used overnight if needed.
We will make a call for proposals so that CPAN authors can submit their modules for enhancements or bug quashing. We will contact authors of major Perl projects such as perl5i or parrot in case they are interested. This will be held either in the same place or, depending on the number of people, in smaller venues such as the Free Software Office, which is in a building with rooms varying in capability from 12 to 40 persons.
- Do you plan to provide anything to speakers? (Such as water, a person to time things and keep the schedule on track, etc)
We will have volunteers (students, GeNeura or OSL people) in every room to fix any problem that can arise, from lack of electrical outlets to swooning fans. Water will be provided for speakers, and they will be heartily patted in the back after they finish. The volunteer will also take care of time overruns by dancing a Spanish jitterbug when the speaker has spent the allotted slot.
- How many days do you expect the event to run, and what days of the week are you considering?
Wednesday until Friday, with Monday and Tuesday reserved for hackaton. Weekend for social events.
- Did you already approach to any potential sponsors?
We have approached the sponsors included in the new budget. Some of them have already expressed their will to support with an amount, some of them just their will.
- How many meals a day are you going to provide?
One meal, one coffee break, but as shown in the budget section, meals and coffees will be reserved only when budget is secured for them.
- Will catering be organized inside the venue or outside?
Coffees, if eventually provided, will be inside. Lunch and dinner outside.
- What is the deadline for early bird registrations?
The usual four months before the conference.
- How many attendees do you expect?
As many as the other venues bidding for YAPC::EU. And then a few more.
No, really. Granada is an attractive, history-laden city. In previous conferences we have organized, some attendees have mentioned the fact that they submitted papers to it because of the city. So attendance of around 400 people ("Expected" column in the budget) would be reasonable. But we have planned for any other scenario, including "Student invasion" (remember Granada is #1 Erasmus destination in Europe).
- Can you roughly estimate the portion of speakers (you mention 75 of them), early bird registrations, students, regular and business attendees?
Please check the budget with the different scenarios outlined.
- In case you have no money for lunches, will it be possible for everybody to find food on their own in a reasonable time (90 minutes for outside lunches seems to be the optimum)? You mentioned a few cafes outside but are they capable to serve 300 people at the same time?
Glad you ask that question, because whatever the place in the University of Granada we celebrate YAPC, there are literally dozens of places where you can have a quick snack, sandwiches or even a sit-down proper lunch for old geezers. Even at the ETSIIT there is a cafeteria and university lunchroom, with the Fine Arts School cafeteria nearby and a supermarket where you can buy salads or sandwiches and several bars one block away, each one being able to hold from 20 to 60 persons.
- How many local attendees might appear at the conference?
The usual Spanish crowd at the YAPCs amounts to around one dozen people. There are two strong Perl Monger groups in Spain whose attendance would be boosted. To help attendance by local students we would apply for course credits to the university, so that they can get ECTS credits for attending and/or volunteering at the conference. All in all, 50 is a reasonable number.
These questions have been asked by the committee after the submission
- You write: "We will have almost no restrictions on the usage of the university spaces as in August there is little, or none at all, academic activity." But further down below you say: "best date for YAPC ... would be early September". In case the dates of the conference are in September, will it dramatically influence the availability of conference rooms, Wi-Fi capacity and bar availability?
Not really. Peek capacity of university buildings is fulfilled at class time, not during examinations, which usually have only one by degree per day or every other day. Ciencias hosts many degrees, but even so capacity will be 90% or more free at any particular day. So even if there are examinations taking place at that time, there will be plenty of room available. Of course, if booked in advance, which we will, we will be able to use prime real estate.
- How far exactly is The Computer Science School from the city centre and what public transport is available?
It is not at walking distance, around 10 minutes by taxi, and your mileage by public transport might vary, but not too much. There are three bus lines that stop close to it, two of them linked to the high-capacity bus line that goes through the city center every 2-3 minutes. However, in this bid it is only our fallback option in case attendance hovers around 250 or less (which probably will not happen).
- It looks like the attendees will be disappointed to find out that Wi-Fi in the venue does not allow SSH connection (or allow it for a limited number of connections). Is there a chance to change this?
In fact we recently discovered that guest accounts do have access to a reasonable amount of ports. We have changed the proposal to reflect this.
- You say that if there will be less than 250 attendees, you might choose a different venue? It sounds impossible to implement, as you only will be able to know the exact (still, a bit vague) number a few days before the conference, when you cannot change the venue. Even if you pre-order more than one venue, attendees must know the address well in advance so that they can book their hotels.
We will have a first approximation after the conference in Sofia, which will be our guide. At any rate, we will reserve the biggest one and should see the others only as fallback options, much cheaper, in case those target is not met.
Hotels will be pretty much the same ones in any case. The two first options are back to back, the third are a bit further away, but there are no hotels that cater to it specifically. In fact, the "official" hotel we have proposed is almost as far from one as from the other.
- How much time are you going to reserve for the lunch breaks? Will 60 minutes be enough or you need 90? 300+ people is a big crowd and even if it is distributed between a few pubs, it is difficult to serve all of them fast enough.
The usual 2 hours in Spain. Our experience, however, tells us that it is no too difficult even in 90 minutes, but we will leave 2 hours, which is usual even if we have a buffet or a sit-down lunch.
- How difficult is serving lunches inside the venues and why you consider it an alternative option, not the main one?
Serving lunches in the venue should have to be buffet style, since there is not sitting space in the cafeteria. A zone of the main hall would have to be cordoned off to serve food and food would have to be brought by a catering service from outside. This would all add to the cost (since we would have to pay for the space, food and service) and we would have international buffet-style food instead of the quintessential tapas experience. Not a big deal doing it if absolutely required, only the budget would have to be up a bit.
- The conference theme you choose, "The Art of Perl", was already the theme of the YAPC::Europe in 2000.
Do you mean that the art of Perl was over in 2000? We do like the topic, and if possible, we would like to keep it. Maybe changing it a bit to "Art as engineering, engineering as art", or much better, Art ~~ Engineering.
- Air tickets in the proposal are dated as "September 2013". Is it a typo or the prices are outdated?
Prices haven't changed much, except for Moscow, which is to all effects unreachable (but the situation might change next year). I have updated prices and also added estimation of prices to Malaga, which are in most cases lower (except for Rome, for reasons we cannot fathom).
- Can you give a rough estimation of the total door-to-door travel time from a couple of European capitals outside Spain, including air and land segments, waiting time for connections and time to get from the airport to the train station, for example?
No. Because we would have to ask the local taxi/Uber/blablacardrivers how much would we have to pay from the door of some individual person in some place, and European Union regulations forbid that.
However, we will provide an estimation of airport-to-hotel in Granada cost.
- Will you be able to provide a laptop for the speaker if he has none (rare but still possible case)?
Sure. Any of the places pre-selected have computers or laptops in every room, and the free software office always has 2-3 (recycled) laptops which we use for this kind of events.
- When are you planning to start and finish the conference day?
In Spain times are usually 9 to 18-19, with around 2 hours in the middle for lunch and siesta. In principle, we will try to fit it to 9 to 18, but we will leave options open for light activity after 18 hours.
- In case of failure, will you submit your proposal next year?
Third is the charm, or so it's said. But, wait, is that a trick question?