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LocationCheckList for Geneva.

(the font size indicates the different priorities high, medium and low.)


[edit] Local team

  • Please name the main local team and describe their commitment (i.e. connection, work they have done before, how long...) in organizing events and working in Free Software projects. Are they perhaps even known inside Debian?


  • Of these people, which have been present at a previous DebConfs and who have participated as organizers and/or volunteers (the line might be quite blurry at times) of a previous DebConf?


  • Are you willing to work on the final report and sponsor bags from DebConf N-1? (This is somewhat satirical, meant to highlight the fact that often the DCN+1 team team finishes these things from DCN even though it technically isn't their job. This item will hopefully also motivate future teams to finish their own report/sponsor bags in a timely manner.)


[edit] Choice of city / town / whatever

  • Are you suggesting a city, a town, a village, a spa in the middle of nowhere?

Geneva is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and various international entities have headquarters there, like the UN, ISO, ITU or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    • How many people live there?

191,237 as of 2011-03.

    • How easy/convenient is the proposed place to get all strange and regular kinds of hardware?


      • Electronic/electricity shops
      • Computer stores (A "media market" like end user oriented store doesn't count)
      • Supermarkets, etc.
    • How easy is to handicapped people move there?

The Swiss transport network is already equipped for handicapped people, so there should be no problem to reach the venue. Once there, however, given that it is not a flat city, local movements could be a problem.

  • Which is the nearest airport?

The Cointrin Airport (GVA) is 4 km northwest of the city center.

    • Are there any cheap airlines flying near the chosen city?

Most of the European ones.

    • How long does the trip from the airport to the venue take?

It takes from 25 to 40 minutes from GVA, either by a combination of train/tram or bus/tram, respectively. The venue has tram/bus stops in front of it.

  • How friendly is your country towards foreigners?

No problem for this.

    • Visas: Which/how many countries' citizens require getting a visa? How hard (bureaucratic, probable) is it to get it?

EU countries do not require any visa.

      • Are there any import regulations, which might affect DebConf? (e.g. a limit to number of notebooks / DVDs / other media you can bring in; hard regulations for money transfers; etc.)


    • Language: Do most people talk English? How hard is it for a foreigner to find their way around?

Given the presence of various international organizations (one for all, the UN) and its importance as a diplomatic and financial centre, English is widely spoken, up to the point that some bars/restaurants are especially for English-speaking people.

    • Smoking: What are the local regulations about smoking?

Smoking is not allowed in public places (like bars/restaurants), but it is still allowed outside.

[edit] Conference Facilities

  • How much does it cost to rent these facilities?


  • How far away are the locations from each other? (auditoriums, hacklabs, restaurant, sleeping quarters, info desk)

The conference will be held at UniMail, the part of the University of Geneva dedicated to Human Sciences, situated in the Plainpalais district. The sleeping quarters will be at 10 or 30 minutes by public transports or walking, respectively.

    • What kind of places are available suitable for hacklabs, workshops, BoFs and talks?


    • How many people fit in each of them?
    • How flexible can that be handled?
      • ~-Can smaller auditoriums be merged into a bigger one?-~
      • Are tables/chairs fixed, or can we arrange them to fit more people/give more room to the people that we need?
    • Is the venue ready for handicapped people? Note: Keep in mind that it's not only motion-handicapped - Is the area safe for people with any kind of handicap? (There are sight and hearing-impaired people, too.) Bonus: What people is it not good for?

UniMail is perfectly equipped for handicapped people, but not all the dormitories.

      • Access to all areas with ramps and/or elevators? (Note: carrying somebody over some steps is not usually an acceptable option.)
      • Are there people with experience handling handicapped people, who checked that?


  • Are blueprints with exact distances available to us (to be kept confidential on request)?


  • What kind of audio equipment is already present at the auditoriums?


    • Wireless or stationary mics?
    • clip-on kind of mics or cary in your hand mics?
    • How many of them?
  • Will the hacklabs be allowed to stay open 24x7? What time schedule do they offer?

The daily hacklabs in UniMail will be available from 08:00 to 20:00, which are the UniMail opening hours.

  • What kind of security will be there?


  • Are there any limitations regarding the consumptions of food / alcohol? Where do what limitations apply?


    • How far is it to the nearest convenience stores / all-night restaurants?

UniMail is at a 5-minute walking from the Coop or Migros stores in Plainpalais, which close at 19:00 during weekdays. While restaurants in Plainpalais usually stop serving around 22:30, bars are usually opened until 01:00 (02:00 on week-ends).

  • Please provide pictures of the venue/accommodation.

TO-BE-FILLED Pictures of the bunkers are available in the Git grepository.

[edit] Food

  • How much are the meals per person per day?


  • Is the eating place near the talks place / the hacklabs?

Yes, in the same building.

  • What kind of food would be served?


    • In what fashion? (service to the table, limited buffet, open buffet, etc.)

No service to the table.

  • Would food for vegetarian / vegan / lactose-intolerant / gluten-sensitive / religious (of any denomination) people be available?


    • How much meals do we need to order to get those kind of "special" meals?

TO-BE-CHECKED: no minimum number.

    • Will it cost extra to get those special meals?


  • In a two week period, how many more or less equal meals can we expect?


[edit] Network connectivity

  • Is the area already wired with regular network infrastructure? (much preferrably: 100Mbps or 1Gbps switched)

UniMail has an upstream fiber connection and the University of Geneva is part of the SWITCH network which interconnects the biggest Swiss universities.

  • How much does it cost and how difficult is it to get a big internet connection? (10/20 Mbits at least)

Each ethernet plug in UniMail is 1Gbps-ready.

  • How much work does it imply to cover the area with wireless links?

The whole UniMail is already covered by 802.11g Wi-Fi.

  • If we use someone else's infrastructure, how easy / flexible can that be handled, regarding routing / firewall / ip-range / public access / other stuff?


    • Do we have restrictions on allowed ports?

TO-BE-CHECKED: at least 25.

    • Are we traffic-shaped? Or can we set a traffic shaper if we need so?


  • Would it be possible to set up the network before Debcamp? (a day or two, earlier would be nicer, in order to handle problems gracefully. Additional weeks for wireless.)


[edit] Special rooms

Both for server and video rooms:

  • General conditions for the rooms
    • Size
    • Have they/do they need air conditioning?
    • What electrical load can they handle?

[edit] Accomodation

  • How much does it cost per person per night?


  • Is the place where people are going to sleep near the conference facilities?

Not really, dormitories are at 10 or 30 minutes by public transports or walking, respectively.

  • Is it able to handle a varying number from 200 to 500 people?

Sure, most of the dormitories will be the Civil Defense's bunkers.

  • Is it able to handle non-native speaking people? (i.e. do the people at the sleeping facilities speak English?)

We are responsible for everything.

  • Will there be a need of a "Debconf" info-desk, or would the local (hotel or such) people be able to handle that themselves? (See InfoDesk for details on duties)

We are responsible for everything.

  • Will it be possible for couples to stay in their own rooms?


  • How many room keys would be available?


  • Are there other hotels around?

Sure, the nearest are at a 15-minute walking.

  • Are there rooms ready for handicapped people? How many?

Yes, but for bathrooms/toilets do not have any comfort. DONT-KNOW.

[edit] Fun and Free time

  • What activities can be done during the free time?

TO-BE-FILLED: more or less everything.

  • What would be a possible Day Trip?


    • Is the proposed location ready to receive people with disabilities?


  • How expensive would that be?


[edit] Local Sponsors

  • Do you have a list of prospective sponsors that might be interested in the conference? Money, hardware, connectivity, etc.


[edit] Timing

  • When (and why) would be the best time to host DebConf at your location?

July or August, i.e. during university holidays.

  • What is your backup plan if your preferred venue isn't available at that time?

DebConf13/Switzerland/Vaumarcus and Fiesch (or Melchtal), see Debconf13/Switzerland/minutes-20111013#Which_venues_should_be_investigated_further.

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