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[edit] Choice of Mechelen

  • Mechelen
    • Population: 82,325
    • Ease/convenience of getting all strange and regular kinds of hardware?
      • Electronic/electricity shops: Several within less than 5 km
      • Computer stores: Several within less than 2 km
      • Supermarkets: Match right across the street (see below); several more available in the city center.
    • Good accessibility in both the city and the venue.
  • Nearest airport: Brussels (BRU); easy to reach by car & public transport
    • Cheap airlines: all the usual ones; RyanAir, JetAir and WizzAir mostly use Brussels South Charleroi Airport; RyanAir has tentative plans at this time to move some connections to BRU
    • Direct flights to a lot of locations in Europe, and some locations in the rest of the world
    • Airport to venue:
      • Public transport: 10 minutes by train + 15 min by foot or bus
      • Car: ~25 min
  • Friendly towards foreigners: Mechelen has a historic city center, many tourists all year round
    • /Bid#Do_I_need_visa.3F Visa information
      • Import regulations: No drugs, weapons, protected animals, or more than €10,000 in cash.
    • Language: The native language is Dutch, most people also speak French. Almost everyone speaks a bit of English
    • Smoking: Not allowed in public buildings, (most) bars and restaurants included, only outside and/or designated areas. Many bars (including at least two on the vismarkt) have a "smoker's room" inside where smoking is allowed.

[edit] Conference Facilities

  • How much does it cost to rent these facilities? ~32000 Euro for the whole building during one week, includes the whole Lamot site. We get one day for free from the city government (needs to be subtracted from that 32K figure)
  • How far away are the locations from each other? (auditoriums, hacklabs, restaurant, sleeping quarters, info desk): Venue is within one single building, catering probably on site. Three hotels with offers (see below) and several restaurants in walking distance. Youth hostel ~15 min by foot. Info desk on site.
    • What kind of places are available suitable for hacklabs, workshops, BoFs and talks?
      • Two large auditoriums (240 and 300 seats), five smaller rooms (2x 120, others between 30 and 80 seats)
      • Novotel also has some rooms they told us about; we could use those only for debcamp (and rent Lamot only for the conference proper plus a few days for preparation).
    • How many people fit in each of them? See previous point
    • How flexible can that be handled? The configuration of the smaller rooms and smallest auditorium is very flexible, the large auditorium is fixed
      • ~-Can smaller auditoriums be merged into a bigger one?-~ - No.
      • Are tables/chairs fixed, or can we arrange them to fit more people/give more room to the people that we need? - Large auditorium with fixed seating, everything else can be re-arranged.
    • 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? -- Fully accessible for wheelchairs, TODO
      • Access to all areas with ramps and/or elevators? (Note: carrying somebody over some steps is not usually an acceptable option.): Yes
      • Are there people with experience handling handicapped people, who checked that?: TODO
  • Are blueprints with exact distances available to us (to be kept confidential on request)? TODO
  • What kind of audio equipment is already present at the auditoriums? Microphones and speakers installed in the larger rooms.
    • Wireless or stationary mics? both
    • clip-on kind of mics or cary in your hand mics? - both
    • How many of them? - two headsets, two wireless microphones, one fixed
  • Will the hacklabs be allowed to stay open 24x7? What time schedule do they offer? -- TODO
  • What kind of security will be there? TODO
  • Limitations on food/alcohol:
    • TODO
    • Nearest convenience stores:
Name Kind Street Distance nearest destination public transport
Match supermarket Adegemstraat 32 10m (across the street)  ?  ?
    • All-night restaurants:
Store Kind Street Distance nearest destination public transport
Pitawan Snackbar Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat 28 200m -- --
  • Pictures of venue - TODO
  • Pictures of accommodation - TODO

[edit] Food

We don't have formal offers yet. However, one option would be "Traiteur Derkinderen": a caterer which focuses on providing daily hot meals at home.

  • How much are the meals per person per day? According to their website, starting from €8 for a hot meal (this doesn't include breakfast or dinner yet; hotels and hostel likely provide breakfast, we'd have to do something for dinner).
  • Is the eating place near the talks place / the hacklabs? - Probably within the same building
  • What kind of food would be served? - Omnivore, herbivore, vegan (need to discuss with Derkinderen)
    • In what fashion? (service to the table, limited buffet, open buffet, etc.) TODO
  • Would food for vegetarian / vegan / lactose-intolerant / gluten-sensitive / religious (of any denomination) people be available? - TODO
    • How much meals do we need to order to get those kind of "special" meals? - TODO
    • Will it cost extra to get those special meals? - Unclear, but probably.
  • In a two week period, how many more or less equal meals can we expect? - Unless we want to: none?

[edit] Network connectivity

  • Is the area already wired with regular network infrastructure? (much preferrably: 100Mbps or 1Gbps switched)
    • Venue: Wired and wireless on site. Wired only needed for video? TODO: better options welcome
    • Accomodation: TODO
  • How much does it cost and how difficult is it to get a big internet connection? (10/20 Mbits at least) - TODO
  • How much work does it imply to cover the area with wireless links? - all covered
  • If we use someone else's infrastructure, how easy / flexible can that be handled, regarding routing / firewall / ip-range / public access / other stuff? - Unclear, TODO
    • Do we have restrictions on allowed ports? - 99% no.
    • Are we traffic-shaped? Or can we set a traffic shaper if we need so? - TODO
  • 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.) - TODO.

[edit] Special rooms

Multiple rooms are available, some could be used for organisation/staff or servers.

[edit] Accommodation

  • How much does it cost per person per night?
    • Hotels nearby have offered a special price for DebConf (Patershof, Novotel, Mercure Vé)
      • 99 Euro per room, single use, inlcuding breakfast + 3.40 Euro city tax
      • 109 Euro per room, double use, including breakfast + 3.40 Euro city tax
    • Youth hostel (~1200m distance)
      • The tariff as listed on the youth hostel's website is €20 - €25 per night per person. They have told us that they are willing to offer a reduction in price of up to 10% to non-profits; we would need to be a VZW for this, but that's something we'll need to be anyway. We have not had an offer for this, however.
  • Is the place where people are going to sleep near the conference facilities? - Hotels are at 20 meters, youth hostel at 1200 meters, only one big street crossing, ~15 min walk
  • Is it able to handle a varying number from 200 to 500 people? - The hotels can handle 400 people, the youth hostel has 120 beds
  • Is it able to handle non-native speaking people? (i.e. do the people at the sleeping facilities speak English?) - Speak English
  • 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) - Check-In to accommodation at hostel/hotel, Check-In to DebConf at InfoDesk
  • Will it be possible for couples to stay in their own rooms? - yes
  • How many room keys would be available? - TODO, but most likely "enough"
  • Are there other hotels around? - Yes
  • Are there rooms ready for handicapped people? How many? - Yes, TODO

[edit] Fun and Free time

  • What activities can be done during the free time?
  • What would be a possible Day Trip?
    • Lots of musea (toy museum, brewery "Het Anker", Planckendael zoo, ...)
    • Historic city center
    • Bars in walking distance
    • [...]
    • Is the proposed location ready to receive people with disabilities? TODO
  • How expensive would that be? TODO

The city government has agreed to help us organize this; they have directed the city tourist services to work with us should the bid be accepted.

[edit] Local Sponsors

  • Do you have a list of prospective sponsors that might be interested in helping the conference? (By providing venues, money, hardware, connectivity, etc.)
    • We did contact a number of sponsors, but unfortunately the response hasn't been very positive.
  • Have you spoken to these organisations yet, to find out if they might sponsor, and what conditions and deadlines they have? (Note that many large organisations which provide funding for events need to be approached a long time in advance.) Some yes, no answers received (also did not do much beyond initial contact, so it's not necessarily impossible that they might help out after all).
  • Do you have promises/pledges from any of these sponsors already? TODO, no

[edit] Certain Sponsors

  • TODO

[edit] Likely Sponsors

  • TODO

[edit] Potential Sponsors, initial contact

  • Telenet, a major Belgian ISP, is headquartered in Mechelen. We've sent them a sponsorship request through their website, but haven't heard back from them. It might be possible to get them on the boat still by using other ways of contacting them; we haven't tried very hard.

[edit] Potential Sponsors, no contact

  • TODO
[edit] local companies
  • TODO
[edit] local transport
  • De Lijn (bus)
  • NMBS (train)

[edit] Timing

  • The best time would be the last week of July and the first week of August 2015 (~ 25-07-2015 - 09-08-2015)
    • Is there a provisional reservation in place for a particular date? When does the provisional reservation expire? - We have an option on the hotel rooms, it expires ~February

[edit] TODO

  • 24/7 access?
    • 0800-0300 access?
  • Security staff needs at least basic English.
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