Monday, 18 September 2017

IT conferences - viewed as a Consumer.

Below is my list of (updated) tips for conference-organizers.

In Short:
  1. Maximize interaction between people.
  2. Encourage speakers to mix with (paying) attendees.
  3. Force speakers out of the speaker lounge if needed (prevent the clique)

  4. Space. Facilitate space for walking, talking, some seating.
  5. Provide practical (walking) food and Good Coffee throughout.
  6. Sit-down food is optional: tables take up valuable space. Queuing takes time+space.
  7. Hot-meals tend to make people sleepy.

  8. Have a dead-simple-timing agenda, start on whole hrs with 15min breaks.
  9. Ensure timekeeping, use visible Round Clocks (cc Nephantur) and Strikt chairpersons.
  10. New speakers: Schedule them early (nerves) and pay extra attention to timekeeping.
  11. Provide a laptop with (latest) powerpoint and a clicker-pointer. 
  12. In room-laptop is also a sneaky way to collect all the presentations.
  13. Speakers: Never. Rely. On. The. Network. (unless you plan to bail-out)
  14. Make feedback easy (mobile-app or mobile-friendly webpage)
  15. Feedback idea: separate twitter #hashtag per session?

  16. Stimulate exhibitors to have "Active" stands (games!)
  17. Give exhibitors Spacious Stands (e.g. sell minimum of 20m2, discourage "just-a-desk" sponsors)
  18. Forget the sponsor-leaflets in the goody-bag. Nobody reads them.
  19. Useful Exhibitor-handouts: Good Coffee (ask the venue), and Charged USB batteries.

  20. Practicalities: Safe cloakroom (and not "closing" before event is over - Brum)
  21. Facilitate taxi-sharing or have volunteers do the driving (e.g. extra interaction)

  22. Wifi should be simple and work (avoid re-login every time)
  23. Throw cables and power-sockets on the floor in the back of the rooms (iPhones)

  24. Provide a "smokers corner". Optionally: sheltered from rain.
  25. Social events: also provide some sit+talk space.  Disco-noise is hard to talk under.
  26. If you must have us dancing: play cheesy 80s/90s music (ELO, ABBA, Queen, etc.. ask your parents...)

That is the shorthand list for the moment. 
The earlier version of this pedantic list is online here. Reason for the update is mainly because two organizers recently came and said: "See? we have read your list!" I was quite proud of that.

There are a number of things I would love to elaborate on (like the "food" and the "sponsor-stands"), but that will have to wait a bit. 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Planning 2017 trip to OUG Spring events

Someone just asked me about my plans for the Spring.

Well, My intention is to do the usual spring/summer trip again: Baltics, Serbia, Bulgaria. And I also got an invite from the Romanian RoOUG to make a stop in Bucharest.

Due to time-constraint, I have politely cancelled going to Helsinki this year. I’m really sorry to miss the Harmony event because it is always good quality content and nice social activities. I’ll try to be there next year folks. Kiitosh.

Last year's tour was a Great Success, check the interactive map-log at

So the tentative plan is approximately this:

note: if I strecht it, I could make an interactive Google-map with all the events + dates on it. But I'm too lazy; I'd rather go visit those places by motorcycle... 

The Tour starts with a visit to Riga in Latvia to participate in the Riga Dev Days (RDD,, on 15 and 16 May.

Then point the motorcycle to Serbia to attend the SrOUG conference in the beautiful mountain city of Zlatibor (known for scenic mountains, skiing, tasty food, and a yearly SrOUG meeting) on 24-26 of May.

After Zlatibor, I ride the motorcycle to Bucharest to visit RoOUG on 30 May. On that leg of the trip I might finally get to visit Stara Planina, the highest point in Serbia ( And if weather and timing look good I might try going over the famous Transfagarasan road again (although in 2014, going over the lesser known Transalpina was possibly even nicer - will do some research on alternate routes - tips welcome)

Then, after meeting RoOUG, from Bucharest onwards to Pravets to participate in BgOUG on 02-04 June.

On the way back, I will try to throw in a stop at the folks from in Sofia, and at the offices in Kranj: Good Coffee, good Wifi, nice people.

After that: I need to go straight home because the motorcycle will need it’s next 10K maintenance
Note that I have politely skipped Italian ITOUG tech day on 06 Giugno. I love to go to “new” places and start-up-usergroups, but this one would mean a race from Bulgaria to Milano.
I hope to visit an Italian event soon though (it will mean going over the Alps and drinking Good Coffee, always a Pleasure!)

However, this spring I’d rather take it easy in that week, because… We are not done yet:

There is OGH tech experience on 15+16 June in Utrecht (a 1 hr ride…)

And then the motorcycle may need to rush to Vienna for AOUG on 20 June (if one of my papers gets accepted, that is)

The map link for the complete trip-plan is here, if you want to zoom in on the details: . And if you live along that route and feel like grabbing a cup of Coffee while I check the Wifi Signal: Contact me!

Note: Three years ago, when I started out on my first “expedition”, I had no idea if it actually could be done (link to 2014 plans). By now, I know it is possible: just go, and most things will sort themselves out…

On previous trips I’ve had breakdowns and accidents, and all sorts of unforeseen items, but in the end everything generally worked out. I even got snapped on Google Streetview one day!

See  you on an OUG somewhere ! 

note: if so desired, I can throw in the logos of all the visiting events... just too lazy to do that right now..

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Spring Tour

It is that time of year again.

And here is my plan for the "spring tour":

Visits will include:

And I plan to visit OUG-Scotland, but not sure if I have the time to do that by motorcycle.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Next trip plan to Plovdiv

OK, time to publish the plans...

Simple version: I want to visit events in Zlatibor and Plovdiv. In Simplest way, it would mean riding approx This map 

Of course I will also need to work (remotely) during the trip so I have planned a "base" in Zemun (Wifi, good coffee, Friends)

But if time permits I want to ride around a bit... I can dream...

Currently in the stages of preparing.

I'm also researching how to keep track of myself, I  want to :
 - Log and publish route-maps easy + quick (Ramblr)
 - post pictures easily (from phone), but not necessarily via FB.
 - write memories, mostly for my own, but shareable if I want to show someone (This Blog, possiblly also use ADV rider ? )

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

trip equipment and outfit

What if I just use the old outfit for the long trip this summer ?

The old outfit looks much more serious and experienced.

You see ... I got this Perfect new jacket + pants.

And I'm very happy with them: the new combi is tailor-made by Damen of Breda who supply similar equipment to police and military. The clothes are very comfortable and practical. I  like it!

But it is also very _NEW_ and _Shiny_.
I feel awkward with the super-clean-modern clothes..

Now, I just want to go places, see things and meet people (and taste food, drink coffee).
Here is a hobo trying to run around Europe.

Maybe that is better done using the "experienced" outfit ?

My motorcycle is actually an old-ish, dusty, lightweight, F800ST. It has many scratches on the side-panniers and sometimes a cloud of flies on the windscreen (although I try to clean windscreen and visor every tank-stop).

The old jacket is a scratched Clover.
It looked old-ish, with raffles, worn-velcro-flaps, and deformed pockets.
With that jacket, I mostly wear a Motorcycle-Jeans (with padding and Kevlar lining).
The old outfit was not shiny, but it showed Serious Experience, and didnt look particularly affluent.

The new suit just shouts out: Rich-Guy on Holiday.


Friday, 1 May 2015

Pictures of new outfit

no real post, but need place to put these pictures...

Monday, 20 October 2014

October Trip Pictures Plockenpass

This is the collection of pictures from the trip.


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