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DrupalSouth coming to Auckland

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DrupalSouth 2017 is coming life, the conference dates are now just six months away and those of us on the organising committee have been working away behind the scenes to complete the paperwork on venue, bank accounts and other admin details to make sure things go smoothly. Thanks to Linux Australia once again for their invaluable support and experience wrangling details to make things happen!

We’re excited that DrupalSouth is coming to Auckland for the first time, and are super keen to show everyone a great time in one of the world’s great cities. We’ve had a lot of interest already through the website and on twitter, so cheers to everyone who has got in touch so far. A good number of people have put their hands up for sessions, sponsorship and tickets even at this early stage. But we do realise that almost everyone has questions, and the process of getting back with some answers starts with this blog post.

The top three questions coming in so far are:

  1. What’s happening?
  2. When do tickets go on sale?
  3. Who is speaking?

And the answers we have so far are as follows!

What’s happening?

We’re at Q Theatre, an awesome location in the heart of Auckland city, for 2 days of classic DrupalSouth action, spiced up with a dash of Auckland-style fun and social collaboration. Q Theatre is a little different from the conference venues that we’ve been to for previous DrupalSouth and other tech conferences and we’re planning to use that to change up the format a little. We’re taking a little bit of a risk here, but with the help of the community (you!) we’re confident the rewards will pay off bigly. 

Q has an amazing main theatre in Rangatira, a big room with great seating and a really flexible staging space, great for big presentations and panels. It also has a flexible space in Loft, an open medium size space which can be set up with row seats, table seating or classroom style trestles for hands-on sessions. We also have a couple of small room options for quickfire talks, interactive sessions and Birds of a Feather. 

Supporting social collaboration and between-session discussion is the Citizen Q cafe and Lounge bar booths and couches. All in one place so you don’t have to go far to find a good time, but right in the middle of Auckland if you and your crew want to head out for some fresh air or enjoy the amenity of nearby Aotea Square and the rest of inner Auckland’s famous food and drink scene.

When do tickets go on sale?

Current planning is to have early bird open in June 2017. We are working on a couple of different categories of ticket - for example supporting student entry at a reduced rate - and are working hard to keep ticket prices as low as possible. Based on early interest we’re expecting good numbers of attendees and speakers to be travelling to Auckland, and we don’t want travel + accommodation + ticket prices to be a barrier for the out-of-town crowd. 

Sponsor support is a key factor alongside ticket sales in our overall budget, and early indications are strong there as well. Once we have initial sponsors on board, we’ll be able to finalise that pricing and let you know.

Who is speaking?

That depends! Who would you like to see? What would you like to say? What kind of sessions do you want to run?

Our intention is to work with the community to curate talks and panels, and are actively seeking some ideas and dialogue about the sort of sessions to host. We are gathering ideas from the local Auckland and Wellington meetups and have had some great ideas tweeted at us. 

We’re working on a few ideas of our own, and you can expect a call for sessions form to appear on this website very soon (does anyone know a module for that?). At this stage we’re proposing sessions as either 40 minute or 10 minute talks, panel discussions or hands-on (training style). 

Let us know what you think!

Cheers, your DrupalSouth Organising Committee


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