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Author Topic: Location of next European Bitcoin Conference (London v Berlin)  (Read 7433 times)
genjix
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December 20, 2011, 07:26:42 PM
 #1

Me, molecular and Mitchell (worldly) weighed up the various options for the location of the next conference. Me arguing for London, and molecular for Berlin. Eventually we agreed that London is probably best. However not everyone is convinced. Hopefully we can get some community involvement in the decision making here.

- 7 out of 11 of potential notable speakers I have lined up live in London. They are far more likely to attend a London conference but would not take a plane ride because it isn't worth their time. I don't want to give their names away to keep it a pleasant surprise Smiley From running the UK exchange Intersango, we've had a lot of contact with high up financial types in particular.

- My press contacts are largely in London: BBC, Guardian, Independent, Channel4 news, Wired, Wall Street Journal.

- London is better connected internationally than Berlin.

- We held an after conference survey. 10 voted for London, 6 for Berlin, 5 for Prague. 4 others abstained. 70% of the respondents actually attended this conference.

- I am in London.

- 2 months ago I held the London Bitcoin Meetup at the London Hack Space. The space was small so we limited the event to 30 people, and denied 10 people on the waiting list. 40 people turned up anyway.

- London is expensive (50 EUR per night for hotel). However from speaking with a couple hotels so far, they were willing to negotiate a group deal. I also have friends in London and the London Hack Space who could donate sleeping bag space.

- Many of our previous speakers came from London: Amir Taaki (me), David Birch, Simon Dixon, Jason Chia, Max Keiser. We also had a nice turnout from UK participants although I agree that the attendance in Prague was much higher among Germans.

Together I think these points make a compelling case for London.

yossarian is going to respond below so please read his message too. Smiley
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yossarian
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December 20, 2011, 07:27:27 PM
 #2

Thanks for opening the thread and putting this up for discussion.

Berlin is the best choice for the conference. Here's why:

Even if the speakers have to travel, Berlin offers them more than just the conference. It's one of the most attractive cities in Europe right now, so I doubt they would regret coming over. There's also good speakers to be found outside of London, and somehow most of the speakers also made it to Prague this year. Wink This is especially true for the speakers I am aware of right now.

The conference is aimed at a European audience, and Berlin is just as reachable and well connected as London. It is also more central in a European sense, which cuts down on the average travel time.

Berlin is cheap. There's no need for group deals or sleeping bag places (which could be found anyways) because it offers a wide variety of accomodation for all sorts of attendees. This is also true for actual conference costs regarding the venue, catering etc.

I gotta admit I didn't make a survey. I also fail to see the relevance. There's definitely a base of interested people, there's c-base as a hacker space, there's the chaos communication congress which attracts thousands of attendees each year, there's room77 and the local bitcoin meet-up.

Press contacts are good, but don't automatically account for news coverage. However, regarding German and international media, Berlin doesn't lack any of these. All the big German newspapers and television are based in Berlin, and some of the people organising the conference locally have been working in television, PR and marketing professionally.

I'd appreciate everybody's input as well. Cheesy I'll expand the list of pro's later. Cheesy

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ptshamrock
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December 20, 2011, 08:05:26 PM
 #3

ll attend even if you do it in antarctica Smiley  prague was awesome

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norulezapply
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December 20, 2011, 08:15:43 PM
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London sounds good to me! I'll hopefully be able to attend now! Smiley

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December 20, 2011, 08:53:28 PM
 #5

When were you planning to have it ?

I believe the BitCon 2012 in San Antonio, Texas is March 17/ 18 so it might be good to keep away from those dates.

London would get my vote, though I have always wanted to visit Berlin !   :-)

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JackH
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December 20, 2011, 08:54:44 PM
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+1 to London

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December 20, 2011, 08:57:43 PM
 #7

Berlin

  I wont bother to give my stupid, American reasons why. But it's an image thing mostly. I am not sure if Europeans or those from other countries would share the same sentiment.

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yossarian
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December 20, 2011, 09:00:36 PM
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When were you planning to have it ?
I believe late September 2012 would be a good time. But I guess this is open to discussion as well. Wink

@genjix: Seems like opening a poll would be a good idea. Even though this won't provide any hard data, it might add some additional input to consider.

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Shuai
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December 20, 2011, 09:10:36 PM
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Where ever it is, I will come this time Smiley
genjix
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December 20, 2011, 09:17:37 PM
 #10

@genjix: Seems like opening a poll would be a good idea. Even though this won't provide any hard data, it might add some additional input to consider.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z93ZXZT
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December 20, 2011, 10:24:36 PM
 #11

Berlin, because it is much cooler.

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December 20, 2011, 11:07:09 PM
 #12

I vote Berlin. For a lot of Europeans I think Berlin is easier to reach. There also seems to be a rather active German userbase, which would be easily included.

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December 20, 2011, 11:20:11 PM
 #13

Here is my 2btc:

Berlin:
Seems to be a much stronger community, Germans outnumbered brits by 6 to 1 in Prague.  
Room77 is in berlin, I think holding a conference here would have lasting effects on the adoption of btc in the physical world particularly in this neighborhood .
Its much easier and cheaper (and cooler) for participants. (no offence to london)



London:
Financial hub, for a global currency its got a lot more credibility than Berlin. (no offence to berlin)
Speakers predominantly came from london which is a very big advantage.
Whoever turns out to be the guy footing the bill for the next one, paying for keynotes flights and accommodation was a significant cost.
Secret weapon is in london:  The last conference would have been impossible without Amirs input.  He is on btc fulltime and the fact he is in London would be enough to make the next one successful also.  

Participants was the hardest thing to get commitment from last time and there is overwhelming advantages of Berlin here.  As this is the 2nd time around maybe it will be easier.  The first piece of the puzzle is attracting speakers, London has a big advantage here.  

I dont think San Antonio dates need to be taken into account when organising this one but its probably too soon to clash with their dates anyway.





European Bitcoin Conference Prague 2011
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December 20, 2011, 11:23:00 PM
 #14

There is even a restaurant in Berlin that accepts Bitcoin. Makes sense to me. Also I have never actually been to Berlin, but visited London earlier this year. So I would be very likely to attend if it were in Berlin.

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wareen
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December 20, 2011, 11:26:21 PM
 #15

There is even a restaurant in Berlin that accepts Bitcoin.
Yes, that's room77 worldly mentioned

My vote: 2012 Berlin, 2013 London
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December 21, 2011, 12:23:58 AM
 #16

I will be at either London our Berlin- Do you have dates or a specific time period? I think you should do it early spring or when its an off season but still warm (Germany and UK in cold wether is terrible)
London is also easier for Gareth, our CTO and founder of BitInstant, who lives in Wales.

Need more speakers?

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Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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December 21, 2011, 03:03:00 AM
 #17

I'd vote London but either works.

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December 21, 2011, 03:57:54 AM
 #18

Here is my 2btc:

Berlin:
Seems to be a much stronger community, Germans outnumbered brits by 6 to 1 in Prague.  

i think thats not really a pro argument for berlin. berlin has a metro population of 4.5mio, london over 13mio, plus berlin is far away for most germans. to reach more people in germany you have to choose something more central, like frankfurt.  thats <2 hours by train/car for ca. 30-40mio germans and paris is only 4hours by train.

if its either london or berlin, london sounds better, mostly because the organization and speakers are already there. rather have a small decent conference than a big disappointing one.

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December 21, 2011, 04:39:57 AM
 #19

Wherever it's held.. can someone please put some focus on *timely* video  releases (or even just summaries/transcripts) for people who can't attend?

Video of presentations should be available within days.. not weeks/months.

I really think it's a squandered opportunity.
Lack of video and/or transcripts of keynote speeches is likely to reduce media/blogger interest in follow-up reporting on the event.
'Old news', even if novel, is well.. 'old'.
One of the key principles of journalism is timeliness - so if the conference appears as an information black hole for many days or weeks afterwards it's a lost opportunity to get any additional media commentary.

It also means the majority of the community is somewhat cut-off from discussing and considering the hot topics at the time, when they're fresh in the minds of attendees. Some potential for collaboration and momentum-building is surely lost.

Of course - if you really want to be up to speed and connect with the bitcoin world-shakers, you probably have to get to these things, but let's strive for a bit more  connectedness in what is after all a global digital currency.

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yossarian
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December 21, 2011, 09:22:18 AM
 #20

Wherever it's held.. can someone please put some focus on *timely* video  releases (or even just summaries/transcripts) for people who can't attend?

Definitely. We might actually have a sponsor who specializes on video-streaming and IT infrastructure and will hopefully help us get the word and video out faster. Cheesy

if its either london or berlin, london sounds better, mostly because the organization and speakers are already there. rather have a small decent conference than a big disappointing one.

"The organization" is in Berlin as well, Bitcoin is not centralized and neither is the community. Wink I still don't really understand why it's important where some potential speakers live. If London is that well connected, they can travel to Berlin just as fast.


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