LibreOffice

LibreOffice Conference 2016

LibreOffice Conference 2016 is over and for us organizers it’s a time to reflect.

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It was the third big open source desktop conference we’ve managed to get to Brno (after GUADEC 2013 and Akademy 2014). 3 days of talks, 150 attendees from all over the world, 4 social events.

The conference went pretty well from the organizational point of view. Feedback has been very positive so far. People liked the city, the venue (FIT BUT campus is really, really nice), the parties, and catering during the conference. TDF board even lifted Red Hat to the highest sponsorship level for the amount of work we did for the conference. The only major bummer we had was no online streaming. It’s quite easy to set it up with the university’s built-in video recording system, but the university didn’t allow it in the end. Nevertheless, we treated online streaming as nice-to-have. Video recordings are important to us and we’ll do our best to get them online as soon as possible.

I’ve (co)organized quite a few international conferences, but what was new for me was an attendee who gets seriously sick and needs medical services. One of the Libocon attendees got a serious infection in his leg and we spent a lot of time driving between hospitals, talking to doctors, arranging things. Everything ended well and the attendee got so better than he was even able to fly back home as he planned originally which didn’t look very likely at the beginning.

What I really don’t like doing is being an organizer and speaker at the same conference. As an organizer you’re just too busy and can’t concentrate on a talk you’re supposed to deliver. I volunteered to do an introductory talk in the Friday’s Czech track. I was even given already prepared slides and using someone else’s slides is another thing I don’t like doing. So as you can imagine it was not one of the best talks of my career 🙂 But the Czech track turned out to be quite good overall. I just wish more people had come, but if you only have <2 weeks to promote the program you won’t get crowds to the conference.

I’d like to thank The Document Foundation for a great cooperation, and all attendees for being so kind and forgiving us minor glitches in the organization. It was an exhausting, but great experience, and I hope to see everyone in Rome next year where I can again be in the comfortable seat of a visitor.

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LIBOCon: get around Brno

Yesterday I added Get around Brno page to the LibreOffice Conference website. There you can find comprehensive information about public transport in Brno, how to buy tickets, how to get to the hotel/venue if you arrive by train/bus/car/plane etc. All accompanied with maps and pictures of described places. So hopefully no one will get lost on their way to the hotel or venue, or struggle purchasing tickets.

If you’re coming to LibreOffice Conference 2016, definitely check it out. You may also want to download the page for offline usage in case you won’t mobile data.

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Libocon 2016: travel info

LibreOffice Conference 2016 is less than two months away and people are starting to look for information how to get to and around Brno. We’ve prepared a page with extensive information how to get to Brno.

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Plane

If you go by plane, the best option is flying directly to Brno. You can get very cheap tickets from London-Stansted (Ryanair), London-Luton, Eindhoven (Wizz Air) and moderately cheap tickets from summer destinations (Spain, Greece, Italy,…) with SmartWings. There is also a daily Lufthansa flight to Munich which can connect you with dozens of destinations around the world (it’s particularly good for flights to the US, you can reach East Coast in 10 hours). But the line is rather oriented at business travelers, the plane is small and prices tend to be high.

The second best option is flying to Vienna which has flights to dozens of destinations in the world and prices are pretty good. RegioJet operates direct buses between the airport and Brno, so you can get conveniently to Brno in 2 hours. Another option is the airport in Prague, but it has fewer connected destinations and  it takes longer to get from there to Brno.

Train

If you happen to live in Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, or Hungary. Train may be the best option for you. Brno has direct trains to those countries.

Car

You can also come by car. You can be prepared for delays because of many road reconstructions. There is a long-term reconstruction of D1 highway (between Prague and Brno) and there are five sections under reconstruction this season. There are also several more motorways which are partly or completely closed for the same reason. Most of the road work happens during summer holidays, but some of it will be going on in Sept, too. It’s hard to estimate which now. Traffic jams occur, so give yourself enough time if you go to Brno by car.

Bus

If you’d like to go by bus, we can recommend RegioJet. They connect Brno with many destinations in Europe, they have very comfortable buses with free hot drinks, cheap snacks, wifi, entertainment systems and for reasonable prices. Other bus companies are e.g. Flixbus or Eurolines.

And More

The LibreOffice community is truly global and attendees from further destinations may not know much about the Czech Republic. Maybe you wonder what’s the currency here, what’s the weather like in Sept etc. We’ve prepared a page with the basic information about the country. For more information we link CzechTurism website where you can learn much more information which is relevant to travelers to the Czech Republic.

Soon, we will also extend information about how to get around Brno (public transport system, how to buy tickets, where, how to get to the conference hotel, venue,…). Stay tuned 😉

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Libocon 2016: accommodation

We’re progressing with the organization of LibreOffice Conference 2016 in Brno. Italo Vignoli of The Document Foundation visited Brno last month, we showed him the venue and also places where we could hold a party, have a hacknight etc.

Recently we got a special discount for LIBOCon attendees from Vista Hotel. The hotel was recently renovated and is one of the closest hotels to the venue (15-minute walk or 2 stops by tram). The price we got is very good for the **** standard. You can find more info at the conference website and you can already book rooms.

We’re also looking for a low-cost option (most likely student dormitories) for those who don’t want to spend much money on accommodation and don’t require hotel comfort.

As the conference is getting closer we will publish more useful information for attendees on the conference website, stay tuned. We’ve also created a group chat for conference attendees on Telegram. You can ask us any questions there or chat with other attendees.

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LibreOffice Conference 2016 in Brno

LibreOffice Conference will take place in Brno, Czech Republic this year. It will be our third international desktop-related conference in Brno. After GUADEC 2013 and Akademy 2014. And we’re very much looking forward to it.

The conference is still more than 6 months away, but the organization already started some time ago. We made an agreement with the local technical university about the venue. It’s the venue where GUADEC 2013 and DevConf.cz 2015 and 2016 took place. The campus premises used to be a Cartesian monastery which was founded in the 14th century. Just recently, the campus was renovated and now features a beautiful combination of historical and modern architecture.

The legal entity for the conference is provided by OpenAlt which is a local open source user group that has a status of association. All the local organizers are also members of this group.

We’ve also updated the conference site with information about this year’s edition. You can already read comprehensive information about transportation to Brno to plan your trip in advance. You can also already request a letter of invitation if you need a visa to travel to LIBOCon. The issuer of these letters will be Red Hat Czech which is one of the partners of the conference and has a large presence in Brno.

You can also find a page about accommodation there. We will arrange a hotel for sponsored people, but we don’t want to make any recommendations. The page will list hotels that are proven to be good and offer a special deal to LIBOCon attendees. There is already Holiday Inn, but we expect to strike deals with other hotels soon. Alternatively, you can use services such as booking.com and find the best option for you, Brno has many great lodging options.

We’re also finishing the sponsor prospectus, so that we can some sponsors on board soon.

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CC BY-SA 3.0 Attribution: Pavel Ševela / Wikimedia Commons