DjangoCon US: Call for Venue Proposal 2018 and 2019

We’re almost ready for DjangoCon US 2017, so it’s time to think about 2018 and possibly 2019! Where will we be next year? Where will be for the next two years? We need your help in making that decision!

So you want your city to host DjangoCon US! Hurrah! We’re delighted by your interest. Here’s what you need to know, and what we need to know, to consider your proposal.

We are looking at two possible ranges of conference dates: mid-July through mid-August or late-September (after Yom Kippur) through mid-October. We need to avoid major holidays like Labor Day and Yom Kippur, the start of the school year, and the busiest summer months.

We’re also considering having the conference location change every two years, instead of every year, to make planning travel easier for our attendees.

We need some information about your city, possible venues, hotels, and travel. Your proposal doesn’t have to be super-fancy, but it does need to be informative. The proposal should include the following:

Organizers

Names of organizers staffing the host city. While DEFNA will handle the business aspects of the conference, we need the help of a team of local volunteers to manage preparation and the onsite coordination of the event. We realize you won't have an entire team assembled, but let us know who the core organizers in your city will be.

Venues

A short list of possible conference venues (or just one, if you have found the Venue of Conference Dreams), with the following information:

  • Name

  • Location

  • Transportation options (how do people get there from the airport?)

  • Attendance capacity

  • Layout of function space:

    • Keynote room (also Sessions Track A) to accommodate up to 450 people, classroom style (tables with chairs)

    • Room for Sessions Track B to accommodate up to 200 people, classroom style (tables with chairs)

    • Optional: Room for Sessions Track C to accommodate up to 150 people, classroom style (tables with chairs)

    • Space for sponsors to set up exhibit booths/tables; at least 12, and up to 16, sponsors with either 6’ tables or 10’ x 10’ booth spaces. If more sponsor booth space is available, that's a plus.

    • Green room for speakers to prepare (generally a room that will seat 25 for a workshop is the right size)

    • Quiet room for giving attendees a place to get away from the conference noise (capacity 25 - 50). Set with tables and chairs; round catering-style tables are workable.

    • Location of registration tables

    • Location of meals and breaks with sufficient seating and tables. If serving and/or seating areas cannot accommodate 450 people at once, indicate the room capacity and timing to move 450 people through.

    • Location of supplemental beverage stations for daylong service.

    • Secure overnight storage for vendor booth supplies and conference registration desk items.

Catering

  • Tutorials day—100 people: Breakfast, morning break, lunch, afternoon break, and all day beverage service. (All day beverage service includes water stations, coffee, assorted black and herbal teas, and a variety of soft drinks.)

  • Main conference, 3 days—450 people per day: Breakfast, morning break, lunch, afternoon break, and all day beverage service.

  • Sprints, 2 days—75 people each day: Breakfast, morning break, lunch, afternoon break, and all day beverage service.

  • Catering must have options for vegetarians and vegans of equal quality and variety as main menu. Estimate 15% vegetarian and 5% vegan.

  • Catering must label food appropriately so that our attendees are aware of allergens. Attendees should not have to guess if a dish is gluten free or contains tree nuts.

Costs

We need costs for:

  • Function space

  • Catering

  • Audio-visual services

  • Any other fees or costs the venue requires.

  • Pricing breakdown for a one year contracts vs. a two year contract.

What makes a good conference venue?

A good conference venue is/has the following:

  • Easy to reach from the airport and the conference hotel

  • Free parking if a car is required for access

  • The ability to serve lunch to 350—450 people in a 90 minute window.

  • Most venues require use of their in-house catering service. If the venue does not offer catering services, check whether the venue restricts catering access to an approved vendor list, and what, if any, requirements they have for outside catering vendors.

  • Adjoins or within walking distance to a suitable hotel which can accommodate 350-450 attendees

  • Excellent Internet connectivity

  • Accessible to as many attendees as possible. Things to think about: gender-neutral restrooms, space to walk service animals, lactation rooms, step-free access from the parking lot to the presentation area.

  • Reasonable access to transit for sightseeing

The venue does not have to be a hotel or corporate conference center. Many universities offer conference services, and there are also municipal/county level event venues which can be likely sites for DjangoCon US.

Sprint Venues

A short list of possible sprint venues, which may be the conference venue, with the following information:

  • Name

  • Location

  • Transportation options

  • Attendance capacity

  • Cost of function space, catering, and audio-visual services. Sprints are often hosted by local companies as sponsorship of the event, which is preferable, as it saves the cost of renting a venue.

  • Pricing breakdown for a one-year contract vs. a two-year contract.

  • A good sprint venue is/has the following:

    • Easy to reach from the conference hotel

    • Free parking if a car is required for access

    • A room to hold 50-75 people, with work tables, chairs, power, and internet connectivity

    • See catering requirements above. Eating tables should be separate from work tables if at all possible.

    • Excellent Internet connectivity

    • Accessible to as many attendees as possible

Hotels

The ideal hotel is adjacent to the conference venue, or a very short walk away. For the hotel, we need:

  • Name

  • Location

  • Transportation options

  • The conference room rate (should be discounted from the standard rate)

  • A block of rooms starting the two nights before tutorials, and running through the last night of the sprints. The breakdown of the room counts would be estimated at:

    • Saturday: 15
    • Sunday Tutorials: 100
    • Monday Main Conf: 100
    • Tuesday Main Conf: 100
    • Wednesday Main Conf: 80
    • Thursday Sprints: 30
    • Friday Sprints: 15
  • The block should include the guaranteed ability to add 20% more rooms for any given night if needed without moving to an overflow hotel.

  • Concessions policy (comp room nights per actualized room nights)

  • Pricing breakdown for a one year contracts vs. a two year contract.

  • A sample contract showing the terms of booking the block of rooms. Again, do not sign any contracts. DEFNA will handle the business side of things. We just need to see the terms the hotel proposes for the group block.

Potential Sponsors

Provide a list of possible local and regional companies that may be interested in sponsoring DjangoCon US.

Everything Else

  • Provide estimates on costs associated with flights, accommodation, meals, ground transportation, etc. for an overview of total cost for attendees.

  • Information about what makes the city a good choice for DjangoCon US and an attractive destination for attendees.

  • Any additional ideas for making the event especially useful and/or memorable.

Since we are considering a number of proposals, no one from your group should sign a binding contract or make any kind of legal or financial commitment.

If DEFNA chooses your group's proposal, your group is responsible for putting DEFNA in contact with the venue management to finalize the event agreement.

Please submit your proposal no later than July 31, 2017.

Thanks so much! We look forward to hearing about all the fantastic places we can go next year!