Majorca! May 2014 – 17./18! Could there be a better place and time on earth for the PHP EU Unconference: sun, fun, plenty of cheap flights, affordable accommodation? The PHP EU Unconference (tickets) is the international version of the national unconference. The national one frequently sells out quickly (>350 tickets) not only because it matches other conferences despite the ticket price of ~40 Euro only. Traditionally the international one, is more cosy with about 100 elePHPant lovers coming in the years before.
A schedule that really matters – with a solid fallback…
The key to success is the very nature of an unconference. There is no call for papers and no program comittee that makes more or less educated guesses about what the audience might want to see. There is no risk of a schedule dominated by sponsor talks. It is the very audience that gathers every morning to decide about the schedule for the rest of the day. This works amazingly well: only topics that really matter to the audience have a chance to pass the voting. And, with many heavy-weights and frequent speakers being around, the worst that can happen is that they give a talk. The "2716th What’s new in PHP", the 1872th "MySQL – my love" and the "999th PHPUnit talk" are available at your convenience, but only if there is nothing hotter than that ;-). That said, here’s a random list of well known nerds that are said to be coming in two weeks: Sebastian Bergmann, Johannes Schlueter, Stefan Priebsch, Kore Nordmann, Lars Jankowsky, Arne Blankerts, Boris Erdmann, …
Sun and fun
A day at either the national or the PHP EU Unconference follows the same pattern:
- eat and drink: you have breakfast together – your ticket includes catering during the day
- contribute: you propose a talk and hope for votes or just vote
- contribute: you start talking either in front of others or with others
- eat and drink: you have lunch
- contribute: continue talking
- eat, drink and contribute: party – sleep, goto 1)
All this hard work finally takes place where it should to ensure a relaxed atmosphere. If you plan an international meeting without knowing from where people come, the travel costs are a constant. Pick any place having a major airport, pick one that is beautiful in May! Majorca is a perfect choice.
Flights are available, still
Being a popular party location, there are many low-cost flights are available. Round-trip flights from Paris/London/Berlin to PMI are still available starting at ~120 Euros. During JS Unconf, I’ve heard of people sharing holiday homes (including Wifi :-)) for very low rates. If you have a deeper pocket you may prefer the unconference hotel. Check for a good offer. My wife and I booked two days ago at a very reasonable rate.
If you consider staying in Palma for some extra days, it may happen that you run into some other Unconf visitors. Those I spoke to and said they consider to spent some extra days in Majorca tend not to arrive before May 16 but stay longer than May 19.
Train your elePHPants!
When I told my elePHPant that we ultimately booked the trip to Majorca, he got crazy. He insisted of being trained for life on sunny beaches. Hope he will have the opportunity to get to know many new friends. Go share photos of how you prepare your elePHPant for sun, fun and PHP EU Unconf with @phpuceu.
And, as you are at it, think about session proposals. At an unconf you are not limited to giving a talk. There is a time slot waiting to be filled with whatever gets enough votes. You may present, discuss, entertain, train elePHPants, run an elePHPant meetup…