FUDCon:Bid for Zurich 2011
Zurich in Switzerland has been home to FUDCon EMEA 2010 and is ready for repeating its success in 2011. Clearly the organizers have learned much in 2010 and room for improvement emerged in the process. Also quite some feedback in terms of what was good and what could have been better has been received after the event. The time is right to make use of the gained knowledge.
One of the major changes to FUDCon Zurich 2010 will be that this time it's going to be a stand-alone event, while it has been teamed up with FrOSCamp in 2010. This change adds more flexibility in terms of the event's date and venue.
Additionally to the knowledge gained from organizing FUDCon Zurich 2010 Sandro and Marcus have additional experience from organizing other events like FAD EMEA 2008, FrOSCamp 2010 Zurich and more.
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland with close to 2 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, containing about 25% of the country's population. Zurich is located at the tip of Lake Zurich between a couple of hills and traversed by two rivers. According to several surveys Zurich is among the top cities with best quality of life in Europe and it's also Europe's wealthiest city. The city is one of the world's largest financial center and the commercial capital of Switzerland. Zurich is also home to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) which attracts global companies' research and development offices, e.g. IBM or Google.
- Wikipedia: Zurich
- Wikipedia: ETH Zurich
- City of Zurich
- Zurich Tourism
- Wikitravel: Zurich Travel Guide
- or any other date between 2011-09-03/18
From Zurich Airport it's an 11 minute train ride to Zurich's main station. From EuroAirport it's a 15 minute bus ride to Basel SBB train station and from there an 1h train ride to Zurich HB.
Prices as of 2011-03-09 from expedia.de, including:
- Round trip
- Economy Class
- 1 Stop tops
- Arrival: 2011-09-15
- Departure: Europe 2011-09-18, US 2011-09-19
- Amsterdam: EUR 153
- Athens: EUR 205
- Barcelona: EUR 84
- Belgrade: EUR 184
- Berlin: EUR 92
- Brussels: EUR 189
- Bucharest: EUR 154
- Budapest: EUR 107
- Dublin: EUR 157
- Edinburgh: EUR 212
- Glasgow: EUR 215
- Goteborg: EUR 170
- Helsinki: EUR 182
- Istanbul: EUR 175
- Kiev: EUR 177
- Krakov: EUR 159
- London: EUR 76
- Lyon: EUR 168
- Madrid: EUR 143
- Manchester: EUR 163
- Milan: EUR 131
- Oslo: EUR 170
- Paris: EUR 164
- Prague: EUR 158
- Prishtina: EUR 270
- Rome: EUR 132
- Sofia: EUR 177
- Stockholm: EUR 137
- Valencia: EUR 183
- Vienna: EUR 108
- Warsaw: EUR 78
- Zagreb: EUR 153
- Boston, MA: EUR 582
- Chicago, IL: EUR 612
- Los Angeles, CA: EUR 692
- New York, NY: EUR 613
- Raleigh, NC: EUR 754
- San Francisco, CA: EUR 612
International Train Station
Zurich has Switzerland's biggest train station (with 26 tracks and expanding) called Zurich HB (or also Zurich main station) and there's direct (night) trains from major European cities like Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Prag and Vienna.
Switzerland's nationwide railway is operated by the Swiss Federal Railways (usually SBB or SBB CFF FFS) and their website can be used to get information about international trains as well as all local public transportation (rail, bus, tram, trolleybus, lake boat and cable car). Zurich's local public transportation provides is the ZVV.
Zurich main station is only a couple of minutes from the event venue.
The city features a modern, quick and clean tram and bus system that connects all parts of the city and also the airport.
A tram ride from the main station to the event venues only takes a little over 10 minutes.
We can make use of a big variety of rooms at the ETH Zurich and possibly also at the University of Zurich (UZH). Most of the rooms feature a projector, one or several white or black boards and if the size makes it necessary microphones and speakers. FUDCon Zurich will take place in the summer break so while there'll be administrative employees and researchers working in their offices and laboratories there's no classes taking place.
Both the ETHZ and the UZH have corporate-class wifi networks available for free. We can use all rooms for free but we might have to pay some cleaning crew (to collect garbage, keep toilets clean and clean rooms at the end of the event) which we estimate at EUR 400 tops.
As for restaurants, there's pizza, pasta, doener kebap and other food available in easy walking distance. More restaurants are available in the city, just 2-3 stops away and still walkable if you like.
For FUDPub in 2010 we went to a nice restaurant a couple of minutes from the event venue. There we had a nice dish (either chicken or veggie), lots of beer and a very chatty atmosphere. We could repeat that if desired. The second social event in 2010 was supposed to be a party which didn't work out well so we definitely wouldn't do that again.
We are thinking of replacing the party with something more cosy/comfy like a lounge, beers and some background music maybe with some board games and poker. Other options include bowling or billards, with or without catering.
In 2010 we rented a blast-proof bunker which was both hugely popular and very cheap. There's about 100 beds available costing EUR 550 (for all beds and nights combined, that is) but in the end we were only billed EUR 400 last time.
Free high-speed internet access is available for free in the bunker. Also, the bunker will protect everyone from alien invasions - or so we've been told by the Czech and Romanian community.
It's just a couple of minutes to walk to the event venue from the bunker.
In 2010 we had a contingent in a nice hotel only just outside the city close to the airport for the people who didn't want to stay in the bunker.
The hotel offered free high-speed internet access, free breakfast and a free airport shuttle.
There's no fixed deadlines but the earlier we can get started the more options we have, i.e. "conference rooms", hotels, pubs, restaurants and so on get booked out rather early in Zurich. Also both organizers have full time jobs and lots of other obligations which might keep them very busy from time to time so being able to start early is highly desired.
Pros and Cons of location
- Zurich is well connected with international flights, pan-european trains and a local tram and bus system.
- While Switzerland is not part of the EU, it has some bilateral treaties with the EU and it has signed the Schengen Agreement to ease the entry for travellers
- Switzerland is located between Germany, France and Italy and thereby in the center of our strongest local communities.
- Visitors of FUDCon Zurich 2010 already know their way in, out and through the city.
- Free rooms for the conference and hack fests available, as many as we might ever need.
- Accommodation is really cheap with the bunker option from 2010. But it's not only cheap, it's also lots of fun!
- Red Hat has several offices relatively close by: Zurich, Stuttgart, Munich and Milan.
- Zurich is used to English speakers, i.e. there's lots of foreign students, professors, researchers, etc.
- The organizers life in the Zurich metropolitan area and are very active.
- Lots of museums to visit (e.g. when bringing families along or adding a few days in the city) and nature is easy to reach
- Best chocolate and cheese in the world available virtually everywhere!
- Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in the world. That's no issue in terms of FUDCon budget, though: we saved quite some money in the 2010 budget, but if people consume anything outside FUDCon it will be costly.
- People who had to travel far in 2010 will have to do the same travel again while people who live nearby will have a short journey again (~= unfair). Also, no new audience to attract.
- Switzerland has its own currency (Swiss Francs; CHF) and therefore everyone will have to exchange money.
- Switzerland has its own sockets which don't accept any other typical European plug (like Schuko) but are  compatible.