The theme of the conference was "Carnaval" and like you would expect from any big fair, there were arcade games, money slots and even a huge bumper car stand.
Speakers dinnerSpeakers were invited to arrive on Thursday before 6pm because the crew of PHPBenelux had something "special" in mind: a speakers dinner in the national symbol of Belgium: Atomium. Due to a traffic jam I wasn't able to attend the dinner, but as I needed to try the location to see if it met our standards, I already experienced the good dinner in an awesome setting.
Tutorial sessionsOn Friday morning we had no less than 7 tutorial tracks and it felt great to see the majority of our attendees were attending these tutorial sessions. Twitter was not lying, the content delivered by these speakers were of high quality and everyone enjoyed it a lot.
Conference day 1Friday afternoon was the start of PHPBenelux Conference. An epic keynote presented by Elizabeth Marie Smith officially kicked of this 5th edition of the conference. After the keynote 3 simultaneous tracks with great speakers and contents was making it hard for our attendees to choose which track to attend.
|Elizabeth Marie Smith keynoting on Mentoring Developers|
SocialsThe social events of PHPBenelux have always been "rememberable" and "epic", but since we lost the bowling alley, we needed to come up with something new: Bumper cars! And little did we know it was such a huge success. People walked away from it with bruises and pain in their backs, and still yelled "awesome".
|Bumper cars ready to entertain|
Conference day 2Saturday morning was the second conference day where everyone had time to recover from all the bruises and hangovers and again 3 tracks filled with great sessions was offered to our attendees. Of course the event was closed by our appreciation of speakers, staff, hotel and of course the attendees. In the evening we've provided again a social event for everyone left at the conference.
Behind the scenesWhen you attend a conference, everything magically runs smoothly. But from an organiser point of view it's a whole other ballgame. To organise an event like this, you need to prepare everything months in advance. Sending out sponsor package details to companies, negotiating sponsor deals, open up the Call for Papers, selecting a selection of talks from all proposals, decide on the artwork, negotiate with suppliers, follow up on additional requests and so much more.
|Picture taken by Brett Gaasbeek|
|Goodie bags and blankets|
Even my five year old son Xander helped out a little.
|Xander in charge of the flags|
Closing remarksThis event goes in the history books as "epic", "awesome" and "painful" (due to bumper cars). Yes, we've raised the bar for ourselves and it will be challenging to give you all a similar experience next year without repeating what we did this year. Knowing our team, we will come up with something crazy. Follow @PHPBenelux and keep an eye out for our announcements.
One piece of advice
Since we sold out the past 2 editions, be sure you buy your tickets early! If later you cannot make it to the conference, you can always cancel it up to 2 weeks before the conference. But don't wait until we have sold out…