The sound of clapping hands was nothing unusual for us organizers and volunteers at the openSUSE Conference 2013. Everyone was eager to let us know what a great job we did, how wholeheartedly welcomed Geekos felt, and how absurd the amount of fun everyone had in Thessaloniki. We were, and still are, blown away by this! But what we haven’t done very well during the conference was distributing the praise we received, and that is what this article is about.
We, Stella Rouzi, Kostas Koudaras and Henne Vogelsang, the main organizers of oSC13 would like to thank a couple of people who have done a little more than just help. We want to thank people who shaped the event, who pushed it in the direction it took in the end, who poured a lot of heart and soul into oSC13. We thank:
Andres Silva for the logo
Andy came up with the design of the oSC13 logo, which was the most influential piece of artwork for this conference. We have discussed a lot about how we can combine openSUSE’s values, the meaning of this event for our community and Thessaloniki’s and Greece’s heritage into a theme and motto. He hit this nail on the head with his logo and we’re extremely thankful for your iconic design Andy!
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Carlos Ribeiro for all the artwork
There is a huge demand for visual things if you organize a conference. Posters, flyers, banners, t-shirts, badges, stickers and so on and so on. Somehow Carlos managed to get most of this done by himself. Everyone is still amazed by the sheer amount of artwork and layout he generated. He relentlessly pushed to the repository. Not only the day to day artwork, but also very creative things, like the Geeko Money. A lot of his work has set the mood for oSC13. Carlos you’re an artwork machine and we thank you for that!
Pavlos Ratis for the promo videos
Another influential artist for oSC13 was Pavlos Ratis. Through the awesome videos he shot, cut and produced, Geekos all over the world were able to plunge right into the great city of Thessaloniki, get a feeling for our venue the Olympic Museum and get to know the people behind the Greek openSUSE community. Thank you Pavlos for your videos which provided a window into the future of oSC13!
Alexandros Vennos for the photography
In the age of cellphone cameras you get a lot of snapshots of your conference, what you usually do not get that easily is quality photography of your event. Luckily we had Alexandros at oSC13 who produced a lot of awesome pictures of the people, the location and the mood of oSC13. These pictures are nice memorabilia for people who participated and a strong reminder why one should come to oSC. Quality pictures are also invaluable as marketing material for future events. We are grateful for your awesome pictures Alexandros!
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DJ Tolis for the soundtrack
One of the most important things for us organizers was that Geekos have a place where they can hang out, chat and have a cold one. We believe that social interaction is what makes and brakes a conference. The oSC13 Beach Bar was exactly the location we had in mind for this and Tolis made this happen. He ran the bar, made sure we always had refreshments, arranged the lunch orders, and DJ’ed the bar all day and all night. Your bar was the social hub of oSC13 and we’re extremely grateful for this Tolis!
Iliana Dagli and Anastasia Trikaliti for running the registration
You only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s why you need people on your conference registration desk who are make visitors feel welcome, cherished and at home. Iliana and Anastasia where doing just that, they coordinated the check in, the geeko money donations and always had an ear for our visitors wishes and needs. During the 4 days of oSC13 a lot of Geekos helped out at the registration desk but you Iliana and Anastasia where running the show and we thank you for that!
Matt Barringer for OSEM
There is a tool at the heart of oSC13: OSEM, the Open Source Event Manager. And there is a man at the heart of this tool which is Matt. Without his heroic commitment to shake up the world of conference organization tools. Without him scratching our itch of a tool which is not only suitable, but made for free and open source conferences. Without his 34622 lines of code, this conference wouldn’t have been what is has been. Matt has truly shown us all the power of “Just do it” and we are and will continue to be grateful for that Matt!
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Jürgen Weigert for broadcasting
The openSUSE community is a world wide community of countless Geekos. It’s not feasible for everyone to swing by Greece so it’s extremely important that it’s possible for the people who are no at the venue to participate of the event. Live video and recordings are a huge part of this effort and Jürgen is the Geeko who came up with the plan, the software and the setup to make this possible. Many people helped recording the event but you Jürgen organized it all and we thank you for that!
Lars Vogdt for the infrastructure
They say a free and open source conference is only as good as it’s wireless LAN. So here is another reason why oSC13 was this great: Lars Vodgt and his admin Kung-Fu. It is important to have a capable, creative and reliable admin in the background and Lars was just that. You are always helpful, reachable and fun to work with and you have provided and amazing infrastructure for the event, thank you for that Lars!
Agustin Benito Bethencourt for handling the money
There is a dimension to any conference that is most important and most nasty to handle: money. It’s not all about the “Benjamins” but they certainly play an important role. You can be extremely grateful if you find someone who is willing and able to handle them. We have Agustin. This part is especially important if the group of people that is organizing the conference has no legal body to represent it, like it is the case with openSUSE. The tireless efforts of Agustin (and our main sponsor SUSE) have provided us with financial services that where fast and reliable. We are very grateful for you taking this out of our hair Agustin!
and so many more…
Of course there where so many more people who made a difference: Thanasis “Zoumpis” Rousinopoulos and Efstathios Iosifidis who kept the social media going. Jos Poortvliet authored a lot of awesome content about oSC13. Nikos Chatzidakis and again Zoumpis prepared the OSEM android application. George Bratsos for managing the room volunteers. Stathis Agrapidis for handling all the printing and re-stocking of supplies. The nameless lady from the cafeteria, all the awesome visitors and and and and and….
Thank you all for being the awesome people you are and for letting that rub off onto our conference!