If you’ve got a question about BuzzConf we’re here to help!
What’s different about BuzzConf?
BuzzConf is not your usual technology conference. All attendees AND presenters spend the whole weekend together onsite in the countryside. This gives everyone unparalleled access to the top tech talent that flies in for the event.
We fill the days with presentations, workshops and demos of all the latest emerging technology, have a complete kids track for the whole weekend, and then entertain you with live music and great conversation around the campfire long into the night.
Everyone leaves having learnt amazing new skills, and made great new friends… we hope you will join us this year and see why everyone is asking “Have you heard about BuzzConf?”
Where do I sign up?
You can register for your tickets and optional extras on the Registration form.
Where will I sleep?
We think that you’ll get the most from the festival if you’re camping close to the action in one of our three campsites: Family Camping, Quieter Corner or Party Animal. All have plenty of power for your techy toys!
There are also several premium accommodation options available, including dorm rooms and Glamping tents which need to be prebooked on the Registration form. If you do not opt for one of these accommodation upgrades, you will need to bring your own tent.
Is there a discount for families?
If you select a “Family ticket” on the Registration form you can get a discount on 2 adults plus your children. Children’s tickets will need to be selected seperately for no charge.
How do I register for the courses on Friday?
This year BuzzConf has an extra track of content on Friday for those wanted more intensive courses in Machine Learning, Developing for Voice Assistants, Augmented and Mixed Reality and Rapid Prototyping with 3D Printing. These courses are optional extras available for a small additional cost and need to be pre-booked during your online registration. The courses run for either a whole of half day.
If you have registered for one of the Friday courses you will be sent an arrival time for your session on Friday. For all other ticket holders, the gates will open at 5pm on December 1st, and close at 12pm on Monday 4th December.
How do I get to the BuzzConf Festival site, Phoenix Park?
BuzzConf is super easy to get to, close to Ballan Station which is easy to get to by public transport from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, or a 1 hour drive from the CBD.
By Car/Motorbike/Campervan from Melbourne
Find your way to the M80 Ring Road, and take the M8 Western Freeway exit towards Ballarat. From here, keep going until you get to Ballan! The first exit marked Ballan is the C803. Skip this one. Take the next exit, turning left onto the C141. Don’t blink! Almost immediately after exiting and turning left, you’ll see the BuzzConf banner on your right. Turn in here, check in and start your relaxing and educational weekend.
By Public Transport
Make your way to Ballan station and if you have pre-booked a shuttle during registration we will be there to take you the rest of the way. From Melbourne, find your way to Southern Cross Railway Station. If you’re flying in, take the SkyBus directly there from Tullamarine Airport. There are many direct trains to Ballan from here.
All shuttles will need to be pre-booked on the Eventbrite Registration form.
Outside of shuttle times, BuzzConf is a short taxi ride away.
Enter the following sequence in to your travel device: -37.592130, 144.199152, Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A.
Do I need to book the Ballan Station shuttle?
We are running several shuttle trips from Ballan Station to the festival site, and you will need to pre-book these on the Registration form.
Food and Alcohol
This year we’ve been working hard to pull together a fantastic range of catering and drink options for you to rival those of the last two years on every level! Food will be provided at reasonable costs with options under $10.
There will be licenced areas for you to buy drinks throughout the weekend with a bar serving great local tap beer and wine available. Responsible service of alcohol will be in place. Please drink responsibly. This is a family friendly event.
We’re also providing a BYO license this year, so bringing your own alcohol is on the cards. For the record, Ben and Rick both enjoy a nice Scotch. You are welcome to bring your own food, and we recommend those concerned with their dietary requirements to do so. Camp cooking equipment is permitted, so long as they’re powered from bottled gas or electricity. Coal BBQs are not permitted to be used during the weekend. If you intend to bring perishables or want to keep your tinnies cold, we recommend bringing an esky to keep food or drinks cooled.
We have the same excellent barista and coffee cart from last year – keeping us going with quality hot drinks throughout the weekend.
What do I need to bring?
Don’t forget to bring your toothbrush! Other items you might want to add to your packing list include:
- Laptops, phones, robots, hardware to play with
- Chargers for your laptops, phones, robots, …
- Power-boards and extension cables – there are power points dotted around the campsite for you to share with others. Dorms have limited sockets, so power-boards will be useful here too. If they will be used outside make sure they are weatherproof.
- Musical instruments for campfire jams
- Sleeping space – tent, van, caravan, spaceship
- Sunscreen, hat, sunnies – you’ll be outdoors most of the time
- Light clothes – it could get warm during the day
- Warm clothes – it could get cold at night
- Poncho/raincoat/boots – it could rain during the weekend
- Warm bedding – if you’re camping, or basic glamping, make sure you rug up at night
- Camping chairs & picnic rugs – relax and chill out in style
- CASH – There are no EFTPOS facilities on-site
- Torch – there is some lighting on-site, but we don’t want you tripping over guy ropes in the dark
- Earplugs – for those who need complete silence for sleeping
- Enthusiasm, networking vibes & party pants
You don’t need
- Food or drink – we will have a variety of meals for breakfast lunch and dinner for you to purchase, and kegs of beer and wine to keep you refreshed (BRING CASH)
- Friends – you can come solo and make friends here
- Bad vibes
- No glass to be brought to site
- No Pets
- Total fire ban in camp sites – all fires to be managed by CFA
- No Generators
- No flares or fire sticks
- No Weapons
- No Commercial signage
- This is a full recycling site – all rubbish to be recycled in the allocated rubbish bags. Any other items (couches, tents etc) must be removed by you from your camp site
- No ciggy butts to be thrown on the ground – tins will be placed around the site. No smoking in Kids Zone, Workshops Zones, Food Areas
No conference is the same without an after party, but only BuzzConf holds it at a music festival! Sunday will see a more relaxing evening of music and socialising, to which all participants are invited.
Is drinking water available on-site?
All tap water on-site is potable, including the taps you’ll find sticking out of the ground around the campsite. We recommend running the tap quickly before flushing a Christmas Beetle in to your drink bottle though!
We’ve divided the camping into zones again, to cater to participants’ various requirements. All zones have power available to them to various degrees. Night Owl Camping – for the party-goers, this zone is right up near the action. Glamping Zone – This area is reserved for those who have purchased a pre-pitched Glamping tent. Family Camping – further again from the action, for a bit more peace and space, this zone is the closest to the toilets and showers. Quieter Camping – the furthest from the action, and with the sound system pointing away, this area will be the quietest during the evening festival – but don’t forget to pack earplugs if you want a completely silent night!
Map and Schedule
You will be provided with a map and schedule upon arrival at BuzzConf, and both will be available on the website soon.
Internet and WiFi
Oceanlabs will be returning this year to ensure we have great connectivity throughout the main areas of the festival site, and most mobile phone carriers also have great signal throughout the site. Common sense rules still apply to usage. You’re sharing this with everyone else, so please don’t be anti-social – activities such as extended and heavy downloading will affect others. In order to preserve the quality of the internet connection, our IT team might limit or suspend access for any device at any time. This is simply an invitation to go find one of them, identify the issue, and restore you to full access.
What are the ‘facilities’ like
There are several showers and bathrooms on site.
Most campsites have accessible power points, though you may wish to bring weatherproof extension cables or powerboards for multiple devices.
BuzzConf creates a lot of excitement. While you’re mingling with myriad marvelous minds, you might find there’s something you simply have to share with everyone at the event. Enter lightning talks. During the course of the weekend, we’ll have a board available for participants to nominate themselves for a very short talk. Typically 3-5 minutes each, this is the perfect opportunity to share your idea or information. Lightning talks are also a fantastic way to get your feet wet in giving presentations, and there’s no minimum experience level required to give a talk.
You’ll see lots of people around the site wearing BuzzConf caps or T-shirts that say ‘crew’ on the back. If you have any questions throughout the weekend they should be able to help or direct you to someone who has the answers.
Code of Conduct
BuzzConf is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference and festival experience for everyone, regardless of sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any event venue, including talks. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event, without a refund, at the discretion of the organizers. Harassment includes verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. All participants, including sponsors and partners, are subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Sponsor and partner staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment. If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, the organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event, with no refund. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the event staff immediately. Event staff will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance. We expect participants to follow these rules at all times and in all locations during the event and other BuzzConf-related events.
- Email address for organizers [email protected]
- Conference security or organizers +61 401 372 974
- Ballan Police Station +61 3 5368 1303
- Emergency Services 000
- Ballan Community Health Centre +61 3 5366 7999
- Ballan Hospital +61 3 5368 1100
- Ballan Taxis 1800 246 806
BuzzConf is held in a park, amongst trees. Australian bushfires are not restricted to the heights of summer, and can start naturally, due to human action, or a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 being left unattended. While these are very unlikely scenarios, we have a fire plan in place, should anything happen. In the case of a fire, move immediately to the primary muster point, which is the paddock to the left/north of the main drive. If it is not safe to move to the primary muster point, the secondary point is the the paddock behind and to the south of the site office. Follow the instructions of any site crew and fire officials, and do not return for any reason until told it is safe to do so.