Kids track « BuzzConf Technology Festival. 1-3 Dec

Kids’ track

BuzzConf is family-friendly – and that means there will be lots of tech for the whole family to enjoy!

There will be several sessions throughout the weekend where they can learn about electronics, IoT, play with lego robots, compete in minecraft competitions, and have as much fun as the rest of us!

If your children are very young, or prefer their parents around when they’re playing, you will be able to hang out with them too and have a great family weekend learning together!

Kids Track

Build and Code musical instruments using Makey Makey

Participants will wire a Makey Makey board to household objects (like fruit) to compose music

Rise of the Robots

Bring to life paper robots and light up ninja badge

How to Train a Robot

Explore basic programming to teach mBot robots to beep and blink, to move, to see and finally to dance

Build and Code a Car Robot using Arduino

Design and build a toy car, wire an Arduino to control servo motors and create and upload a sketch for the Arduino

Game development for kids

The team from Tinarastic Game Studio will be hosting a workshop in Game Development for beginners and kids aged 8 and upwards.

Minecraft; building time

Join the Tinarastic team in their wondrous Minecraft world for a Stampy and Squid style Building Time competition.

Nightmare Light

Ever wanted to create a creepy baby-spider with glowing eyes? Or a glowing many-limbed frankenstein doll which you can leave in the bathroom to scare the rest of your family?


Help the Codatopians build their hometown! Team up with the Builder, Writer and Banker to make buildings.

Venue « BuzzConf Technology Festival. 1-3 Dec

Venue & Location

BuzzConf Festival 2017 is being held at Phoenix Park, Ballan

Did you see those rolling green hills and blue sky on the way over here? It was like the Windows XP desktop background!

– Marty, OceanLabs

BuzzConf is held at Phoenix Park, a short way outside Melbourne, at Ballan, Victoria.

By being outside the city, all the attendees – presenters, keynotes, and guests – will spend the whole weekend together, learning, innovating and having fun!

Huge marquees, fields, indoor lounges and dedicated children’s areas ensure there’s plenty of space for everyone to learn, hack and play.


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

Internet and phones

We’ve got awesome coverage on site, with a 120mbs up/down wifi connection, and great mobile reception from a new tower in the town.

Getting there

Ballan is easy to get to with Public Transport from Southern Cross Station, or a short trip by car. Check the map below!

We’ll also be shuttling people from Ballan Station to the festival site to make it even easier – but you’ll need to book a place on the shuttle when you register.

Accommodation « BuzzConf Technology Festival. 1-3 Dec

Accommodation at BuzzConf

Bring a tent, stay in a dorm or glamp in luxury

We think that you’ll get the most from the festival if you’re camping close to the action in one of our three powered campsites: Family Camping, Quieter Corner or Party Animal. All have plenty of power for your techy toys!

If camping is not your thing – we understand – and we have you covered with an option to add dorms during your registration for a bargain price of $200 for the whole weekend of up to 3 nights.

Glamping options are back

Back by popular request, we’ll be giving you the option to camp in luxurious style with a range of ‘glamping’ options again this year.

Inspired by nature, good design and our desire for people to enjoy the outdoors in style and comfort, we have a range of beautiful canvas bell tents that we set up with all the modern comforts of home.

Our canvas tents are a luxurious size – 5m wide and tall enough to stand in. With mesh screened windows and vents to keep the air flowing, our tents are perfect for Australian conditions and are a joy to sleep inside – keeping you cool in the heat and warm in colder conditions.

They are styled by a professional interior stylist with pure linen, chic yet rustic furniture and bright finishes. It is our aim to bring you the joy of sleeping in a beautiful canvas tent amongst nature without all of the effort – let us take care of it for you.

Prices start at $670 for three nights – with a small surcharge for additional beds up to 4 per tent – making them a very economical way for a group to stay onsite!

We offer the following furnishings and finishes with a focus on quality, design and comfort:

  • 5m water resistant canvas bell tent with mesh screened front door and vents
  • Comfortable self inflating 10cm camp mattresses on top of a fold out camp cots (single or double)
  • Soft washed 100% Belgian linen
  • Woolen throw blanket
  • Bright, stylish cushions
  • Bedside tables
  • Long bench table
  • Bedside lamps with USB connector
  • Hemp rug for interior
  • Front door mat
  • Pathway lighting and signage

Base cost: $670 for 2 people Extra person: $50


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 LearningDeveloping for Voice AssistantsAugmented 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.

Gate Times

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.

By Drone/Spaceship/Teleporter

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

House rules

  • 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

After Party

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!

Camp zones

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.

Lightning Talks

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.

BuzzConf Crew

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.

Emergency Contacts

  • 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

Fire Plan

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.

Virtual Reality Ventures are the latest BuzzConf partners – BuzzConf BuzzConf

Virtual Reality Ventures are the latest BuzzConf partners

Virtual Reality Ventures

These guys really are the best – it took no time at all after talking to Managing Director Stefan Pernar to decide these guys are people BuzzConf want to support!

You’ll get a chance to meet them at the next BuzzConf Nights event in Melbourne, so make sure you’re registered on and subscribed to our newsletter so you don’t miss the announcement!

In their own words:

“Virtual Reality Ventures is at the forefront of the corporate virtual reality industry

We are leaders in one of the world’s most exciting, fastest growing mediums: immersive technologies.

We specialise in providing real VR solutions to some of the biggest companies in Australia and the world. As an official Samsung partner, we are develop high-quality, custom 360 media, apps and software that drive profit and grow business for our clients.

We understand the needs of the high-performing corporate sector because we have been there. Our managing director, Stefan Pernar, has held director roles in Fortune 500 companies and is the president of the Australian Virtual Reality Industry Association giving him a unique perspective on the sector as a whole.

Not just a tech company, but an innovation power house, we offer a wide range of tailored services including corporate consulting, app development, content creation and more.

Get in touch today to find out how you can start using virtual reality as part of your business.”

Virtual Reality, Quines, and the Maker Revolution – BuzzConf BuzzConf

Virtual Reality, Quines, and the Maker Revolution

Met some amazing people tonight, truly remarkable evening! – Kristine

When we started BuzzConf, we knew it wasn’t just about the conference. We wanted more than the standard fare of presenters and lecterns. In creating the world’s first technology festival, we wanted to help foster a community of like-minded individuals and families around the topic of the future of technology and innovation.

The resounding success of the festival, and the participants’ desire for more interactions like this lead us to run a number of smaller events throughout the year, starting with the BBQ social last month, and the first BuzzConf Nights event yesterday. And we’re so happy and proud to hear the feedback continues to show these events are very well received; perhaps even sorely needed.

Last night was our first technical event of the year, and wasn’t without its technical hitches. Thanks to Andy Kitchen’s impromptu stand-up routine, and the quick thinking of a number of helpers, they were sorted in short order, and the evening’s presentations and entertainment were a hit.

Interesting topics and a friendly group of people. Looking forward to another one – Nick P.

Andy Kitchen: Meta-quinesWe started off the evening with Andy Kitchen’s introduction to Meta-quines. Minds boggled as Andy gave a live demonstration of code that, when run, would generate new code.

A programmatic equivalent of a pun, poem, or play-on words, creating these self-modifying programs are a a great way to challenge and grow as a developer, but you’ll be glad to know that they’re not going to take of the world and become the Skynet.

Cameron Leeson: Making, the Next RevolutionCameron Leeson took the stage next, to talk about the Maker revolution. Maker spaces have been on a sharp incline in the past decade, and Cameron’s experience in starting Brunswick’s Make-Create space has given him an insight in to how the future, and even present-day innovation has changed. No longer in the hands of large organisations with big budgets, anyone with an idea can now find a space with both the tools required to prototype a physical product, and the skills, experience, and encouragement of a community that thrives on enabling “making” at this level.

Stefan Pernar: Virtually There - The Emergence of Immersive Consumer Tech and What it Means For YouAnd rounding up the evening’s presentations, Stefan Pernar shared the story of his immersive technology company, Virtual Reality Ventures, and how creating a compelling VR experience is about story telling. Some of the evening’s participants also enjoyed playing with the Samsung Gear VR headset.

Alpha Loopy

And of course a BuzzConf event wouldn’t be right without some live music. We’re very grateful to Alpha Loopy for entertaining the crowd! Her visually intriguing looping gear solicited quite a few questions about her setup, including some from BuzzConf co-founder Rick Giner.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to all three presenters and Alpha Loopy for helping make our first BuzzConf Nights event a success, and look forward to seeing them, you, and others, at our next event.

If you missed it, or want a recap, we’ll be posting the video on our social media channels, so keep tuned by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and by joining our mailing list today.

Virtual Reality Art, and Development with Social Impact – BuzzConf BuzzConf

Virtual Reality Art, and Development with Social Impact

Standing room only, at the 2nd BuzzConf Nights

“Excellent presentation. VRA was captivating. Building tools are an exposure to how technology is working in the communities of 3rd world countries.” – Jeffrey Phuah


6pm – Drinks and socialising
7pm to 8:00pm – Technical presentations and demos
8:30pm until late – Music, drinks, and party


Virtual Realty Art – Stephanie Andrews

Stephanie will be talking about her experiences and accomplishments as a professional artist working with cutting edge technology like Virtual Reality. She began her career as a Technical Director at Pixar on the films A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2.

Her work has been exhibited around the world, including the USA, Australia, the UK, and Iceland, and her pieces have incorporated kinetic sculpture, holography, digital imaging, and lighting installation.

As an entrepreneur, has also founded 3D product design companies for the largest online virtual world, Second Life, and is currently the Creative Director for Liminal VR, a Melbourne tech startup.

With more than ten years as a lecturer in higher education, her students have continued to top notch careers in art, engineering, entertainment, and academia. She has won major grants for her research into stereoscopic imaging, and is pursuing a PhD at the Deakin Motion.Lab in this area.

Impact Driven Development, Frugal engineering – Keshav Murthy

Building tools for Social impact in third world countries offers different sets of challenges when compared with enterprise or application development in first world. In this talk you will learn how the un-availability of a stable network, corruption and bureaucracy pose challenges in deployment and execution.

Venue and date announcement! – BuzzConf BuzzConf

Venue and date announcement!

BuzzConf will be held November 14-15 in Ballan, Victoria

We’ve found a great venue for you to get your geek on, set in the stunning Victorian country town of Ballan, with plenty of open space amidst gardens and farmland. There will be plenty of areas for camping and pavilions, and cabins and units for anyone that wants a little more comfort. So lock in November 14 and 15 and let the kids know you’re taking them camping – you’re going to BuzzConf! Register Interest today!