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Price: Are you serious? Or out of your collective minds?

20 April 2010

249 € plus 25% VAT?
And early bird pricing for the really long time between April 18 and April 21?
And after that the price goes up again?


Drupalcon SF is 220 $ which equals around 160 €.
Paris was around 160 €.

You must be kidding - seriously.

I guess that's what happens when a DrupalCon is awarded to a city that doesn't know where to host the event at the time of application.


20. April 2010 - 16:00

I don't understand such pricing strategies. Is it to keep people away?

DrupalCOM is what comes to mind. What will be the Prize after the discount time is over?

DrupalCon is still cheap…

20. April 2010 - 17:41

…if you compare to other conferences. Say the coming, which is €595 for corporate, €289 for hobbyists. Or An Event Apart which is a whopping $895.

The key here is the venue. The reason previous DrupalCon have been so cheap are the availability of cheap venues. Both Paris and Szeged were universities which could be had kinda cheap.

This time, on contrast, we’ve had to lease a real conference center. Venue and food will all be professionally arranged, and that is for the benefit of the community.

The reaction about the prices

21. April 2010 - 23:24

The reaction about the prices I heard so far was WTF and I do understand that.

People don't judge in comparison to Django conference or other conferences for professionals and companys. People compare this DrupalCon to Paris or Szeget which used to cost 80,- two years ago including food. Now it is 3.9 times this ammount and this only for the ones who were lucky. I do accept that things change and costs rise but this is an explosion.

DrupalCon used to attract a wide range of people from students and part time drupalists to larger companys. With this price level the majority of site builders and users will be turned away only leaving room for those who make good profits with Drupal loosing diversity. Not an appealing direction for me.

I personally think the

20. April 2010 - 23:44

I personally think the pricing of DrupalCon CPH is quite reasonable. €250 for 4 days with all the cool Drupal people you can imagine with food and drinks included in the price.

DrupalCon has outgrown the university setting used in Paris and Szeged. The event has simply become too large to be hosted at a university. With the need for a larger venue prices must naturally go up a bit. If you look at the other events mikl refers to you can see that DrupalCon CPH is priced very reasonably. It is by no means a cash cow to put on a DrupalCon.

(You cannot compare a European conference with an American one. The differences are too big—among other things VAT and price of labour is vastly different.)

Everything included

21. April 2010 - 8:52

It's is also important to have in mind that the Copenhagen price have food, coffee, fooBar etc. included.

And if you feel price is to high, then don't go. We can't have it any cheaper if we are to organize a kick ass event.

too high - I am not looking for a fancy event

21. April 2010 - 16:20

And if you feel price is to high, then don't go. We can't have it any cheaper if we are to organize a kick ass event

Well, you are sooo right. :-(
So skip the k.a. part.

After waiting and watching weeks and months only 4 days with a reasonable price? Hi have been watching day after day, but how about others? They might have been waiting too and now missed this chance for a "reasonable" price? And some might not even be able to claim VAT.

I like to meet people and appreciate the presentations - which are free!, btw. I do not need a big amount of professional food, I just want to listen, see, and talk.

I am glad I joined Con Barcelona and I co-organised a Camp which was great to learn and listen. And many enthusiastic people helped with free presentations. With those prices: too bad, but I will stick with the Camps. No need for a "kick ass event" for me. The people are why it is fun to go. I do a lot of volontary work and do not get money for this. But this is asked too much. (travel: 100, hotel: 400, admission fee: 300 =>) 800 Euro for four days w/o pocket money?

Sorry, finally this is an event for companies. How about self-employed people (developer, designer) with a small budget? This is still "Open Source" and free development, isn't it?

Have fun - w/o the lot of people who will not be able to join you.

Try €100…

22. April 2010 - 18:02

Well, if you’re that price concious, I wonder why you’re willing to blow €400 on hotels. If you stayed for the three conference days at the hostel right across from the venue, you could get it at less than €100.

In addition to that, DrupalCons have a well-established tradition for couch-surfing, where, if you’re nice, could get to sleep on one of the friendly locals’ couch for free.

I think you’re blowing this out of proportions. For most people that end up going to DrupalCon, the venue ticket is the least of their worries. Travel, lodging, food/drink all tend to end up costing more than the ticket.

Drupal is getting big, hence more expensive to run

22. April 2010 - 18:11

Hi there, you have some valid points, and this is my point of view.

The Drupal community is getting larger by the day - which is great! This means that the bi-yearly cons are getting bigger everytime as well, but also that there's DrupalCamps organized everywhere and almost every week in Europe alone.

In Copenhagen we have very few options when it comes to location when we reach the magic "800 people" mark. Then we're getting too big for the universities, and we have to move to more professional event locations - and they are not cheap!

On top of that, this time around is the first time AFAIK the Drupal Association takes more direct control of the process - they planned the budget and hired a professional event agency - which also does not give us the opportunity to do things "cheap" - for instance, the drinks and food must be bought at the location, wifi, video-recording, streaming etc has to be professional grade and so on.

So in order to make the Cons cheap again, I guess you would have to set a limit on the number of participants, somewhere below 800 people - or you will have to accept that the Cons will be more expensive - and bigger.
And yes, Drupal is now a business for many of us as well as a hobby, so I see these big events as a good thing.

I guess the main thing is: How do we facilitate and keep the grassroots happy while everything gets bigger and probably more commercialized?
And while 250 euro is a lot for a personal economy, it's really cheap if you compare it with courses and even other conferences in the open source world.

But you know that most

22. April 2010 - 9:07

But you know that most conferences early bird prices are real offers.
30 Euro discount for 3 days.. uhm.. well.
And the django conference offered student prices for 200 bucks.

"And if you feel the price is to high, then don't go." is the sentence everybody wants to hear from his community event organizer. It's not kind and you're running away people which are a worthy part of the drupal community.

the price will as always been raising the closer we get

23. April 2010 - 22:04

If you remembered the prices for the last tickets went for in paris they was a bit more than 249€. afaik they last 20 ended up around 600€

The price for the tickets will as always go up the closer we get to the event - the end price is not set yet but will very soon. We would rather go on sale right now than sit and wait till after drupalconsf.

We have to do it that way, DrupalCon's are not camps they are now huge professional events with budgets that goes over what many of us thought 4 years ago.
We can ether choose to have a smaller fixed number of tickets, which will end the growth of the Drupal community (and ticket scalping) or we can grow with it. and embrace what it means that we are growing: Drupalcon are a huge success! if we wanna continue that we need to make em better. That means better food, better facilities for sponsors, Video recordings etc.

That also means that we need venues that can hold a huge number (we were almost 3000 in SF this week) we dont know about the number in copenhagen yet, it can be anything from 800 - xxx
Those venues are expensive, alone the coffee cost more than what i can drink in a day ;)

So what we used to be able to do dirt cheap if it was a 200 persons camp, now is costing us a huge part of the ticket price. when we add cleaning of the venue, security, insurences, professional conference planners etc its all adds up.

If we should end up having student discount then the normal ticket price for non students would be around 700€ (or whatever) then how would that be fair for small freelancers, businesses that are in a hard time etc?
Personally i think its more fair that we have one price for all attendees, and offer scholarships instead.

Drupalcamps that are used as the entry for getting new people into Drupal, the camps are way better for that and are good to get the local communities together. Its easy to put an event with a couple of hundred people, and the risk of

The goal is that the price is as low as it can be. and we still can make the events better and bigger.

If you really thinks that the price is to high for a drupalcon, well then look at what you gotten so far from the conference, then its all about seeing if thats not worth the price. Personally i think its dirt cheap.

I totally understand that people are going: wtf why are the tickets getting more expensive. Well theres a good reason for this, as we grow bigger and more professional stuff is getting more expensive.
Offcourse if thats not a thing somebody wanna be a part of, well then we have the drupalcamps that fill out the need for übergrassroot drupal love.

Drupalcons are not attractive

22. April 2010 - 10:39

Drupalcons are not attractive any more for small and middle-sized companies, students or self employed people.

I dont' know where the price comes from. Food for 3 days is about 20 € a day = 60 €. The end price for Drupalcon CPH including tax will be about 350 € . At the end, including hotel, travel, etc. I'll end up at 1000 €.

1000 € . Wow. In comparison: For the Interbrew, the fair of the Brewing Industry, I pay 50 € for 3 days, Having free beer, fun and party. Ah, of course, I forgot there are professional presentations, the tech talk, etc.

A conference that is named

22. April 2010 - 13:15

A conference that is named after a beer company is not an industry event, it's a company event, why did you even have to pay 50 Euro ;)

actualy the fair is not named

22. April 2010 - 14:43

actualy the fair is not named after a beer company. I just translated the German "Interbrau" to English, which resulted in "Interbrew". The fair is worldwide called Drinktec. No I don't have to pay 50 €. I'm a professional brewmaster consulting small brewing companies..

And no, it is not a company event:

And yes, it is an industry event. With about 60,000 visitors from over 170 countries.

(hhmm Mollom thinks this was spam,)

No point comparing…

22. April 2010 - 15:33

Well, however you look at it, you can find conferences that are a lot more expensive (like the TEDActive conference for $3,750), and you can find conferences that are cheaper like your example.

I don’t think we’ll see huge profits from this conference, and I think the Drupal Association will continue to publish the budgets for each conference. In any case, it is the DA that will reap any profits (or cover the losses), so it’s not like anyone stands to profit from this personally.

yes, I agree. but we still

22. April 2010 - 16:07

yes, I agree.

but we still have to look at the other side... We have to make it possible for hobby Drupalers as well as Students to get in.

As Drupalcons grow every time I suggest to bring in a price system like other conventions do:

  • Ticket for Students: 100 €
  • Ticket for Hobby Drupaler: 200 €
  • Ticket for Companies: 350 €

We can't afford to loose our base in favour of buisness...

It's a completly different championship

27. April 2010 - 15:00

Your right snicers. My company was one of the biggest exibitors and the total amount we've spend on the Drinktec stand comes up to tens of millions of euros. Can not compare the volume of money that of this kind of industrial trade events represent with the still relatively small web market.


23. April 2010 - 9:26

if the slogan "free beer" vs "free speech" was ever more appropriate then here, I would like to know :-)

I will be going because...

22. April 2010 - 13:18

I will be going because only at a Drupalcon you can get a comprehensive program that covers all of what is happening in Drupal.

And yes in comparison to other Drupalcons and Drupalcamps it's more expensive but please don't forget:

-we need a venue that can scale. Drupalcon SF has now 3000 attendees, we were able to keep increasing the size of the conference because we were in a professional conference center.
-Drupalcon SF was cheaper because the food wasn't included.
-The venue will be a lot better than anything you could get in a university for that amount of people.
-I co-organized Szeged and yes we had an awesome venue at a low price, but you should have heard how everybody was moaning about not being in a capital.
-Our community is evolving, we should never abandon our roots but we also can't ignore the corporate world, because if we do they'll go to another event from another project and that will be bad for everyone in our eco-system.
-Beers are expensive in normal bars, so they'll create a private bar just for the conference. They might even have a Drupal beer...

The Drupalcon team in CPH is working really hard to make a unforgettable experience, let's not be ungrateful.

working hard

22. April 2010 - 17:41

Drupalcon team in CPH is working really hard to make a unforgettable experience
nobody doubts this, and thanks for doing it. But because this is a lot of work you should be sorry that there is a group of people which is not able to join - due to lack of money. ;-)
How many hamburgers can I buy in a week and still have great talks? And I can live w/o bear for a week. And really, who needs a big city? You can visit the country after the conference. I would have loved a meeting at Oxford or Cambriddge (Great Britain). Stick to the core - not the side program. Btw. what is so special?' You should tell us if you want to convince us.
Well, there is still the internet to learn, but I think not only I will be missing the personal contact.

If you want bear, why not come to Düsseldorf's Altstadt next time? ;-)

Repeating myself, I think

22. April 2010 - 18:03

Repeating myself, I think you’re blowing this out of proportions. For most people that end up going to DrupalCon, the venue ticket is the least of their worries. Travel, lodging, food/drink all tend to end up costing more than the ticket.

Just check out the living costs of northern Europe...

27. April 2010 - 14:35

Yep, I can't agree more with you. Denmark is one of the most expensive countries in Europe (above it maybe only Norway and England).
I'll profit the trip to take on some days of vacation. As I'm comming from Portugal, and we're 2 (my wife is also comming to the Con) we'll visit a bit the north of Germany and the "rural" Denmark.
A regular meal is about 4 times the cost I'm used to and the hotel is 2 times more expensive. Without the venue ticket I'm already on the 1000€ per person budget.
I've found, 3 weeks ago, good prices on for the hotel (lower than the ones offered here) and cheap flights at Ryanair, but if you can get a couch in the area its the best choice.
It is not cheap but, assuming the quality justifies it, it is not that much expensive for the location. I believe that in the US the venues availability is different, so better prices for sure.

Course of time

24. April 2010 - 14:54

A lot of discussion took place in Paris about how to relieve Organizers of Drupalcons from all the financial risk and repetitive learning how to host such a big event without the risk it might even be cancelled (I understand Paris was not too far from that worst case).

The outcome was to professionalize it and let the local organizers mostly do what only they can do: find a venue, organize the schedule and stuff.

Apart from that Scandinavia in general is quite expensive (at least Norway is in my experience).

Plus take into account travel and accomodation costs you at least 2 times more than the conference fee, I, too, find the price reasonable.

For people who like the smaller and more personal events there are lots of camps now even in Europe, so maybe a Drupalcon will be not your thing anymore anyway.

Personally I like to talk to all the real drupal rockstars eye to eye. Think about what you pay for a Madonna concert ;) (worst comparison ever. Question: can Madonna ever rival webchick?)

So before the conference does not go to 1000 Euros and you have to pay to see the videos afterwards, I think we are not too much infected.

Probably going, but will be hard to justify this time again

26. April 2010 - 4:01

I will probably be going, but it will be harder and harder to justify ever rising prices in conference costs to my organisation. Drupalcons are big events, but they are twice a year, which means if you want to send two people every time, you're actually sending 4 people every year, which quickly sums up if you add up prices for the hotel, the flight, etc.

I know about the crazy work required to run those conferences and I understand that the price may need to go up, but I sure hope it is not a linear increase in price because we are going to loose a part of the community. Already the event has seen a major commercialization over more and more space within the event and also within the community (AKA the "Microsoft WTF?" effect ;).

I feel for the small shops and individuals wanting to keep up... Good thing there are video recordings made available, that kind of alleviates the effects..

Last thing: I do not understand how we can justify rising costs in the sight of major "profits" made in DCSF (300k$ on a 1M$ budget, 30%!) and other events. More specifically, if the 300k$ profits of DCSF we reinjected back in the conference directly, that would have meant a 100$ rebate on every ticket out there. Considering the average paid price was 150$, that is very significant.

Now I understand drupalcons are probably one of the biggest revenue streams of the Drupal Association, but if that is the case, it should be made clearer that the conferences are actually sponsoring events for the Association, and I consider that the association's budget and operating costs should then be disclosed, as they are currently a black box to the community.

Thanks for organizing the conf anyways, it's still one of the cheapest around..

I'm coming!

26. April 2010 - 21:31

I just wanted to weigh in that I don't think it's that bad. I'm sure the events gonna be great. It'd be great of the longest thread in the forum was about something positive :)
I purchased a ticket right away, with my personal money.

me too :)

9. May 2010 - 2:43

but I'm pretty sure there will be some contributors that are not going to visit the CON because of the price... :( But hey we have a great venue, nice food, I hope a nice party too...and of course great speakers and presenations! Btw - when are the session proposals starting?

the calender says on

9. May 2010 - 18:28

the calender says on Wednesday, so I guess were gonna start there ;)

and about the price, there will always be some who wont go, even if it was free.
The price have been set with the DA, and unless we suddenly again have 300 persons conferences - then that scalability situation isnt gonna change - try contacting a local conference center, and be prepared for a price chock ;)

no worries about the parties. There will be plenty :P


10. May 2010 - 20:33

Don't forget that there are scholarships for folks who are actively part of the community, but can't afford to attend otherwise. Over 20 scholarships were awarded in San Francisco, most of them full, including travel and housing, because, as it has been pointed out, the ticket is the least of the costs for folks who travel to DrupalCon.

If you are interested, apply ASAP at