In February Vitaly Friedman and I went on a one-day road trip to explore a few venues in Belgium in Ghent and Antwerp. Some of them were recommended to me, others I had found on the web. During the car ride we had lovely conversations about what we want for SmashingConf and how we think, a venue should be. We felt like back in 2012, when being out to find a venue for the very first SmashingConf in Freiburg.
We found the wonderful Bourla theatre in Antwerp, which directly stuck with us (and a similar beautiful theatre in Ghent – longer story why we decided against Ghent). We could imagine the people in this theatre and how an event, having its roots in a more technical sector, would fit in this lovely space.
It all worked out and close to 600 people came to the very first SmashingConf in Antwerp. The team did a fantastic job and everybody was happy and relaxed at the event.
Next to providing all the video tech for on stage and the live stream and co-running this with Amanda from our team, I took a few photos which might give you an impression on how it was.