Tech runs on coffee and wifi. Many people think that organizing an event like the WeAreDevelopers Congress is two months of hard work and then 10 months of partying and lounging around. But the reality looks quite different. Event management is a year-round job, one full of surprises. For example, everyone knows that you need a stable wifi connection at a tech conference, but have you ever thought about how much planning has to go into providing coffee for 8,000 attendees?

Do the math

The first thing you have to do when you want to brew coffee for 8,000 people is to do the math. Let’s say you need 10 grams of coffee to make one cup of coffee. If each participant drinks on average 4 cups of coffee, this means you need 320 kg of coffee per day, or 960 kg of coffee for the three days of the Congress. To be on the safe side, we add 240 kg and have 1.2 tons of coffee and create about 15,000 liters of coffee.

Personalized coffee?

So far so good. But things aren’t quite as easy as that because not every cup of coffee is equal. Some people prefer decaffeinated coffee, or like to drink their coffee with milk or sugar. Then there are the lactose-intolerant attendees who need lactose-free milk, or the espresso drinkers who would like a glass of water (sparkling or still?) with their coffee. Not to mention all the people who do not drink coffee and prefer tea, fruit juice, soft drinks, etc.

Distribute the liquid gold

That takes care of the coffee itself, but what about the service spots? The Austria Center Vienna (ACV) is a huge venue, and the WeAreDevelopers Congress is spread out across 4 levels. Providing refreshments to 8,000 thirsty attendees is a major logistical challenge that requires 6 stationary restaurants and about 10-12 mobile coffee stations. When you further consider the staff, the supplies, and the equipment, then you start to get an idea of the dimensions of the problem.

…it’s worth it when you see developers from around the world drinking coffee and sharing their knowledge and experience…

As you can now see, what at first seems like a simple task turns out to be a rather complex project. And we are just talking about coffee here. When you consider all the other aspects that go into organizing an event of this size, then it is easy to see that 12 months isn’t much time to organize Europe’s largest developers conference. As Alex Farkas, Head of Event Management, says, “It’s a lot of hard work organizing a world congress, but it’s worth it when you see developers from around the world drinking coffee and sharing their knowledge and experience with one another.”
Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes looks in the coming weeks.

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