Festival attendees, you may be wondering how can the Umbraco UK Festival get any more awesome than previous years'? Well, first of all, this year's festival will take place at a church with an underground crypt. That's right, a crypt. We sat down with The Cogworks' Senior Digital Project Manager/Festival Get-It-Done Guy Thom Sanders to talk about The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
How did you select the amazing venue this year?
The idea came from Anthony. We were trying to think of places around and there were some discussion about moving the festival out of London, but finding a suitable place is quite difficult. We were looking at conference type places. Then, we discovered the church which is only a two minute walk from here. It's called Crypt on the Green. It's still a working church but it tends to be used for events.
Did you coordinate the festival time and venue this year with Halloween?
No, we didn't intentionally coordinate it although everything is orange and black. Our illustrator seem to have gone with a bit of a Halloween theme but the festival is normally held around this time of the year.
Can you speak a bit more about the illustration this year?
We found an illustrator who is very good. Someone we didn't know but responded to our cry for help on Twitter. She is based down in Sussex and came up with something quite different. She came to the project with a fresh take without any prior involvement with Umbraco or The Cogworks. She also brought a female perspective to looking at the design. We are all really pleased with it.
What merchandise will we have this year and are there any new additions?
We always have badges, stickers, pens, pads, and t-shirts. This year, we have new tote bags with the idea that everyone gets all their stuff in the tote bags at the beginning of the day rather than having random stuff about. I like our tote bag and have been using everyday since they arrived. In fact, they are with my wife in Munich at the moment.
What is the most enjoyable aspect about planning this festival?
It's all on the day isn't it? Working with the illustrator and the design is the more fun part, but it is a lot of work. It's a balance between the festival and our normal work.
What is the most challenging?
The time thing. Balancing speakers can be difficult between the technical topics to the more cultural and wider topics and also keeping in mind that it is an Umbraco festival.
Just to confirm, this year we have plenty of coffee.
Yes, there will not be any breaks without coffee and we also have a pub organized. We are all going to The Bowler and the information is up on the festival website now.