Here are some tips about going to Codegarden that you will learn from going yourself, but you will benefit from if you find them out before you go.
What is the best day to arrive?
If you're just attending Codegarden and not the business partner summit, then the best day to arrive is Tuesday. Ideally you want to time it so you are checking into your hotel around 5pm at the latest so you can go and get some food before the pre-party.
Normally you will be flying to Copenhagen or Billund.
Trains from the aiport
Odense takes anywhere between 1.5 and 2 hours to get to by train from either airport, unless you manage to get a faster train then it might be just over an hour.
The trains in Denmark are lovely, they have big wide seats and their standard class is better than the first class ones in England.
There is an app called DSB which you can use to buy your train tickets once you get out of arrivals at the airport. It is best to pay a bit extra to book a seat because it's hard to get a seat otherwise, and people will come along and kick you out of your seat if you don't book it.
My favourite hotel in Odense is Hotel Odeon because it is the only one that really feels like a hotel. All of the rest either feel like an old bed and breakfast or in the case of Cabinn like a hostel 😃
A lot of the hotels in Odense have what is known as a toilet-shower-sink all in one kind of thing which is a bit weird, but Odeon is more normal.
At the pre-party, people share their beers and soft drinks that they sent over via beer pull requests. HQ has a temporary bar set up too giving out free drinks for everyone.
This is a great chance to speak to old friends, and new people you haven't met yet.
The pre-party usually ends around 11:00pm, some people do go on to some late bars afterwards, but it is wise to get a fairly early night after all that travelling and a big day the next day.
Getting around Odense
Most of the hotels are at least 1 mile away from the venue, so you need to allow around 20 minutes to walk there.
Crossing the road without using the zebra crossing is illegal in Denmark, so I'm told, and if the police see you do it you could be fined around 700DKK (€94.12; $108). Here are some more tips for this kind of thing.
In 2022 I had the privilege of using the e-scooters to get around Odense. It was the most fun I've had in a long time and I felt really safe. This is because the Tier scooters come with helmets and there are cycle lanes on all of the main roads.
You can download the Tier app in advance so you are ready to scoot when you are over there.
When you start a journey, it takes a fixed amount, then it works out how long you have been on it at the end and sends a refund to you right away.
Day 1 Wednesday
Make sure you get to the venue nice and early to register, pickup your t-shirt and lanyard, get a coffee and a pastry, and get a good seat. The keynote on the first day is usually the busiest.
There will be lots of talks throughout the day and they are in different rooms at the venue. So familiarise yourself with the different spaces, as well as where the toilets are refreshments are.
Usually on day 1 the talks are more about the status of Umbraco and the roadmap.
Food and Drink at the venue
On the Wednesday and Thursday your lunch and evening meal is provided for you (included in the price of your ticket).
The food at the venue is always top notch, you won't be disappointed.
There are fridges dotted around the venue with water bottles that you can help yourself to. There is free coffee available too.
There is a bar selling all sorts alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the event.
Every couple of hours snacks will appear in the breakout areas, things like fruit or chocolate brownies or traditional Danish snacks.
Normally the Umbraco Awards is on the evening of the first day.
After all of the talks you might think that everyone will go back to their hotels or go out for a meal in the town or something. Not at codegarden, people might sneak back to freshen up, but most people stay at the venue to socialise with others, as well as have their evening meal there.
Depending on where you are from the price of drinks from the bar is very expensive, so make sure to bring your company credit card, drink less, or start saving up now 🙂
Day 2 Thurdsay
Historically there have been more technical talks on the 2nd day of the event, but there are still multiple tracks for the people not interested in the technical talks.
Thursday Evening Gala Dinner (Bingo)
This is one of the highights of the whole event. The seats in the main event hall are taken away and replaced by rows and rows tables and chairs. Everyone gets together to have a gala dinner served to them at the table.
We all play bingo with stickers that have Umbraco related words on them, and it's not usually a good thing to win at this bingo.
The presenters of Bingo provide great entertainment and there are usually other acts or performers who are booked to come and entertain.
You may find yourself still there at 2 or 3 in the morning unless they are more strict and kick you out at midnight, but even after that a lot of people go on to late bars or night clubs. I think I'm a bit old for all that now, and there is no pressure on anyone to join in. It's just about having fun your own way.
Friday morning is usually quiet, a lot of people sleep in late, or are going home on the Friday.
In the past there would be group discussions about topics chosen by the people there, but I think they have moved away from that now.
There is usually something happening on stage in the main hall as well as some workshops over at the University, which is also included in the cost of your ticket.
Some people set off for their trains back to the airport or for those who are staying one more night they might all go back to Storms for something to eat and drink. There could be a different venue depending on the year you are going so make sure to ask around.
By this point I am usually drained from interacting with people for so long, so I like to have the afternoon to myself and then perhaps meet up with people for an evening meal and drinks later.
You will most likely meet familiar faces at the station from people you have met during the event or ones you already knew. It's a great idea to head over to Copenhagen early on the train and have a few hours to walk around before heading to the airport.
There are lockers at Copenhagen train station where you can pay to leave your bags for a few hours. I did this in 2022 and I plan to do this every year now.
That's all I can think of for now, but if I think of anything else, I will keep adding to this post.