In anticipation of Baltic Honey Badger 2019, below are my thoughts on BH2018 and Riga, Latvia itself.
The 2018 conference was held between the 22nd and 23rd of September, one week later than it has been scheduled this year.
During this time in Riga, I found it pretty cold so I would recommend a warm jacket and trousers. TimeandDate.com recorded an average temperature of 13°C in September 2018; though looks to be a little warmer in 2019, still I’d recommend you pack for that.
In Riga Lyft and Uber are not established. Instead, the local alternatives are Bolt or Yandex.
For taxis, BH2019 have negotiated preferential rates with a local firm called Baltic Taxi.
A promo code for this will be released on their Telegram channel t.me/baltichoneybadger one week before the event.
Alternatively, public transport infrastructure in Latvia is good and you can plan your route through this website: https://www.rigassatiksme.lv/en/
The 2019 venue appears to be the same location as 2018, which is H20 6 Kvartais; a private venue next to the RISEBA FAD University.
It is very central, easy to get to and has reasonable facilities.
The room hired last year was a long rectangular open space with a stage at one end and a buffet for food and drinks at the other.
Periodically along the hall sides were screens projecting the main stage to mitigate the distance between the main stage and back row of seating.
The venues modern and largely concrete decor lent well to acoustic projection of the speakers voices. However it also carried the voices of those networking at the back of the room. Multiple times people were asked to be quiet or go outside, however with the cold weather many were not so eager to oblige.
Vibe of the Event
Baltic Honey Badger is a Bitcoin maximalist conference, so if you are passionate about Ethereum or another shit coin, then this event is not for you.
The speakers are mostly high profile personalities in the Bitcoin space, and most attendees are eager to watch the talks and participate in the Q&A as opposed to just networking which is typical of many other conferences. Though there is plenty of interesting people to interact with.
The After Party
On the last day they opened an area at behind the main venue similar to a warehouse containing various seating rooms and a dance floor. Outside were food trucks and a number of bars were scattered through serving cocktails with Bitcoin themed names.
The conference is in English completely, meaning all attendees also speak English. In Latvia, most young people speak English.
I only found communication issues when dealing with older generations particularly in public transport environments. Restaurants and bars etc were no problem.
The Cost of Things
Latvia uses the Euro and it is certainly cheaper than the UK.
According to Numbeo a 0.5L of local beer is around 2.50 EUR and a 3-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant is around 40 EUR.
On entry to the event each delegate was given a branded fabric bag with a paper pad and a pen.
There were a few companies who had stalls at the event including Trezor so clearly they had stickers available; but largely the thing you take away from this event is information and new contacts. Not free swag.
And the contacts if you put the effort, can be life changing!
Baltic Honey Badger is one of my favourite events in terms of networking and high quality content. Be aware though that this event is serious about technology sharing and development; it is not just a party like some other conferences.
Additionally Latvia can be a little tricky to get to and the temperature this time of year can be a quite cold. But as long as you plan appropriately you will not notice.
Definitely an event to add to your Bitcoin Conference Calendar and if you have yet to book your hotel then Trippki has some cool places for you to stay.
Written by guest blogger Krypto Flamingo