This is the fourth year that I have dived head first into organising the London Perl Workshop (The UK’s Perl Workshop) and the first in which I am writing this type of post before the official launch of the site. Why is that i hear you call…

It is because I love our sponsors.[1]

A little history…

The London Perl Workshop (LPW) which is really the UK Perl Workshop (UKPW) has been supported for many years by the kind donations of a small pool of dedicated sponsors and by the generous hosting of the event by the University of Westminster.

Due to the shift in the UK economic scene and in particular the change in University management and funding there is now no ability for the Department to host our event for zero cost, until now we have been an extra in their normal budget as they sought to support the local community. Last year we were informed it was likely to be the final year of free sponsorship, this year that came true. Sean, our contact and eternal friend at the university, has managed to secure us a generous discount for rooms but we must still provide funds to cover the hiring.

My Plan…

So, before I started to work on dates, website and associated paraphernalia this year I approached the previous year’s sponsors and did a call for the date and a shout for new sponsors. I also offered sponsors the chance to brand and be associated with specific elements of the day.[2] I have received a generous response which was helped by people bringing me new sponsors (I love you all) to help with the event.

So much so that the majority of costs are covered…

I haven’t yet launched the site, or done the first of the regular news letters or called for speakers and we have a pretty much paid for event. You have to love these sponsors.  And with that in mind let me introduce you to them,[3] and let you know what they have provided the event with.


Evening Sponsors (Beer and Food)

Not a year goes by without Martin of antibodyMX jumping up and shouting that he will organise the event location for the evening beer and food and that his company will put in the first part of the sponsorship. This year is no different. antibodyMX provide a quality service which is not just sponsoring drinking at community events :). It wouldn’t be a conference without them.

antibodyMX is a hosted antispam and antivirus email filtering service based entirely on a proven open source platform, Perl being one very important component. Users of the platform see a near-instant, near-total reduction in the amount of spam, phishing and malware content arriving at the mail server.  We offer a free 30 day trial of the service to new customers.  Please email for more information.

Sponsored Lecture Theatre 2, Evening Sponsors (Beer and Food) are synonymous with sponsoring and the Perl community, it seems that almost every event has them as a major sponsor and contributor. They are passionate about using Perl and returning value to the community. Once again it is a pleasure to have them with us. B.V., part of (Nasdaq:PCLN), owns and operates, one of the world’s leading online hotel reservations companies by room nights sold, attracting over 30 million unique visitors each month via the Internet from both leisure and business markets worldwide.

Established in 1996, B.V. guarantees the best prices for any type of property, ranging from small independent hotels to five star luxuries. The website is available in 43 languages and offers over 135,000 hotels in 101 countries with more than 40 offices worldwide.


Marketing Sponsor, Lecture Theatre 1

During my tenure as the organiser of this event I have been able to rely on Bytemark for their consistent support, this year was no different in fact they surpassed themselves by being sponsors of the main lecture theatre and the marketing budget. I really have few words to thank them enough, and they do this without hesitation as firm supporters of a community.

Many of you are aware of Bytemark’s standing as a quality server service aimed at the technical market along with the browsing populace, but you might not know that they are soon to provide a very new service (hosting platform) and you can get in (and bring Perl with you) on the ground level. I know these guys, if we get Perl being used on their service they will work with us to do fun and excellent things with it, check it out at:

At Bytemark we are the UK’s geek hosting outfit of choice, managing tens of thousands of domains, and thousands of servers, both dedicated and virtual. Since 2000 we’ve offered root access from fifteen pounds per month so that experts like you write their own code and have it run well, on a well-maintained network, without paying for more than you need. We can help you with sorting virtualisation, IPv6, migrating from virtual to dedicated and plenty of other difficult topics.

Enlightened Perl Organisation

Business Services (Organisation)

When you organise a conference that involves sponsors, the payment of funds and the tracking of these for the purposes of UK tax law there are one of two ways you can do it. You can do it as an individual but be prepared to pay tax on the purchases and  on your new found status as ‘being paid’ or you can use an organisation like the EPO who support the community and will handle all these details for you in a nice, timely and legal fashion.

Once again the EPO have stepped in to help manage the everyday proper handling of sponsorship and payments.

The Enlightened Perl Organisation is dedicated to the promotion of Perl (in particular Raptor Perl or Perl 5) as a production language that is suited to an enterprise environment.


Coffee Morning

At last year’s conference the wonderful chaps at Exonetric provided us with a coffee, teas, soft drinks and a generous number of excellent cupcakes. They have leapt at the chance to do so again this year and I will not be alone in smiling broadly at that news.

Exonetric Consulting Ltd is a UK based specialist in FreeBSD hosting, offering both individual jails and managed or unmanaged systems on dedicated hardware. In addition we provide colocation services in our London datacentre and are also able to offer assistance with capacity planning and recommendations for best-fit software components for larger systems. Our FreeBSD jails provide a great value, low-cost platform for hosting or developing Perl services and applications.

Magnum Solutions

Dave Cross-  Training Course

Like the legend of the Ravens at the tower there is Dave Cross and the LPW. If we have to we shall nail him to a plank of wood and call him the Norwegian Dave. He is almost the institution and each year he surpasses himself by delivering high quality training (which he is commercially well known and regarded for) to the conference for no cost except to support the community he is a leader in. Once again, thank you Dave.



Evening Sponsors (Principal) (Beer and Food), Room 2 Sponsors

Joining us for the first time this year and in such a generous fashion are the good people at Moonfruit. They have leapt in to be a principal sponsor for the evenings festivities and to sponsor the whole of Room 2. We hope this is the start of a great relationship between the community and Moonfruit.

Moonfruit is a London based team of developers, designers and entrepreneurs who are passionate about great design, great products and supporting small businesses, startups and design communities.

90% of Moonfruit’s customers are small businesses who want to build sites, their way. They expect a higher level of design tools to help build better designed sites for their customers. It is the no.1 hosted website builder in the UK and is growing rapidly in the rest of the world. A third of its users are in the US. Over 3.4 million sites have been built using their software

The software allows users, with no previous web design experience, to design and build sites optimized for web and mobile. Users customize the style and layout of their site so that it reflects their personal brand without having to understand any coding, HTML or CSS providing total design control for everyone.

The software features unique drag and drop tools allow literal design by users. Website features, like forums, shopping basket or social media integration, can be added from internal libraries or external sources. Moonfruit provides a variety of packages to suit users including free, standard and business premium subscriptions. The Moonfruit software uses Perl at its core.


Book Sponsorship/Lanyards

You mention Perl and O’Reilly together in one sentence and most people will think of a Camel. I do not. I think of the wonderful Josette and the fact that like Dave Cross a UK Perl event seems kind of wrong if she isn’t there. Each year Josette carts a good number of books into London to provide us with tasty treats to tempt our wallets and this year we see new Perl books on the O’Reilly shelves with new edition (revised and updated) of classic texts. I cannot wait for the event now as I will get to see Josette again

Shadowcat Systems

Sponsor Mark Keating (Organisation), Evening Sponsorship (Beer and Food)

Without Shadowcat I would not have the time and funds to manage the organisational task that is the LPW, they are my constant guide to support, promote and aid me if anything goes awry and they love the community (we really do, PIMC).

Shadowcat Systems is a developer, sponsor of, and contributor to open source software projects including Catalyst, the elegant web framework, and DBIx::Class, an object-orientated database abstraction library. Shadowcat provides consultancy, training and support for these projects; systems management and automation; the design and implementation of network architecture; the development of proprietary and open source custom web applications; and offers Perl refactoring and project crisis management.
Shadowcat Systems are based in the United Kingdom but we deliver solutions to a global community of clients via onsite supervision along with traditional and internet based communications.


Room 1 (With UK2)

SureVoip are a business focused VOIP service with a strong dedication to providing “Open Telecoms for Business”. This is the first time they have sponsored the LPW directly though they were involved with us last year and we welcome them as they sponsor room 1 with UK2.


Room 1 (with SureVoip), Training Room, Evening Sponsorship (Beer and Food)

Another new sponsor to the London Perl Workshop this year is, and like Moonfruit they decided to give us a generous fund to start their association with our event. Sponsoring the training room, a room with SureVoip and contributing funds towards the evenings food and drink (which I believe will now match the wonderful event we had last year). It is great to welcome them on board for this year. likes Perl, our entire platform is based on it, helping us to service hundreds of thousands of customers enjoying some of the best pricing for domains, web hosting and dedicated servers out there. We’ve been one of the largest players in the industry since 1998 and we’ve just launched a new VPS service allowing you to buy resources and launch as many smaller VPS as you wish on our cloud. These have auto failover, root access, an external console and loads more goodies for just £8.95 a month. No need to tell you this is ideal for dev environments where you need to kill and redeploy your server in an instant. The platform even allows you to create your own virtual machine templates or choose from one of our instantly deployable stacks. Not bad for less than a tenner.

University of Westminster

Hosts, Sean Tohill (Organisation)

It is a complex and evolutionary time for UK Universities and one in which the boundaries of their operational existence must change. it is unfortunate that this means we have to find more sponsorship to cover room costs (though this was benefited by us attracting some awesome sponsors), however we were still given a generous discount.

Then there is Sean who has supported us for many years and gives his time and effort into securing appropriate dates, rooms and running as an interface buffer between us and the university. Again, for me Sean is a staple part of the LPW buffet and one that I look forward to each year. This year will be no different I am sure.

[1] This is a purely platonic thing don’t get any strange ideas.

[2] Lesson 1: never underestimate how many sponsors are wiling to sponsor beer :)

[3] In alphabetical order