• Travelling to Build

    September 3, 2013

    For the fifth and final year, we’ll be welcoming hundreds of attendees from around the world to spend the week in Belfast. We’ve prepared some helpful advice for those booking flights, and arranged some discounted group rates for nearby hotels.

    Flying to Belfast

    George Best Belfast City Airport receives flights from the UK. Belfast City Airport is around 10 minutes from Belfast city centre, there is a taxi rank outside the airport (shouldn’t cost more than £6/7) and a regular shuttle service (£2.20 single, £3.30 month return) which will drop you off at the Europa Bus Centre in town.

    Belfast International Airport receives flights from the UK, Europe and one direct connection to Newark. Belfast International Airport is around 30-40 minutes from Belfast city centre, and again there is a taxi rank outside the airport (most taxi companies will have a set rate to the city if you ask, around £25) and a regular shuttle service (£7 single, £10 month return) which will drop you off at the Europa Bus Centre in town.

    Dublin International Airport receives a much wider range of international flights, especially from the USA. Dublin International Airport is around 90-120 minutes from Belfast city centre, there is an express coach outside Terminal 1 (£13.50 single, £19.50 month return), or you could travel 30 minutes into Dublin to Connelly Station and take the train (£30 single, £40 return).

    We’d recommend using Kayak, Skyscanner or Hipmunk to search for flights. Normally it’s not too difficult to find a bargain.


    The Malmaison (map), our infamous epicentre for the week’s debauchery, is offering rooms at £99pn (single occupancy, double occupancy £109pn), including breakfast and complimentary wifi access. To book, call reservations on +442890220200 and ask for a room on the Build conference block.

    The Ramada Encore (map) are offering rooms at £60pn (single occupancy, double occupancy £70pn), including breakfast and complimentary wifi access. As a special for Build delegates coming for the entire week, if you book for 5 nights, your 5th is free. To book, use promo code “LNRBUIB” to book the per-night rate, or promo code “ LNRBU5B” for the 5 night / 1 free rate. You can also call reservations on + 442890261800 and ask for a room on the Build conference block.


    If you have any questions about arranging flights or accommodation, or anything at all, you can tweet @buildconf or email See you in November!

  • Our temporary Draft Supply Co. shop is now live, with this year’s limited edition guest design tees—including this beautiful design from Aaron Draplin. Heads up: we won’t have the tees at the physical pop-up shop as they’re being printed to order, so if you want one you’ll need to order it online before 5pm GMT on November 30th.

  • Ready to Build

    November 10, 2012

    In anticipation of everyone arriving next week (!!!), we’ve answered some common questions which have been coming through on Twitter and email, and should help as you prepare to land in Belfast.

    So what’s happening all week?
    You should consult our schedule for an overview: (We’ll have this printed on your pass too.)

    Where can I pick up my pass?
    We’ll have a registration desk at every event on the schedule, just check in with us when you arrive and we’ll make sure you get your pass.

    How do I get to Belfast?
    From either of the Belfast airports (City or International), we recommend taking the shuttle bus or a cab, both of which are just outside the doors of the terminal. From Dublin, you can take the coach to Belfast outside of Terminal 1, or travel into Dublin City Centre then take the train. There’s more information in a previous blog post.

    Where can I eat / drink?
    Our pop-up café at the Black Box will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am - 5pm and serving breakfast, lunch, tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits (here’s the menu). We’ll have some local recommendations printed on your pass too, and our volunteers will be on standby to make some suggestions if you’re stuck.

    Will there be wifi?
    Yep, all our venues all week will have free wifi, just look for the “Build” network. Our wifi team also has it’s own Twitter account, so let @buildwifi know if you’re having any issues. If you have an unlocked phone, we should also have some PAYG micro and nano sim cards from O2, which you can top up to have data on your phone.

    What’s the hashtag / Twitter account?
    If you’re posting to Twitter or Instagram throughout the week, use #buildconf. If you need anything, just tweet @buildconf and we’ll do our best to help you out.

    What else should I know?
    Since it’s November in Ireland, you can expect the weather to be pretty miserable. Expect wind, rain temperatures around 10°C / 50°F, and pack accordingly. You may also need to shelter in the warmth of Belfast’s many pubs, so prepare yourself for that eventuality also.

    So many people this year are travelling hundreds and thousands of miles to join us, which is incredibly humbling. After over a year of planning, it’s pretty crazy that—a week from now—it’ll all be behind us. Safe travels, and see everyone in in a few days!

  • Our 2012 sponsors

    Over the past 4 years, we’ve been working hard to make sponsorship an asset at Build, rather than a liability, or a necessary evil. We believe in working with companies who want to come to Build and do something a bit different, rather than distribute leaflets or present a drawn out sales pitch on-stage, and—this year more than ever—we’re very, very lucky to have an incredible group of companies who have really gotten behind this idea.

    MailChimp have partnered with us to produce our Craft Beer Festival, and to commission our special edition Build Rip City Triple IPA. Back in July we approached the local Whitewater Brewery about creating a bespoke beer for this year’s Build, and over the past few months we’ve been sourcing ingredients, brewing, mashing, boiling, fermenting, conditioning, filtering and pasteurising what has come to be a delicious, rich, hoppy 6% IPA—brewed with the finest hops sourced from America’s Pacific Northwest for a rich, complex taste.

    MailChimp will also be sponsoring the bar at the Craft Beer Festival so you’ll be able to drink as much of it as you like on Tuesday evening (it’ll be available on tap and bottled), we’ll also have a hog roast laid on outside the Black Box, and a small selection of other local brews for you to taste.

    Dropbox, infamous for their online scavenger hunts in which you follow clues and complete puzzles to accrue additional space, will be orchestrating their first real-life scavenger hunt for codes which will add a 1TB bonus to your account. Each event on our schedule will have a tiny blue Dropbox parcel hidden somewhere in the venue, and our @buildconf account will be tweeting clues throughout the week to help you locate the prizes.

    Shopify are very generously supporting our Draft Supply Co. pop-up shop (which will be operating from our café space in the Black Box all week) by shipping your purchases home for you. Feel like buying a few issues of The Manual, the latest copy of Offscreen, or a Best Made Company sashimi knive, but don’t have any room in your suitcase? Don’t worry, we’ll ship it home to you, wherever you are in the world, free of charge.

    Heroku, understanding that Belfast isn’t the most temperate of cities in November, will be operating a umbrella loan scheme at each of our venues throughout Build. About to walk from the Malmaision to the University of Ulster for one of the evening lectures, but it’s pouring out of the heavens? Not to worry, just pick up one of our sturdy branded golf umbrellas. You can pick up and drop off your umbrella at each venue—and if you’re quite partial, you’ll be able to take one home at the end of the week.

    Rdio are very kindly supporting Build Music, by co-producing the Tycho show on the evening of Friday 16th November. Entry is free to anyone with a Build pass, and non-pass holders can purchase a ticket for the show through, Ticketmaster outlets and directly from The Kitten Bar on Bankmore Square in Belfast.

    Again, we couldn’t be more appreciative of each of these companies and the people within them who have worked with us to create something fun, unique or generally ridiculous. Each of these organisations will have a team of people attending Build all week, so if you cross paths, be sure to pass on our gratitude through the medium of high-five.

  • What’s on offer at the pop-up café?

    November 5, 2012

    The Cathedral Quarter, while home to many of Belfast’s top dinner establishments, has a more limited choice of offerings for those seeking something to eat earlier in the day. In addition to the comfy seats, larges tables and reinforced wifi in our Black Box pop-up café, we’ve also partnered with the award-winning local Yellow Door Deli to cater a spread of top breakfast and lunch options, all prepared with the finest, freshest local produce.


    • Moyallon Bacon and Egg Ciabatta · £5.00
    • French Toast with Moyallon Bacon & Maple Syrup · £5.00
    • Baked Scones with Butter & Preserves · £1.50
    • Scrambled Free Range Eggs with Wholemeal Toast & Roasted Portobello Mushrooms · £5.00


    • Soup of the Day (w/ Speciality Breads) · £4.00
    • Irish Steak Sandwich with Caramelised Onions & Wild Rocket Salad · £9.00
    • Hot Chicken BLT Sandwich · £8.00
    • Chargrilled Crossgar Chicken with Thai Noodle Salad · £8.00


    • Chocolate Brownies · £2.00
    • Raspberry Almond Slice · £2.00
    • Caramel Shortbread · £2.00


    The Black Box itself will be serving tea, coffee and soft drinks from 9am onwards. Bar service begins at 11am, with the special edition Build Rip City Triple IPA available on tap all week.

    The Black Box pop-up café will be open and serving food from 9am - 5pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Vegetarian and vegan options will also be available, as well as different specials unique to each day.

  • Mast Brothers workshop to be hosted by Taza Chocolate

    November 2, 2012

    Due to extensive flooding in their workshop in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mast Brothers have unfortunately had to cancel their Build Chocolatiering workshop.

    From Mast Brothers:

    In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we have found our beautiful city and specifically, our community of Lower Manhattan and the Seaport under water and devastated. Our facility experienced substantial flooding but is now mostly dry. We have turned the large shop into a community hub to store anything in the neighborhood that needs a place to keep dry. Power will be out for some time and it will take many weeks, if not months, to rebuild.

    Love and respect of community is our first crown guiding our actions, therefore, Michael and I regret to let you know that we will be unable to attend the conference. 

    This is equally unfortunate for us because of how much my brother and I were looking forward to coming to Ireland and sharing our craft with everyone. This was an enormously difficult decision to make as our commitment to the events remained strong until we saw the devastation of the hurricane with our own eyes.

    We thank you for understanding and again apologize from the bottom of our hearts. I do hope that ticket holders can understand.

    However, the brothers have very kindly arranged for the team from Taza Chocolate in Somerville, Massachusetts to host the workshop in their place. Founder Alex Whitmore will teach a full-day workshop covering the process of creating the perfect bar of craft chocolate from scratch, using materials and equipment found in your own kitchen.

    We apologise for the last minute change to the workshop, but are very excited to have the team from Taza on board. Any questions about the change should be directed to

  • We’re very, very pleased to welcome Jez Burrows back to produce another of our guest designer tees for this year’s Build. Jez produced the identity and print work for Build in 2010 and 2011 before joining the design team at Facebook, and we’re very glad to have him back as a contributor. His tee, along with Jolby’s (and a few others), will be on sale soon.