The old hotel certainly holds dear memories like the once-locked-down-and-restricted-but-now-retired web kiosks *krhm* and the lobby bar. Nevertheless, the new hotel offers freshly renovated guest rooms and larger meeting areas; features which are in the heart of conference experience.
The waterfront area offers a different view into Helsinki as it’s surrounded by both old and new – Sinebrychoff park is a couple of blocks away, while the neighboring Jätkäsaari island is the latest urban development in Helsinki. The Aleksanterikatu and Esplanadi area is as close as before, you just take the tram instead of metro or walking – travel time still under 10 minutes. Most importantly, compared to the previous venue, the odds for a boat chase are considerably better. Looking back, Radisson Blu Royal was the only hotel in t2 infosec history where getaway by boat was not that practical.
Helsinki residents and other long-time visitors may be shocked by the dramatic move of 700 meters (as the crow flies), but in the larger scheme of things, this is nothing – for example those who stayed at Bellagio when Black Hat was still held at Caesars Palace most likely walked to the conference. That distance is greater, despite being mostly indoors.
Staying fresh and keeping up with the times is required to stay in the game. With the challenge format reinvigorated, we hope that the new venue will keep us going strong – after 2017, if everything goes well, the planning for the 15th anniversary begins. Consider this year as the robustness test for the new venue.