Housing & Travel

Which airport should I use?

By far the most convenient airport is Grand Rapids’ own Gerald R. Ford International Airport, located just 20 minutes away from the conference venue (DeVos Place).

How do I get from the airport to the conference?

There are many options for ground transportation to and from the airport. Uber and Lyft rideshare services are a convenient and inexpensive means of transportation in and around Grand Rapids. In addition, The Rapid bus system services the airport, and some hotels offer shuttle services. Like all major airports, there are many options for car rental services available, too.

Big Data Ignite 2019 Location and Parking Information

Big Data Ignite 2019 Location:

DeVos Place
303 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, Mi 49503

DeVos Place has parking conveniently located under the convention center. Access to the parking lot is on Michigan Street and Lyon Street. Please note you can no longer access the underground parking garage if you are heading West on Michigan Street. No left hand turns are permitted due to a semi-permanent concrete berm installed for a new crosswalk.

Additional parking may be available in the City-County Building on Monroe Avenue (across from DeVos Place) or several other parking structures within walking distance.

Are there discounted hotel rates available?

A block of rooms has been reserved for conference attendees at the Prince Conference Center just off the main campus of Calvin University with a room rate of $143.75 per night (including taxes and fees). Continental breakfast and free parking are included in this price. The Prince Conference Center offers complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport (with at least 7 days’ notice). Drive time to the conference venue is approximately 15 minutes. Call (616) 526-6000 and mention “Big Data Ignite” to make your reservation.

Also, there are several downtown hotels that would put you in comfortable walking distance of the conference venue, if you wish to make your own accommodations. We recommend the JW Marriott hotel on the river, with Skywalk access to the conference venue (room rate approximately $310 per night including taxes and fees). Other downtown hotels we’d consider are the Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown (~$189 per night including taxes and fees) and the Hyatt Place Grand Rapids Downtown (~$256 per night including taxes and fees).

Where can I find information about Grand Rapids and local attractions?

Have a look at the tremendous “Grand Rapids Visitors Guide” published by Experience Grand Rapids to learn what Grand Rapids has to offer during your stay.

What is the weather like in Grand Rapids in November?

The first week of November in Grand Rapids usually brings daily high temperatures in the low-to-mid 50s (F). Brisk Autumn days with a jacket are a delight in our city.

Other logistics

Is there WIFI at Big Data Ignite?


  • SSID: BDI2019
  • Password: ADVANCE19

How can I modify my registration?

Want to attend an additional day? change your workshop selection?  You can do this by editing your Eventbrite ticket.  Here’s how.

  1. Locate your email receipt from Eventbrite for BDI 2019.  (Alternatively login to Eventbrite, locate your ticket online, and jump to step 4.)
  2. Scroll down the email and click on “View and manage” like below:

  1. Login to Eventbrite.
  2. Now the tickets for BDI 2019 can be seen:

  1. Click on the BDI logo or the verbiage next to the logo to see ticket details like below:

  1. Click on “Edit” like above and scroll down to make your changes.
  2. Please make sure to click “Save” after all changes are done.


Are meals provided at BDI?

At BDI gourmet meals are one of the highlights. Lunch is provided on all 3 days and hot breakfast on 11/5 and 11/6. Refreshments are provided throughout the day.

And don’t forget the networking after party on Tuesday.

What is the dress code for Big Data Ignite?

There is no formal dress code, come it what makes you comfortable.  Business casual is a good starting point, but you may see people dressed more casually or more formally than that.

How do I find out more about workshops, change my workshop selection, etc.?

We have a dedicated workshop FAQ with answers to all your workshop questions.

Information for Speakers

May I use company branding on my slides? May I use Big Data Ignite branding on my slides?

Yes and Yes.

If you want to include Big Data Ignite branding, here are some files that you may find useful.

Will there be a laptop at the podium, or should I bring my own?

There are not laptops at the podium.  Please bring your own.  If you do not have a laptop, contact one of the Big Data Ignite organizers and we will see what we can do to get you a loaner.

What sort of connections are there for connecting my laptop? What aspect ratio are the screens?

Each podium has an HDMI connection and the screens are 4:3 ratio, but the projectors seem to be set up to project a 16:9 aspect ratio by default.  If you need a VGA connection, we should be able to get the necessary adapter for you, but it would be good if you can give us a heads up so we don’t lose time at the start of your session.  Please bring any dongles you may need to connect your laptop.  We encourage speakers to check out the technology in their room during one of the breaks during the meeting in advance of their session.

If you have problems, try looking behind the door behind you.  There are often technical folks back there you can help you.

Will there be WIFI at the meeting?

Yes.  There will be WIFI for both speakers and audience members.

I'm willing to make my slides available to meeting attendees. How do I do that?

Thank you for being willing to share you slides.  You can email them Zachary Drescher <zach@bigdataignite.org>.  He will be curating the slides for Big Data Ignite 2019.