Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium

"From November 16 to 20 2015 the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium -- responsible for the data processing for ESA's Gaia mission -- for the first time held a meeting with the participation of every group in the consortium. About two hundred DPAC members gathered at the Holiday Inn convention centre in Leiden to review the status of the data processing and prepare for the first releases of Gaia data to the public in 2016.

Although Leiden was the natural choice for this meeting, given that its chairperson is a member of the Leiden Observatory Faculty, the main motivation was the ease with which Leiden can be reached from almost anywhere in Europe. The excellent assistance offered by Leiden Convention Bureau in finding the right venue for this meeting confirmed that Leiden was the right choice.

The Holiday Inn venue was greatly appreciated by both the conference organizers and the participants. The Holiday Inn staff provided very efficient support in the organization of the meeting details, including the flexibility to deal with last minute changes. The participants were very pleased with the fact that the venue offers both a large number of meeting rooms and spaces as well as rooms to stay during the conference. This set-up is ideal for the intended 'working style' conference, especially when it comes to stimulating ad-hoc meetings between persons or groups who otherwise do not normally meet each other.

To the conference participants, the city of Leiden itself offers plenty of opportunities for spending one's leisure time during the conference, and the proximity to some of the major Dutch cities in the 'Randstad' only adds to the possibilities for sightseeing, museum visits, etc."

Dr. Anthony Brown