We’ve made it. Last week we faced the final challenge at last and in our view came out as winners. We are very proud of our successful User Conference that took place on March 6 and 7, 2013 in the Novina Hotel Herzogenaurach. With 250 participants, a well-accepted trade fair area, 15 talks and 6 workshops, 300 liters of coffee, 400 sandwiches, the runners group, the evening reception, that not even the magician could charm away, we lifted our conference to a new level. We received a lot of external praise. But despite – or because of? – the perfect performance we found some small “take outs” we would like to share with you!
The first shock came in the late afternoon on the day before the UC: the construction foil. It may be practical, but when the glass front of the whole restaurant of the Novina Hotel Herzogenaurach is covered by it shortly before our User Conference it is really not a nice surprise. On Tuesday we had left the hotel at 3 p.m. We were satisfied, everything had been set, perfectly arranged and planned to the last detail. At 4 p.m. only the acceptance of the exhibition stands in the partner area remained on the agenda. But what was that? Construction foil all around! And the workers’ dry comments: “Gladly the excavator’s not here yet!” That was not what we had imagined! After some discussion we could finally agree on a reduced height for the wrapping, so that our guests would be able to feel comfortable in the restaurant, too.
A special kind of running in the runners group – Jörg Aschberger, the head of our TechSupport, had prepared for months to be “fit” for taking good care of the runners on Wednesday evening. He was very proud of his achievement – a 6 kilometer trail in 30 minutes. He came out a little less proud when some of the runners drily announced on returning: “Thank you, we enjoyed it so much that we are going to take a second go!”… That shows how persistent our customers are! Next year we should aim for a new record with three rounds. And the clear insight for the next User Conference there will be one runners group for the hobby runners and one for the semi-professionals.
From the Franconian dialect into English: Some of our colleagues are known for their cordial but also typically Franconian ways. Especially our Dieter Pichl was so enthusiastic during his workshop on the Page Layout Designer that the interpreter stood no chance of keeping up with the powerful flow of his words. In the headsets of our guests therefore only heartfelt laughter could be heard, nothing wrong with a bit of fun. After a short interval, however, everybody returned to the facts again and the talk was finished correctly.
The highest possible flexibility is important as well. The highlights of the conference are of course our technical innovations. Did you notice that our Director Development, Dr. Arno Klein did not know until the minute before if our speaker and product manager Jochen Marczinzik would be able to give his talk? The latter having been ill he only send a relief note shortly before: “Am fit and on my way”…
You see there still were some rough edges. We have a feeling they did not matter and could not diminish the special atmosphere of the User Conference. On the contrary: Some improvisation was “the extra something” and gave the event its familiar and authentic air. We are looking forward to your attendance in the coming year – and aim to make us all feel so much at ease again!