This is to announce that the 1st ProZ.com Regional Conference held in Berlin last weekend was a great success.
Following a long and intense period of preparation (it got especially demanding in the last couple of days and nights before the event), the registration team - Giuliana Buscaglione, Uli Sengfelder, Magda Dziadosz, myself ... - met on Friday afternoon at the conference hotel to prepare the registration table and materials in the large room. Magda also brought the redesigned big conference banner from Cracow, which we then attached to the top rail above the stair leading up from the hotel lobby on Saturday morning (after the conference, Katharina Wawrzon, one of the Edinburgh organisers, took the banner safely to the UK for the next regional conference).
On Friday evening, we attended the pre-conference powwow in the centrally located "Soda" restaurant - http://www.soda-berlin.de/Restaurant/ (a ten-minute drive from the conference venue).
This was the perfect start into the conference weekend - there were over 80 attendees (!), including approx. 65-70 ProZ.com members/users and their guests. Unfortunately, Henry did not catch his booked flight to Berlin and couldn't make it to the powwow. He had to wait at Newark Airport for the next connecting flight and arrived on Saturday morning, 7.45 am German time, at the conference hotel. Apart from this instance of bad luck, all participants greatly enjoyed the evening.
On Saturday, the conference took off very smoothly (despite my being extremely nervous) and went on like this all the way through. What can I say? Despite the relatively short lead time and some initial (resolved) programming problems on the conference page, we could attract 96 paying attendees. From what I've learned, each and every participant seemed to enjoy it. Not a single complaint was to be heard. Hotel, conference facilities and meals were great, and staff promptly responded to any wish. Sessions were high-quality and focused (the fate of the organiser, however, is to not be able to attend too many of them...). However, time was passing far too quickly, and before one was able to actually realise it, the time had come to say good-bye to each other again on late Sunday afternoon.
With a bunch of about 15 people, among them Henry, Yves Champollion, Magda Dziadosz, Cecilia Avanceña (Parrot) and Giuliana Buscaglione, we then had a Sunday evening "closing" dinner at a restaurant located near the conference venue in the same district.
My thanks go to Henry for attending personally, as well as to Ralf Lemster, the registration team and ProZ.com staff (Enrique, Dwayne, Cathy...) for their invaluable support. I am also very grateful for the outstanding contributions made by the speakers.
To revisit the programme, go to http://www.proz.com/conference/6
All in all, this was a very positive experience, and I can't but encourage you to step forward and plan similar events in other cities.
(Berlin Conference organiser)
[Edited at 2006-05-31 12:02]
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