We closed registration on X Change Europe today! Full. Sold out. At our limit.
It's hard to believe, but we're at our absolute per Huddle meeting room maximum. With most of the Huddle time slots completely booked (every Huddle at our 20 person limit), we've had to close registration. I didn't expect that, and now I wish I'd booked more Huddles per time slot!
Three weeks ago it seemed like we had plenty of room, but the Conference followed a much later registration curve (much like our first U.S. X Change) than I've come to expect. It's pretty cool. We have more people out for X Change Berlin than that first U.S. X Change and we've pulled people from all over Europe. The U.K. and Germany have contributed most (as we expected), but there's hardly a country in Europe that won't be represented.
And what about Berlin?
It takes awhile to get the feel of a city. Certainly far longer than the six hours I've been here (or maybe even the week I expect to stay). The weather is lovely - a bit cooler and much less humid than Stuttgart, sun everywhere. I had an open-air dinner in Potsdamer Platz; it was "Berlin-Istanbul Day" and the Turkish food stands were out in force. Clearly a cosmopolitan city.
The Scandic Hotel (our venue) has bikes for rent out front (12 Euros a day). It reminded me of the last-day bike ride that Phil Kemelor led at X Change San Diego last year. No beachfront bike paths here. Still, I'm hoping to take one out tomorrow and see the Tiergarten.
So far, Berlin does look rather as I expected. Open, new, vibrant and cool.
On the other hand, Stuttgart, where I spent the last few days doing Think Tank Training, was nothing like the industrial center I envisioned. It had the feel of a lovely country town which just happened to have nothing but Benz's on the road. As always, I enjoyed doing advanced training. It was a bit different in that Jesse Gross and I did many of the classes together. I liked the sharing - it gave me more time to think about what I was saying (which does kind of matter) and my voice didn't get as worn out.
As a kind of parting gift, Matthias and I got a tour of the Mercedes Benz Museum this morning. The building itself is a treat. Striking and beautiful - reminiscent of the Guggenheims (which I've always loved) - but all light and glass. I'm not by nature a car guy, but you'd be seriously wrong not to visit on that basis.
I know...this is all fluff. It's the great drawback of business travel; you have too much time to write. I'll have a real blog over the weekend and there should be plenty to talk about after X Change!