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TDWI Germany Defies the Odds

TDWI Germany had its annual conference in Munich this week. Defying the economic downturn, the conference drew 450 attendees (same as last year) and 36 exhibitors (more than last year.) It is now the biggest BI/DW event in Germany and Austria.

I sat down with Guenter Fuhrmeister and Lars Tams of SIGS Datacom, which puts on the TDWI Germany conference, to ask them how they pulled a rabbit out of a hat. Their initial explanation, “We’re not sure!!”

They said they suspected the downturn isn’t quite as severe in Germany as in the U.S., although they said major German companies have frozen travel and training budgets. One major change is that they merged with a competing BI conference run by BARC, a research firm that does hands-on product evaluations. BARC now offers a track of sessions at the conference. Also, the conference has expanded to seven tracks of half-day classess plus sponsored case studies during lunch. With a total of 45+ topics, the conference offers enough varied content to interest everyone. 

One big difference with the US TDWI conference is that a larger percentage of attendees have 5+ years of experience, which requires the TDWI German conference to offer many more advanced courses than we do in the US, where our fundamentals classes are still extremely popular. But for those of you in the US who may want to capitalize on this excellent resource, you'll need to brush up on your German since the majority of classes are in the native mother tongue.

We would like to extend a hearty congratulations to our German brothers and sisters and hope to see an even bigger and better event next year!!

Posted by Wayne Eckerson on June 15, 2009


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