Notes

My Events Are My Passion

I just re-watched the two trailers that Andy Brügemann and Stefan Nitzsche released before the pandemic for their documentary about my beyond tellerrand (@btconf) events. And even though it feels strange to listen to myself or knowing there is a film to be released about what I do, I have to say, that I said many things that are still and always counting for me. I love to run these events from deep out of my heart and I am excited for what is coming. Despite the tough times all event organisers experience right now. Because the majority of people I know who run events, do it because it is their true passion. Thanks for each and everyone supporting this for more than 10 years now.

I Got Myself a Bike

I am running a couple of days each week for many years now. For a couple of years I was thinking about getting a bike to ride it in addition to running. I got one now – and I wish I would have done before.

I got myself a Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon
The bike how I bought it (left), outside during a ride (middle), with the Tailfin rack attached (right)

I was watching a couple of bikes on ebay Kleinanzeigen (something like a marketplace for used things). Those were: Rose Backroad, Benotti Fuoco Gravel or Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon (the 2021 model).

In the end I shot the last one, the Specialized, for a good price and only 6 months old. I can tell you, that I love it. I love riding it, the flexibility I have got with a gravel bike where I live, to use it in the forest, fields and alongside the small rivers on the gravel paths.

We also already did a three-day tour with friends already which was great fun. For this and future bike trips, I got the Tailfin rack system which is not cheap, but great. Super light, easy to attach and detach while you don’t need it and with Tailfin being super quick and nice with their support, if you have questions.

So, if you wonder where I am, when writing less these days and I am not on events like beyond tellerrand or Smashing Conference: I am outside, riding my bike ;)

I am Back

I have been busy running the first beyond tellerrand event in 2022 in Düsseldorf. It was absolutely fantastic. Even though the event has not been sold out, like any other before, the vibe, the atmosphere and the warmth people created was amazing. Speakers, audience, partners … they all have done an incredible job and have been excited to meet again in person. Pure joy!

Two weeks later I ran a one day spin-off in Hamburg that was titled axbt. It was a cooperation with one of the partners – awork – who support the rest of my beyond tellerrand events also. Date wasn’t picked wisely, a few other mistakes had been done and I once more learned that listening to my guts is important for what I do as many of the things that weren’t turning out as wished were things I wasn’t sure about in the beginning. Well, lesson learned again …

When I came back from Hamburg on the Friday, we had to finish organising the Kommunion of our youngest daughter. 40 people of our family came and we were hoping for good weather as we planned to host a garden party. Weather turned out nicely and it was good fun.

Next to the above I was working on post event stuff for Düsseldorf and Hamburg and am still working on it. I also took a few days to be there for the family and spent time with them at Toverland and in Rotterdam later.

And now? Now I am back, have more time to write down things here again, but also am planning Berlin’s 2022 edition with a stunning line-up as well as traveling to San Francisco on the 18th to run Smashing Conf SF together with the rest of the Smashing Team.

Which events are you thinking to attend in 2022?

I Have Been a Guest in the Workingdraft Podcast

It has been quite a while since I had the honour of being a guest in the Workingdraft Podcast. The podcast in German language is a long running show and in their 525th episode it was about time to chat about all things events again and being an event organiser in times of Covid. The two lovely hosts Schepp and Peter Kröner made me feel very welcome and the recording pure joy. Thanks a lot.

I hope you are going to like the edition of Workingdraft … well, if you understand German that is.

Hello Hamburg

It’s been a while. Happy to be back in Hamburg to sort out things for a beyond tellerrand Hamburg spin-off together with awork.

A photo with the tv tower in Hamburg

The Many Faces …

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I always try to stay positive. Even in situations where there is not much to laugh about. Mostly I try to focus on the positive bits during these times. Like for the last two years as for many of us. Now there are a few things I really do enjoy. One of them is speaking to other people. Exchanging, explaining, asking listening … and all the things that belong to a conversation.

Part of the beyond tellerrand documentary “This Is What I Want to Do”, which Stefan and Andreas are filming and producing since a couple of years now (thanks once more to Covid), are conversations. And since I enjoy those, plus am happy to make fun of myself to get a smile on your face, I want to share the many faces of me while answering the questions of Stefan in Essen. (All of those stupid face are real. I mean, I did not pretend any of them, but Stefan just took some stills out of the interview.)

A collage with many photos of me making silly faces during the interviews Stefan Nitzsche made with me
The many faces of me during an interview …

I had such a lot of fun (and a lot of Döner) during this day in Essen. It was great to switch off for a while. And even if we were obviously speaking about beyond tellerrand and Covid and all this stuff, it was enjoyable and also made me think about a few things. Stefan showed me a few of the interview they made throughout the years and it just was so heart-warming to hear all those stories and nice things about my little event and me. I am as scared of it as I am looking forward to seeing the finished film already!

Edit: If you want to stay up to date about the process of the film or want to support Andreas and Stefan and learn how you are able to do so, I recommend to get on the mailing list for the documentary. It is not a film by me, but I am massively humbled and proud that people seem to like beyond tellerrand so much, that they make a film about the event and the wonderful people at the event and I would love to support Stefan and Andreas as much as possible with this, since they put so much time and effort into this. Thanks in advance for YOUR support. ;)

In short: subscribe to the mailing list of “This Is What I Want To Do”

My Head is in My Way

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I don’t know how it is with you, but I am usually a positive and motivated person, trying to motivate others to start new projects and if people are back and forth with whether to start something or make it perfect before starting it, I usually encourage them to just start and polish things along the way.

Well … I am the worst person when it comes to doing this to myself. I started a podcast in German language a while ago and got stuck, re-branded the whole thing, since the original name was somehow always something that bothered me (plus the new name just follows the theme I started with beyond tellerrand, Stay Curious and so forth). Now I was motivated to continue, but then I thought “Who is interested in this?” and did not get going until yet. Even though I really want to and am enjoying all the process. It is my head that is in my way.

For the time we are stuck in this damn time with Covid, I am trying to start a membership program. Some way where people could help keeping beyond tellerrand alive even in financial critical times – that never really appeared to me until a world wide pandemic hit us. I had a look at various platforms and decided that I like Steady by the sound of it. I was thinking about tiers and how people could benefit from becoming a member or supporting beyond tellerrand in general. Then it got me thinking again: who is interested in this? Is it more work I add to my plate where the plate never is near a situation where it is empty enough to be stuffed again? Would people actually really benefit from anything in those paid tiers? What if people don’t like subscriptions and continuous payments and would prefer a one time payment? Where I usually was really good at, starting things in the first place and then start thinking, I am bad at now. Thinking too much. Too much self-doubt and self critique and maybe underestimating the “wealth” of what I have created during the last 20 years. I think, my head is in my way.

I had a conversation with Basti recently and we spoke about things I can do, things I have on a list to be started and how to use the time and things I do in between the events usefully. He said something about a YouTube idea, where he could see me and what I do. I loved the idea, but did I start it until now? My head is in my way again.

And these are just a few examples where my head is in may way. Where I think too much, before actually starting something. For a while I thought I started to become lazy, but no, I am not. I am restless and want to do stuff, but I think too much about it and get angry with myself not getting anything done. The rare times, when I meet people these days and speak about any of the ideas I have, they are encouraging me to do this, since they like the sound of it and the times I speak about it, I think to myself ”Yes, it really sounds nice and I should start.” – the moment I am back at home, sit down and think about, the spark of positive energy and motivation is gone again.

So where is my gut feeling that usually was my driving force behind most of my decisions and always had been stronger than my head? I don’t know. I know that the last two years made my gut feeling weak and my head always arguing that we need to make money, before I can start something that would not make money in the first place. But that is stupid. Nothing I have done was ever about the money in the first place. The last two years have taken away parts of the child in me. The easiness of getting things started, done and out of the way. The lightheartedness of starting something without any fear to fail, since if it fails, I would have just learned another lesson and move on with other stuff.

So, yes, the head is in my way these days, but to end on a positive note, I really also recognised one thing and I am sure I said this before: I love running events and also attending events. I miss it and I miss meeting a lot of people. Speaking to them, listening to them, encouraging them to start things and giving advice, if they ask for it. To learn from their stories and getting advice for myself. I miss it. And therefore I have to fight those darker moments, where I tell myself everything is crap and won’t return to the times pre Covid. I will fight. Definitely. But it costs so much energy that I’d rather use for other things.

Hugs!

Happy Birthday Kirby!

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Time flies and Kirby CMS, the CMS I love to use for any of my projects, turned 10!

A collage with three screenshots showing the three different Kirby versions from v1 to v3 from left to right

Not only do I love the product and use and advertise it wherever I can, I also know the person who started all this quite well and am happy and honoured to share a lot of memories with Bastian Allgeier. During the last 10 years Bastian and I went to and met at a lot of events, he is a steady guest at my little beyond tellerrand events and whenever I can and it makes sense, I am happy to host, organise or help in any other way with workshops, online and offline events for Bastian and Kirby.

During countless nights in my kitchen, hotel bars, his dining room or similar meeting places, we shared a ton of stories. Me about beyond tellerrand related things like fear, the way I see and run my business and many pieces that usually no one takes notice of. And Bastian about the same kind of things. We quickly noticed, that – event though our “products” are different – we share a lot of common approaches, problems and stories and it is great to have someone likeminded to share those stories and experiences with.

For this reason and because I love Bastian and what he does, I rise my glass and say: on to the next 10 years!

Happy Birthday, Kirby.

Bastian has written a lovely story about the ride of the last ten years with the Kirby rollercoaster. Well worth your reading time.

Yearly Running Goal Achieved

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Despite all the things Covid managed to destroy or at least being in the way of, it wasn’t able to stop me from achieving this year’s running goal of 1000km.

Screenshot of my Strava account showing that I reached my 1000km running goal this year

Oh, and thanks Andy. For listen to and running with me 3 times a week!