Chairman’s Review: RTC Europe 2015

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So, I have been back in Sydney for a grand total of 4 days (oops, better make that 5 now…), and figured this would be a good opportunity to look back at the European event and how I feel it went.

After the first two events, where we used venues and accommodation that were split up (multiple venues and multiple hotels in Delft; single venue and multiple hotels in Dublin) this is the first time we have used a single, unified, venue and accommodation location in Europe. While this is the standard method that we have long employed in Australasia and North America, the European event, with its focus on historic venues, has been quite different. Having said that, I don’t think anybody has complained about the quality, feel, or service at the Corinthia Hotel (the former Grand Royal Hotel Budapest…)! What an amazing place! We were delighted with the venue and I think that the flow around the spaces – between classes, and back and forth to the exhibition space – worked very well. The food was great, the hotel staff were attentive (and everywhere!), and the RTC team has done their usual spectacular best. I am really proud of this group of people, who are able to put together incredible events, on a regular basis, right around the world. They work hard and sleep hard (or was that supposed to be party hard? I forget), and are truly passionate about what they do. It really shows in the quality of RTC events. Thank you all!

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Feedback on sessions has been positive, reflecting a very strong roster of speakers, a class selection that has met the needs of the community, and a good mix of class types, levels, disciplines, and formats. As always, if you DON’T agree tell someone else let us know. We are always striving to improve, and honest feedback is the very best way to guide that process. Nearly all materials from classes are now available online. If you don’t see materials for a class you are interested in, let us know, but then heckle the speaker mercilessly, as that’s what we do, and the more the merrier.

I must admit that one of the few things I was genuinely disappointed about was the lack of response to the poster competition. With a combination of over €8,000 in prizes across 4 categories along with the kudos and exposure that having your material up in front of a group like the RTC delegates carries, it seems like a no-brainer that people would want to get involved… Have we failed in terms of explaining the competition and generating interest? Do people simply not understand what it is? Are we wrong, and people just aren’t interested? This blog post will also go up in the RTC Community group over at LinkedIn, and I would love to hear from anyone with opinions on this matter. Equally, the committee and I were very pleased with the Pecha Kucha style competition and how that went in terms of submissions and the presentation session where the finalists went head to head. I must say I thought that Akos Pfemeter, from Graphisoft, did a great job as MC for that session. Congratulations to all involved!

As for the social events, well, there’s little you can say except WoW!! Lázár Equestrian Park, while a touch on the cold side, was great fun with a cool display ring, a great meal and fun dancing and singing exhibitions. I was initially worried about the transit times, but it didn’t seem that bad on the night (and some people did use it as an opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep…). The Gala dinner at the Hungarian Railway Museum certainly has to qualify as RTC’s best ever! The dance floor was packed from the moment the band started up until well after we were supposed to have left the building. The space was cool, I loved the lighting (we had to bring it all in ourselves), and the locomotives and carriages were amazing. I must say that the Orient Express carriage did make you feel how exotic and romantic a train journey it must have been. I would love to try the modern version one day.

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And so to the final word…. Alongside the wonderful work of the dedicated RTC crew, and all of the blood sweat and tears that the speakers put into preparing for an event like RTC, there is the community of delegates itself. At this event my sister Rebecca and her husband Rob, a senior executive with NICTA, Australia’s innovation incubator, were able to come along and see what we do. Rob attends many many high-level conferences worldwide, in technology and management and leadership, and his comment afterward was that this event had more energy, more life, more of a feeling of friendship and family than any other conference he had been to. Ever. Bar none. No question. … and really, that is our ultimate goal, to build a community that has value, cohesion, relevance, long beyond the three days we spend together. Thank you all so much for helping to build this amazing community, and I look forward to seeing you in Porto next year, if not before!

Regards,
Wesley

170421 RTC Europe 2016 – Centro de Congressos da Alfandega do Porto – October 20 – 22, 2016

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