This is Mark, ThemeFusion’s CTO. I’m currently here in Berlin for #WCEU 2019. A few other members from ThemeFusion will also be in attendance so we thought we’d do a brief diary blog to let everyone know what we’re doing, who we’ll meet and the events we attend. If you have the opportunity to be here yourself, that’s awesome and if you can’t make it, you can always follow up with our diary to be part of WCEU week. We’ll update this post every day with all that goes on for us.
Monday, June 17th – Arrival In Berlin
Today was traveling day and my wife and me arrived at Berlin during the afternoon. We have planned some sightseeing for tomorrow, before the actual work-week starts on Wednesday at the Envato Worldwide Conference, where I’ll be giving a talk with the topic “ThemeFusion – Behind The Scenes”.
Here are some of our first impressions of an incredibly diverse city of Berlin.
Tuesday, June 18th – Some Sightseeing
As said yesterday, we explored Berlin a bit today and I prepared for the talk tomorrow at the Envato Worldwide event.
Berlin is a very diverse city, with a lot of places to see and to experience. It represents some of the characteristics we hold up high here at ThemeFusion, like open-mindedness, creativity, friendliness, ambition and drive.
Temperatures were rather high, 32° C (around 90° F), so sometimes you just have to hide away from the sun. We did just that by visiting the “Hackersche Höfe”, a traditional building complex, where young designers from Berlin present their hand-made goods. Even the coffee-shops there do creative promotions (see on the right).
A visit of the “Brandenburger Tor”, the “Museumsinsel”, with 5 amazing museums and a boat tour on the Spree, the river that runs through Berlin are things that we can highly recommend. Also a visit of Berlin’s largest park area, the “Tiergarten” is worth a visit.
To chill-out, we can definitely recommend having a beer at the “Holzmarkt Strandbar”, where you can eat traditional food and have a nice cold beer, directly at the riverside in a very nice atmosphere.
In the evening, we also visited the location at the Spree, where we are going to have our ThemeFusion meetup on Thursday night. A teaser image is included below.
We have been in contact with James Giroux from Enavto and the guys have arrived today in Berlin and got ready for the conference tomorrow, having some Berlin style “Schnitzel” 🙂
Wednesday, June 19th – EnvatoWorldwide Conference
Today was our first full conference day of this week. At 09:30 Envato Worldwide kicked off with coffee, biscuits and opening remarks by James Giroux, Author Engagement Lead at Envato.
Workshops, presentations, discussions and Q&A sections followed throughout the day, making the conference an interesting and fun to attend event. Socializing during the breaks, allowed everyone to meet new people or to reunite with old friends.
In the afternoon session, I had my talk “ThemeFusion – Behind The Scenes”, providing some insights about how we are doing our job and why we believe that our customer base and the WP community are so important. The Q&A after the talk wasn’t long enough to follow up with all the questions, so that Ari, Filip and me answered more of them during the after show meetup.
The conference day closed at 17:00 on a roof-top style terrace wit lots of sun, nice food and some cold beer.
In the evening the ThemeFusion crew went out for an after business dinner and some drinks at the nearby “Gendarmenmarkt”.
I guess the images attached will get you a much better idea about EnvatoWorldwide, than me re-narrating could ever do.
Thanks Envato for this awesome conference day!
Thursday, June 20th – WCEU Contributor Day, ThemeFusion Meetup
Thursday started with a nice cup of coffee and writing the entry for Wednesday, since I couldn’t get it done in time 🙂
During the morning we had a few appts and Ari attended the morning session of WCEU Contributor Day at the Hotel Estrel. Lots of people showed up here, being happy to give back to the community. Of the 611 sign-ups, 169 said they were new contributors. Workshops and helping to improve WordPress on all kinds of areas and teams were the main focus, as per usual.
At lunch time, our team showed up them at Envato’s Power Elite lunch in the “Gaffel Haus” in central Berlin. We enjoyed traditional German food and networking with fellow authors and team members from Envato.
After the lunch, I went back to our hotel and started to prepare for our ThemeFusion meetup, a few hours later. We met at the famous “Freischwimmer Berlin” bar, directly at the Spree for some food and beers. Our friends from Envato, James, Stephen, Will and Kenn were there, as well as Andras from the Events Calendar team. Quite some folks of the awesome WPML team came to see us too, including founder Amir, CCO Amit and product lead Andrea. Fellow authors from the ThemeRex team visited us as well, which made us a crowd of people of more than 10 nations. It was very inspiring to have that diversity at one table. Stickers and T-shirts for the attendees were provided and our team had a really good time.
Looking forward to our next ThemeFusion meetup, thanks everyone!
Update: Ari, who stays directly at the Estrel hotel, the venue of WCEU 2019, when heading home found lots of attendees still hanging out and socializing although it was already past midnight, so joined them for a drink and some nice conversation. Let the good times roll!
Friday, June 21st – WCEU Day 1, longest day of the year
So here it is, the first day of WCEU 2019 in Berlin at the Estrel hotel. Our team, has had an exciting week so far. Lots of events and appointments and meeting lots of cool people and having interesting conversations.
Again, the day started for me with updating the blog diary, in this case with info for Thursday. Today, I’m doing better and am updating on the correct day 🙂
The Estrel hotel is a huge convention venue and the perfect location for an event as big as WCEU. Official stats say that over 2600 attendees registered today, which is pretty awesome and makes this year’s WordCamp the biggest word camp of all time worldwide!
Registration went super smooth, the volunteers prepared the check-in perfectly and we were able to quickly move on to meeting people from the community and attending presentations from the 3 different tracks.
As always, the talks have been very professional and valuable for a broad audience. Our team met old friends, made some new contacts and had some good appointments today. We met with agencies from different countries, from Serbia to India, with folks from Envato, WPML, YITH, WPMUDEV, WooCommerce, SiteGround, our fellow authors from QODE and ThemeRex and many more. In fact it was so many different people that we had to shift some of the appointments to tomorrow. An incredible and als classic first day of meeting people ate WCEU.
The catering at lunch time was, again as always, one of its kind, and the community used the time to sit outside and enjoy the sun and some good company.
One of the major highlights in the afternoon sessions was the “Summer Update” talk by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress and CEO of Automatic. He presented some insights about the future of WordPress and also did a long Q&A where attendees could bring up all kinds of interesting questions.
Towards the end of the official working day, our team had an after business beer at the hotel lobby and then moved on to exploring some more of Berlin.
Ari did some nice pictures for us of today’s “night session” at the Estrel hotel.
We are looking forward to tomorrow, to meet more cool WP folks!
Saturday, June 22nd – WCEU Day 2
We started day two of WCEU similar to day one, with a few talks and some meetings with partners. Fortunately we were able to deliver a few more ThemeFusion T-shirts to some partners we had missed on Thursday and Friday.
I had a nice chat with Gary Pendergast from Automattic, one of the project leads of the Gutenberg project and with Aaron Rutely from Envato, showing once again, that the WordPress community is built from just nice folks.
At lunch time, Filip and me had an appointment with an Avada customer who runs a agency for small business websites, collecting valuable feedback and sharing some advices on how he could speed up his workflow. Gladly we brought along some of our promo videos for Avada 6.0, which we happily showed.
Ari used the lunch break and parts of the afternoon session to meet with some people of the WordPress coding standard team, discussing possible improvements.
At the end of the conference the host city of WordCamp 2020 was announced: it is going to be Porto! Dates are from 04th – 06th of June.
The after party was absolutely fantastic. Catering was stunning, with foods from all over the world and lots of bars to get cool drinks. Some 80s music started the evening and quite a few attendees showed up with 80s style clothing. At 09pm, a live performance from “Stars in concert” played lots of the hits of Madonna, Tina Turner and Joe Cocker, all inspired by the original live shows of these stars.
The community was on fire and celebrated all night through 🙂
Our team chose to leave after the live acts and to settle for one last drink in the “Biergarten” of the Estrel hotel, at the riverside. We were once again joined bei Andras from the Modern Tribe team for that.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so the ThemeFusion crew finally had to say goodbye.
We all enjoyed this week of work and could successfully complete all our appointments and business meetings. It has been an awesome week! Berlin, you have been amazing and took our breath away :-).
Port 2020, here we come!