So our Saturday adventures here in Düsseldorf with myself, Edita Blaha from the CCD, Caroline from RheinBuzz and our guest media were packed with meeting different people from some amazing venues.
One of the nice things that Edita and team did for our guests was make sure that the people we met at venues were operation, functional and really worked the venue. No offense to the official marketing teams (heck I've been in them) but for myself and our media to really interact with the engineers at the ISS Dome who can tell us about the nine different configurations of this arena and their fastest load in and out times was really cool, and gave the reporters insight into some of the important logistics that this industry is truly built on. It was also probably pretty cool for them to skate on a professional European hockey rink (much bigger I learned than those in the US).
The ESPRIT center was super cool as well. And we found out they could close the roof and make it super warm if they wanted to, or take out the turf and change the floor, or remove areas of seats and beams and such and reconfigure so many different ways. Heiko Müller was a great guide who really understood the ins and outs of the arena. The attention to security, crowd control and how that helps them have efficient start times and access to mass transit was really interesting to learn about - really.
Herr Müller said something on our tour that I thought was perfect to hear from a venue, "We do not have standard sets. We listen to what the client needs to achieve, and then we make it happen." Even to the point of having a catered dinner for ten in the center of the football pitch. Oh, or host EuroVision 2011 in May. Talk about scope of service.
Then we were off to the Media Harbor which I will just not be able to write enough about right now. However, the reason we went there was to inspect the newly opened (the day before) Hyatt Düsseldorf. One word. Woah.
Well, okay, maybe three words: stylish, natural and urban all at the same time. Master sushi chefs from Tokyo, the best view of the Media Harbor and the Rhein Tower, walking distance to amazing architecture, art and clubs. The lunch they provided us of impecable sushi, veal and gold gilded creme brulee was stunning. I didn't take pictures because I was entirely too enthralled with the dining, the view and the conversation about the trends in business guests. Which I think is the best sign of hospitality - when they can make you forget about work.
From there we met up with our fantastic Dusseldorf expert, Joop, who taught us all about the Media Harbor and the advertising agencies, broadcast companies, photographers and such that are revitalizing this area along the Rhein and town. We ended our walk along the harbor for coffee and cake at Rhein tower, where both the food and the view at Top 180 was very enjoyable.
And how did we cap off this full day? Oh, just a night at the Düsseldorf Oper Am Haus for Platee a modern operatic performance that was so cool and unexpected. With an unexpected surprise coordinated by Caroline with RheinBuzz that let us backstage before the show where we learned about some of the unique experiences they can create on tours - and met the General Director, and the Conductor, and the star of the show.