CeBit Hannover

15 Mar 2007

Last night I took a direct flight to Hannover in Germany to go to the CeBit event. The world’s largest consumer electronics fair. I was a little late with booking the hotel (a year late, because I’ve heard people are booking a year ahead) so I ended up on 90 km from Hannover. The cab drive to the hotel took 1.5 hours from the airport, and it was 120 km. (75 miles)… I had a really retarded cab driver. In Germany, large parts of the freeway have no speed limit, but he kept driving 70 miles an hour. I ended up in some sort of spa, in the middle of nowhere. When I look outside my window I see trees. Trees as far as the eye can see. My hotel room has a 14 inch tv with 9 channels, all German. There is no bar in the hotel, and no internet access. Well, there is internet access before 8 PM, after that there’s no more access to the booth. Argh. My hands are shaking… Must Need Access…

Anyway, I had to unplug the tv and the night-light because I needed the plugs to charge my cam and the two laptops. I set the alarm on 7 am, took a shower when I woke up and went downstairs to order a taxi. 20 minutes later I was well on my way to the event. This cab driver was a little more relaxed at higher speeds, and we flew at 240 km/h (150mph) in the general direction of Hannover’s ‘Messe’. The weirdest thing ever I encountered was that, while driving at 240 km/h, the cabbie had to pull over to the right lane to let a series of cars pass us by. It looked like we were standing still. You gotta love the Germans.

I got dropped off at the main entrance, and met up with Hans Mestrum and Erik Van Roekel, two Dutch bloggers who’re experiencing some ‘wow’ at the CeBit fair. I gave Erik a private Vista demo, because he was a little disappointed when he installed it and he didn’t really ‘felt’ the difference with XP. I showed of some tools and we discussed the ‘best’ new features, and he said that what he missed the most was a decent tutorial when you buy it, because a lot of the things I showed him weren’t really known. (disclaimer: Microsoft sent me to CeBit to make a documentary). Then I gave Hans the Sony Vaio I brought with me, and with that, my influencers program kicked off. I showed off the goodies that came with the laptop and Hans actually started blogging with it almost right after we had lunch.

Then I went on a booth tour with Erik to score some swag and see what’s new on the technology front. This CeBit event is HUGE. It’s a small city filled with vendors. Thousands of people walking around and every company with digital or electronic products is represented here. It’s geek paradise. I’ll edit my videos tonight at the hotel and hope to have them online as soon as possible. I’m already very happy that the Tulip booth has a lounge with network cables available, so I could post this :)

I saw a lot of cool things, but didn’t see anything revolutionary yet. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open to see what goes down. There’s still so much to explore. We’ve been running around for hours on end, and still have done only 15% of the total event floor.


Posted by Miel Van Opstal in Uncategorized


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  1. Hans Mestrum

    March 15, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Wow what a great meeting we had. Great to participate in your project and glad I could show you around on our booth.
    As ever: please to meet you.

  2. Erik van Roekel

    March 15, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Miel,

    Glad to meet you IRL and thanks for the quick guide into the new stuff of Vista. The Cebit is very big indeed. We may have seen 15% of it, but it was just a quick tour. Promise me to make a photo of all the swag you got tomorrow ;-)

  3. Magnus

    March 16, 2007 at 12:56 am

    Hey good to see people are still going there :) Over here in Germany they argue a lot about companies staing away from the fair, or make fun of strange booths like one for the “holiday region of the Harz” (Harz = mountain range) which have nothing to do with electronics at all.
    I grew up in and around Hannover, so I know it can be very empty of civilization in some parts… but 120km for a hotel seems a bit strange. Try the tourist information close to the central station, they’ll help you out.
    Otherwise I might have to ask my parents if they take you in lol

  4. stijn

    March 19, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Hah, the irony, visiting Cebit and not even having a decent internet connection in the hotel. I’m really curious about those Vista features. I had to buy a new pc last week and asked the sales person about his opinion on the new OS since i didn’t have the time to find it out myself. In the end he advised me to stick with XP because his salestalk couldn’t convince me at all.