Wrap-Up and Coverage for Berlin 2018

One week ago I had the pleasure of running the fifth edition of beyond tellerrand in Berlin. It was the last edition in the Admiralspalast in Berlin, as the owner of the building sadly did not extend the contract with the company and is going to use the space to build offices in their. The main theatre remains open as it is a listed building, but the theatres in the upper floors, which I used, are turned into office space. As if we need more offices … Now I am on the hunt for a new home for beyond tellerrand Berlin, but I am already speaking to a couple of possible places (and am already shocked how freakin’ expensive some of them are 😳).

Anyways … this post is about what happened last week at the 16th beyond tellerrand (incl. Play&Make) since 2011. It was a sold out event again and the atmosphere at the event, at least from what I experienced and heard, was great. It have been two days packed with inspiring talks from various fields. If Philipp writes …

The Beyond Tellerrand experience has been a “transcendence” one for me. And I might be using that word incorrectly, because what I’m trying to express is that I’ve leveled up.

… it makes me very proud. Also that people mention to me, that my little event changed their life is crazy to me, but makes me very happy also. Thanks a lot therefore, for your open and mostly lovely words about what I do.

But let’s look into what happened and what is left over for you, if you haven’t been there, but want to see, read and hear what happened, and for you, who had been there, but want to have a look back onto it.

A Few Numbers

This year we had a sold out event with 500 people in the house. Those came from 20 different countries from all around the world. They travelled from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin (West Africa), Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and USA. Wow. Well, at least these are the countries where people entered the country they were coming from, when buying a ticket. 19 volunteers from 4 countries helped running this year’s Berlin edition and their names are amely those were Amber, Andreas, Andy Bartek, Dion, Ewa, Gustav, Jana, Lisa, Patrick, Philip, Smilla, Stella, Sven, Theresa, Tom and Trang. Of course my wife Tanja and Guido, my good and long-time friend were responsible for the whole team once more. Huge thanks to all of them!.

1460 tweets have been sent during the event days, but I also recognised that more and more delegates use Instagram before choosing Twitter, which you can also see in the wifi stats. I wonder, why Facebook is second We drank 302 litres of coffee and tea – which are approximately 1500 cups – and 261,5 litres of water.

A graph showing the stats for wifi usage
The wifi was – as usual – stable and run by etherTec aka Wifi Jack

Luc and Carsten from etherTec aka WiFi Jack are supervising our wifi for many, many years now and they are doing a great job. Whether it is their job to use the existing infrastructure, upgrade it and make it reliable for 500+ people or build a network from scratch to provide wifi for 500+ people: they are always absolutely reliable and I have no doubt that they provide a stable connection for everybody.

160 GB were used by the audience during the two days by a total of 1169 different clients (wow!) in total and about 25 GB of that were used for social media activities. Interesting to see, that Twitter is not no. 1 anymore, but Instagram and Facebook (even if only by a few MB) are first and second as social media channels. No idea, why 13+ GB were used for Amazon, but maybe people already ordered Christmas gifts during the even.

Blog Posts & More

I am so thankful for everybody who takes the time and sit down to write about their experience at beyond tellerrand. So far I got or found the following posts and I hope more are coming to be featured.

  • Hui Jing, who spoke at the fifth edition in Berlin, has summarised her thoughts on the experience of speaking and attending beyond tellerrand. It makes me very happy that Hui Jing closes with saying:

If it weren’t for beyond tellerrand, I would never have been able to meet all these people who are beyond my regular circle of developers[…]

  • Philip Saa aka Cowglow has been a volunteer for all 2018 editions. He was part of Munich, Düsseldorf and now Berlin and certainly ads a lot of value to the team in many ways! He has written a medium post titled ”An Accidental Trilogy” in which – next to many other lovely things – he says …

The Beyond Tellerrand experience has been a “transcendence” one for me. And I might be using that word incorrectly, because what I’m trying to express is that I’ve leveled up.

  • Stefan Schwartze summed up how his experience of beyond tellerrand in Berlin was. He attended again, after being part in 2016 already. In his (German) blog post Stefan lists and sums up his favourite talks as well as a few overall thoughts. As it describes my event and who is coming pretty much in one sentence, I particularly really like, that he writes

Die beyond tellerrand ist jedes Jahr aufs Neue ein Treffpunkt für Leute aus unterschiedlichsten Bereichen der Tech- und Designbranche, vorwiegend mit Web-Hintergrund.


A photo showing Josh Clark opening the event in front of the audience
Josh Clark opening beyond tellerrand Berlin 2018 in front of an excited audience. Photo by Marcel Otten.

This year I haven’t seen too many cameras, but I know at least of two more people who took photos and hope to being able to add them soon. But for the start, this is what I have:

Sadly we don’t have many photos from what happened next to the stage and in the exhibition. If you want to or attend events like beyond tellerrand in general and like to usually bring your camera, please contact me and we chat about having you as one of the photographers at future events.


Right now I only know if one sketchnote that was made. It is by Eva-Lotta Lamm and from Kyle MacDonald’s session on the first day. Anyone else who knows about sketchnotes or has made some?

Presentation Videos & Transcriptions

I created a Vimeo and a YouTube channel to host all the videos of beyond tellerrand talks that I am allowed to publish. Depending on what you like more, you can use the one or other.

If you want a comprehensive link with not just the videos, but also slides (as far as I got them) and transcription, then check the Berlin 2018 archive.

But here is a list of everything that is published so far as well:

Everything that is missing above, like video links or transcriptions, will be added as soon as available (or we got an ok from the speaker).

Next to the videos from the main event in Berlin, Anke also recorded the videos of the Warm-Up presentations. For the following three, we had the ok to publish them:

Thanks to all for their presentations during the Warm-Up!

Opening Titles, T-Shirt and Event Theme

This was the first time, that one person designed the t-shirt, the mugs, created the opening titles and also themed the overall event. Rainer Michael, whom I know for many years already, and I were speaking about it for a while and finally made it happen. Rainer created a whole system of Skulls, that we used to create a different Skull for the badge of every attendee. We used these Skulls throughout the whole event and Rainer created slides for the main stage, the t-shirt plus stickers and event the opening titles based on them.

Screenshot of the skull elements that Rainer Michael created for the event
Rainer Michael made a system to combine 12x3 elements to create unique skulls for everybody.

When I opened the event, I said, that I was excited to see, if they could find any matching skulls which would be the same … of course there were none, but it was nice to see how many people thought they found a pair or asked me, if there really is a pair. I wanted them to chat and find out, which obviously seemed to have worked. ;)

Screenshot of the slides that Rainer Michael created for the event

Next to all the assets he designed, Rainer also designed a base set of the slides I usually need for the ConfWall, which I show during the breaks and before speakers starts their presentations. This set, plus the system of skulls made it super easy to add missing slides or create signage for the workshops or the exhibition.

I used it for example to create the signage for the beyond tellerrand t-shirt booth, to point people to the F101 theatre, where the Lunch-Time Sessions took place and also for a schedule rotation for two 60" screens in the venue as well as for an projection in the entrance hall. Great fun to play around with all this and so easy to adapt.

An image showing all three versions of the attendee’s t-shirts for Berlin 2018
All three versions of the design for attendee’s t-shirts.

Of course Rainer and I would have loved to print the assigned, unique skull from everybody also onto their t-shirts. But using silkscreen to get a good quality print, this was not possible. But Rainer designed three different versions of the skull and we spread the three versions evenly onto all t-shirts. You could say that there is one version for developers and one for designers, if you want. Which one is which, is up to you ;) The t-shirts once more were produced in Krefeld, by my good friend Holger Lamers of Illhill.

When we had one of the first phone calls, Rainer was asking, if he could also do the opening titles. When I said, that he of course could do it, he said, that he would not do anything with this rubber electronic sound though, but something that’s rock. And, hell, he kept the promise. But check yourself …

I hope Rainer is also maybe writing a post about the design process and his experience doing this for beyond tellerrand. I myself am absolutely happy with the turnout and with what Rainer created. Thanks a lot at this point, once more, to Rainer Michael for this fantastic work.

Music, Audio, Ambience and Soul

Tobi Lessnow, my long time mate, started his Audio Sketchnotes – as he calls this – in 2013, but the way he paints the event with his sound belongs to beyond tellerrand since then like me or the speakers do. I often times hear people referring to him as DJ. That is not completely what he does really, as I think he is doing way more. But it is very hard to describe it, if you did not experience him live, which I highly recommend you to do.

Meanwhile you can listen to his Soundcloud archive of songs he produced out of what he does at the events. Nope, this is no recording of the events, but perfectly produced songs, which he created after the events.

At this point – and I can’t often enough – I want to thank Tobi for being a true friend, supporting my event for many many years now: Tobi – thank you!

Side Events

When I had the idea of Side Events I thought of other Meetups and User Groups to attach their events to beyond tellerrand to offer even more diverse topics to everybody who is in the city during these days (not just for beyond tellerrand). Some people and companies turned into a kind of regular organiser of those Side Events, as you might see below.

IndieWebCamp Berlin 2018

After all these years, the IndieWebCamp belongs to beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf and Berlin as much as the main event does. Yulia (from Mozilla), Tantek Çelik and Joschi Kuphal organised this year’s Berlin edition in the Mozilla Office in Berlin.

Photo showing all attendees at the IndieWebCamp in Berlin
IndieWebCampers in Berlin

Accessibility Club Conference

On Monday Joschi and Stefan Judis organised the first Accessibility Club Conference. Which was a Accessibility Day in the past two years turned into a full day conference with a variation of very insightful and good talks. The feedback for this first edition as a conference was great and I sadly was not able to attend due to setup for beyond tellerrand. I guess this asks for a second edition … ;)

Slack Developers Berlin

Colm Doyle, Developer Relations Lead of EMEA for Slack, organised an evening with topics circling around development for Slack and to connect to the global Slack community.

Pre-Conference Warm-Up

Around 200 people signed up to warm up for beyond tellerrand. This time Anke Mehlert organised the evening and gave the Warm-Up a cozy home at VW’s Digital Unit in Berlin.

Photo with attendees of the warm-up. People chatting and networking.
Warm-Up atmosphere in Berlin

Next to snacks and drinks, Anke organised a couple of short talks by Yann Duval, Daniel Stamer, Johannes Ippen and Marc Koelle, which are mostly available on our Vimeo and YouTube Channel as well.

Liquid Lunch with Shopify

Liam Griffin hosted a Lunch-Break Session on the second day of beyond tellerrand. next to offering pretzels and a few drinks, he gave an introduction to themes and liquid basics.

Multimodal Conversation Design

Anil Kumar Krishnashetty and Alexey Vidanov hosted a successful after-event workshop on Thursday. Anil summed up how the day went and what they achieved in a longer post on Medium.

A photo showing attendees of the GUI + VUI. Multimodal Conversation Design Workshop.
GUI + VUI. Multimodal Conversation Design Workshop

And with this and a tear in my eyes, I say: that’s it for Berlin 2018 and the last show in the Admiralspalast. I surely have to do a bit of work in the background to close the event (invoices, emails etc.) and I also update this post as long as I get new material, but apart from this, I am looking for a new home for beyond tellerrand BERLIN and hope to being aple to find one until the end of the year. Cross your fingers, that I will manage to get this sorted soon and find a venue that fits the idea of beyond tellerrand.

Please feel free to also send me links or material which is related to this edition of the event in Berlin. I would be absolutely happy, if you sit down and write a short recap of your experience in Berlin as well. And even more important: please spread the word about beyond tellerrand, if you liked the event and tell others about it. This is what I need to keep the event alive.

This post took me a few days to write and it is an archive of what happened in Berlin and what made me – and hopefully many of you – very, very happy. Thank you so much for being part of Berlin with so many memorable moments and conversations.

Stay tuned, and stay as you are. And most importantly: stay curious!

The next stop of beyond tellerrand is Düsseldorf and I’d be delighted if you join me on a new journey!

Update 28 November 2018: added transcription of Léonie Watson’s talk

Update 03 December 2018: added a blog post by Susanne Vestner-Ludwig

Update 10 December 2018: added transcript for Andy Budd and photos by Stefan Nitzsche

Update 12 December 2018: added sketchnote by Eva-Lotta Lamm

Update 18 December 2018: added transcriptions by Oliver and Jenny

Reading time
14 minutes
An Event Archive
Last time, that beyond tellerrand BERLIN is in this theatre
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