Day One: The Beginning…

Once again, it was that time of year when we all head off in a mad-cap dash to Berlin.

Whether you work for protel at the HQ in Dortmund, or one of it’s far-flung subsidiaries or esteemed Partner companies around the world, early March means an eventful trip to Germany’s capital, to catch up on all the latest news.  If you survive the hi-octane, 48+ hour, musical chair-driven whirlwind, then you can calm down by visiting the ITB Berlin afterwards…

But first, you have to survive the IPM (International Partner Meeting).

This year, our hosts were the wonderful team at CENTRO VITAL Berlin, and as far as I could gather, the hotel is on the old site of the Shultheiss Brewery in Spandau. (This was a good omen, and had nothing to do with any sort of cheesy ballet from the ’80’s whatsoever. No barricades here then…).

CENTRO Vital, Berlin Spandau.
CENTRO Vital, Berlin Spandau.

Traditionally starting off with finger-food and “quiet” drinks on the Sunday evening, as the international cast arrives in dribs, drabs and some by taxi, this meet-and-greet-again session marks The Beginning.

Finger time at CENTRO
Fingerfood: Buffet Warren

Although the food was ample, delicious, and very fingery indeed, at a certain time of the evening substantial reinforcement was called for.  Luckily, never a man to back away from a challenge, as our Partners in South Africa, Ankerdata, can surely attest to, Ryan, one of our Irish Partners at RST EPoS, managed to persuade me into joining him on a late-night foray into the wilderness of Berlin-Spandau.  “Seek and ye shall find!” he cried, and we did just that. Once we had proven beyond all doubt that all roads (in Berlin) really do lead to a kebab shop, he did actually stop crying.  Which was nice.

eating my döner kebab
Manfood: Döner Kebab with Ryan

Day Two: Half-way to heaven…

The protel IPM 2016

Please welcome your hosts, protel’s very own Manfred and Ingo!

Manfred and Ingo
Manfred & Ingo: leading from the front

Who is this year’s winner of the coveted “protel Bear”?

Every year, we look back at the performance stats of the protel Partner Network, and using a secret formula – guarded even more tightly than the Google Search Algorithm – we are able to determine the lucky winners. As we have historically always presented the award in Berlin, and the Berlinale Film Festival is a precursor to our own show, the idea of presenting our own Berlin Bear seems to make good sense.  Over the years, it has been presented in many colours of the flags of the country represented by the winning team.

This year, we are proud to present the protel Berlin Bear… in blue and white!

Our Greek Partners HiT Hospitality Integrated Technologies S.A. – (who amongst other feats, also installed protel into all the Olympic Villages in Athens 2004) are worthy winners in 2016.

Greetings from Athens!
Greetings from Dimitris, here with some of the team, safely back home in Athens!

The first day was focused around several sessions highlighting the protel development roadmap, interspersed with some particularly impressive success stories from around the globe (more details to follow, but I think it’s OK to show a pre-Alpha concept of the “protel mobile bike-ware”, below…).

protel bicycle
protel bikeware, early-stage concept
Who else thinks the carpet has some serious issues?

And once we were all completely sure that we were in the right room, at the right event, on the right day, it was time to leave.

Just enough time for a quick cup of tea, or to check on the carrier pigeons, and then it was off once more, into the Crazy Berlin Night.

Our Partner Events really are just that, and of late, they have been becoming quite a thing.
Graffiti workshops, private clubs, magicians and daring cabaret acts… what on earth could be the destination, the feeling, the muse, this time around?

Surely, we had all seen all of Berlin by now, right? (cue the yawning…)

WATCH OUT FOR THE DEDICATED BLOG-POST – to include details of the second night out too…

 Day Three: Sunny side up, or over-easy?

Marketing is easy...
Marketing is easy…

As the legendary Partner Event of the previous evening can precursor one or two bouts of cerebral confusion the following morning, the kick-off session on Day Three is mostly marketing-based, spoon-fed and caffeine inspired.  I had the pleasure of detailing a few successes over on  I even caught one or two people in the audience actually paying attention…

Some truly amazing insight from Jeremy, Director of Marketing @protel: "Think of a number.  Then double it."
Some truly amazing insight from Jeremy, Director of Marketing @protel: “Think of a number.  Then double it.”

Ecaterina focused on how best to deploy our team of protel Experts on the world stage, and Laura showcased some of the exciting streamlining we’ve been undertaking in the Support department.

Ecaterina, Head of UX @protel, who's shoes matched the carpet - wow!
Ecaterina, Head of UX @protel, who’s shoes matched the carpet – wow!

The afternoon was mostly “open-mic” and a lot of honest sharing ensued, where we all got to float ideas and share the experiences of the past year, at individual Partner level.

Manfred and Ingo wrapped the IPM 2016 up with a note of thanks to all, reconfirming – once again – that the last year had been the best protel year ever – and without our Partners and their dedicated teams, none of this would have been possible. Although nobody actually cried, it was very emotional!

Manfred & Ingo finalising the IPM 2016
Manfred & Ingo finalising the IPM 2016


If you were there, or really, really want to be there next time around – do let us hear about it in the comments below 🙂

VP Marketing & PR at protel hotelsoftware GmbH, Germany.

Jeremy heads protel hotelsoftware’s marketing department.
He regularly demands cool beers and internet access, as well as great ideas for shaping positive user experiences.

He firmly believes in the power of change!

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