Cologne Conference '98 - Organizer Report
Written by eVRIMSSON
The Computer '98 (November 13th to 15th 1998)
Every year in November, the biggest Amiga fair in the world is held in Cologne/Germany. In earlier days, the Scene used to spray their graffity and group names on the walls and stalls around the fair. From that moment on, every year, there has been a big wall prepared especially for the Scene to write and scribble on. For many Sceners around Europe, this place at the fair became a traditional meeting point. You can meet more than 200 Sceners from various groups on the so-called "Scenewall" at the fair.
Formerly, the fair was called "WOC" (World Of Commodore). But over the years and especially since Commodore has been out of business, the fair has got different names. This year, the fair was called "Computer 98" and again many Sceners visited it on Saturday.
The Fair Party
Three or four years ago, every regular visitor and Scener knew that there was a party to visit after the fair. Because nothing happened in the last years, six Sceners thought that it would be time to change this lack of parties during the fair.
It was the Los Endos BBS Meeting where we all had the idea to organize a party during the "Computer 98". Nevertheless we had big problems to find a place to party. November 14th is one of the busiest days in Cologne, because that's the time of carnival. Fortunately, we finally found a place. It was not that big as expected but our last hope for this party to come true.
Surprisingly, from the moment on we rented a place, everything was very easy. A homepage was built (http://www.academicus.de/cc98) with the support of the company "Academicus", an intro was coded by Modem of Darkage, who came to the party from Italy by the way, and at last we found many other sponsors who supported us.
We want to thank Amiga International, Inc., who really helped us out with some finances. Without them, the party wouldn't been a success. It was Petro Tyschtschenko from Amiga International who talked with us, and also Nicole Gottfriend was very helpful. Again we realized how grateful we should be towards Amiga and even Amiga International, Inc. themselves. No party and no scener would have become what it/he is without our favorite computer. Thank you, Amiga!
Likewise, MicroniK sponsored us with an Infinitiv Tower II (value: 438 DM) for the big lottery. We would also like to thank the great MicroniK employees who built this tower for us, and special thanks to Oswald from MicroniK, who came to the Party and helped us around. Even Village Tronic gave us the "Ariadne" network card for the Amiga, worth 200,- Marks. Thanks to Ekkehard Brueggemann from Village Tronic for his effort.
The opening was at 6 pm, and almost everyone was already at the place at 7 pm. After a couple of hours the party place was quite full. For some people, the room was too small. Others told us that they liked it because it was much more personal that way. We personally think that it was small. However, this was our first party, and it the end the majority liked it. We are satisfied this time, but next time we'll do it better for sure.
Finally, more than 180 visitors showed up. You can have a look at the guest list and all reviews at the party homepage: http://www.academicus.de/cc98
Also thanks to firms who supported us with loads of prizes for the fair: Amiga International Inc., Schatztruhe, Titan Software, Amiga Spezial, Amiga Plus, amigaOS, Amiga Magazin + PCgo, Magic Bytes, and Red Bull for 100 cans of free beverages for the party people.
During the party, a little misunderstanding occured. XXX of Haujobb thought that the big Red Bull sign was not for free. Fortunately the Red Bull employee left the party place after that. So even XXX had a nice souvenir to take home. All in all the prize value for this meeting was 2,000 Marks (Red Bull sign included).
Almost everybody won something at the lottery, which was held at 11:30 pm. Every winner also got the "The Golden Beer" - the party prize including some other big CD prizes. Congratulations to Acryl/Scoopex: The famous graphician won the Infinitiv II Tower, the biggest prize from the lottery. Lucas of Lightforce is the winner of the "Gravereuth Dart Competition" and received the "Ariadne" card. The winner of the Dynablaster competition was, again, the unbeatable champion: Andy of Nuance.
All competitions were moderated by Steeler of Phantasm, the star of the night. The first competition was held at 9 pm. At the "Chocolate Competition", two competitors had to eat 500g of chocolate to win "The Golden Beer" with some other prizes. Before eating the chocolate, the competitors had to get it between all the cream. The winner was Exhorder, who couldn't resist to vomit after eating chocolate and drinking beer at the same time. Unfortunately, that was too much for him. One hour later, he began to fight with the organizers and was forced to leave the party place as usual.
Gravenreuth came, saw, and was kicked...
The next competition was one of the interesting ones. It was the "Gravenreuth Dart Competition". After everybody wanted to throw knives at Gravenreuth's picture instead of darts, Steeler chose the Amiga users who could win the "Ariadne" Card from Village Tronic. Five cut-throats threw knives at the infamous lawyer's face. And here, something very weird happened. Allow me to call this the "Gravenreuth Desaster":
While people were throwing knives at Gravenreuth's picture, the master himself appeared. Gravenreuth came to the party place and wanted to enjoy the competition. We think that this was one of the most embarrasing moments at this party and will never forget Gravenreuth's timing to appear. We thought that the chance of mixing up Gravenreuth's ugly face with the nice picture painted by Peachy of TRSI was too high. For his own security, Gravenreuth was kicked out of the party place by the organizers. Certainly, that was something everybody wants to do once in his life. "Ladies and gentleman, Gravenreuth has left the building..."
We had so many prizes for the lottery that we didn't have enough time to make a drawing all the time. After raffling the Infinitiv Tower II and also many other big prizes, Steeler did the "Lion feeding". PC-CDs, PC-Magazines, and PC-Stuff were destroyed by a bunch of hungry Sceners. Also, there were a real scuffle to get all the Amiga stuff. That was a true desaster because after this, the party place looked like a battlefield. Finally everybody was happy. Except the person who lent the place to us. Unfortunately we couldn't kick him out of the party place.
The last hours many Sceners were drunk and some of them even high. But the real trouble came from the man from whom we had rented the party place. He was one of those aunties who use to complain about everything all the time. We apologize for the stupidness of those people. We think that every visitor at the party behaved very decently. The last visitors left the building at about 4 pm, and after that, the organzers tidied the party place up and left, too. For us, it was a great show and a nice get-together, and we want you back, when it's time to spread invitations to the "Cologne Conference 99"...
The Cologne Conference was organized by Ghandy/Darkage^Gods, Dire/Eremation, Exon/Jormas^Faith, Merlin-M/Nuance, and eVRIMSSON/Nuance. We are also very grateful to Chavez/Faith, who did the same work as the organizers. The Dynablaster Competition was arranged by Andy/Nuance. The Party competitions were moderated by sTEELER/Phantasm. We'd like to thank Raven/Nuance, Bettina, and Iris, who helped us a lot. Also, many thanks to The Elevatorman and his brother Skyfly for taking pictures and helping us at the party.