Tech IT Up - Growth and Learning for trivago Techies

Tech IT Up - Growth and Learning for trivago Techies

A tech conference is a gathering of tech enthusiasts, geeks, and wizards who come together to share their magic spells (aka tech knowledge), cast some illusions (aka demos), and talk about the future of technology in a professional yet humorous way. It’s a place where you can explore the latest tech trends, make new connections, and have a great time with like-minded individuals. So, pack your wizard hat and prepare to be inspired by our tech conference called trivago Tech GetTogether (TGT)!

The Tech Get Together (TGT) at trivago is an (almost) annual internal tech conference that brings together our tech talents from across the company to share their knowledge and experiences, showcase their projects, and bond as a team. The TGT is a platform for us to celebrate our achievements, explore the latest tech trends, and collaborate on new ideas.

Over the years, the TGT has become a staple of our company culture, fostering a sense of community and encouraging continuous learning and growth among our tech team. From hands-on workshops and inspiring keynote speakers to lively debates and fun team-building activities, the TGT is a celebration of all things tech and a testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence. Whether you’re a seasoned tech veteran or a newcomer to the industry, the TGT is the right place for anyone looking to be inspired, challenged, and connected.

For the 2022 edition, more than 300 participants joined us at Düsseldorf Station Airport for an inspiring two days of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides workshops and talks on a wide variety of topics, the event also featured a F*ck Up Night - trivago’s take on the classic session where stories of failures are shared - a live-music concert, and a fun quiz, making the Tech Get Together ’22 even more engaging.

Organising a successful tech conference is a multi-faceted challenge that requires careful planning, creativity, and a commitment to excellence. In this blog post, we will share some of the key challenges we faced and how we managed to overcome them:

Challenge 1: Venue Selection

One of the biggest challenges faced when organizing the tech conference was finding the right venue. The aim was to find a venue that would accommodate all attendees, provide excellent transportation connections, and offer a range of facilities to ensure a comfortable and convenient experience throughout the event.

We at trivago prioritized flexibility and scalability when selecting the venue. The approach was to first determine the number of attendees and then make sure the venue had enough space. The venue’s accessibility, including transportation links, was also taken into consideration to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for attendees.

Challenge 2: Speaker Recruitment

The success of a tech conference relies heavily on securing top-quality speakers to engage and inform attendees. For the trivago TGT ’22 we took a proactive approach to speaker recruitment, with a focus on ensuring that the call for papers reached the right audience and attracted high-quality submissions. To accomplish this, we took the following steps:

  1. Internal Communications: We spread the word about the call for papers using internal channels. This allowed us to reach a large number of employees and encouraged them to share the information with their colleagues.
  2. Employee Involvement: We engaged talents in the call for papers process by encouraging them to nominate their colleagues who they felt would make excellent speakers. This helped to identify potential speakers who may not have otherwise been considered.
  3. Targeted Outreach: We reached out to potential external speakers directly, leveraging our network and connections to make a compelling speaker proposal. This helped to attract top-quality speakers and ensured that attendees would have a valuable learning experience.
  4. Speaker Selection: To select the best speakers, we evaluated all submissions based on criteria such as relevance to the conference theme. Our goal was to create a well-rounded program that covered a range of topics and perspectives. We had in total 6 tracks: AI & Data, Software Engineering, Infrastructure & Security, Social & Ethics, Product & Design, and Out of the Box.

By running an organised and thorough process, we were able to attract high-quality submissions and create a memorable learning experience for everyone involved.

Challenge 3: Attendee Engagement

Keeping participants engaged was critical to ensure that the attendees got the most out of the conference. Opportunities were created for attendees to network and interact with each other, such as workshops, and networking coffee breaks. Everyone was encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas through interactive sessions, Q&A formats, and other opportunities. This helped create a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere that kept attendees involved and invested.

By sponsoring a tech conference, you not only invest in your talents’ professional growth, but also in the future success of your company.

3 reasons for organizing the TGT:

  1. Knowledge Sharing and Professional Development: We believe that sponsoring a tech conference for our talents is an investment in their professional growth and development. It provides a platform for them to share their knowledge and experiences, learn from industry experts, and stay up-to-date on the latest technology trends and best practices. This, in turn, can lead to a more innovative and productive work environment.
  2. Networking Opportunities: Conferences are a great opportunity for talents to network with their peers and build relationships with other professionals in their field. This opens doors to new partnerships, collaborations, and opportunities for growth and development, both personally and professionally.
  3. Team Building and Morale Boosting: Attending a conference with colleagues can help trivago talents feel a stronger sense of camaraderie and teamwork. It can also serve as a morale boost and demonstrate that the company values their professional development. A positive company culture and happy employees always guarantee higher levels of engagement and job satisfaction.

TGT ’22 in numbers

Long story short, TGT’22 in numbers meant:

  • 2️⃣ days
  • ✈️ 1 Station Airport
  • 🎙️ 4 stages
  • 🙋 338 attendees
  • 📣 60 talks
  • 💻 5 workshops
  • 📱 1 F*ck Up Night 👏

TGT’22 has been the work of around 50 talents (if not more) who volunteered to collaborate on this massive conference alongside with the Organisation team: facilitators and moderators, check-in/ check-out crew, location support - a lot of passionate and hardworking people for who Tech Get Together was either THAT big conference they’ve been attending every year or an event they only recently found out about. Either way, TGT got us together (pun intended) once more, united by the interest for technology, knowledge sharing and learning experiences.

Day 1 Highlights

To ensure compliance regarding confidential data, we split the conference into two days with different themes. Day 1 was our trivago Day - featuring only internal talents as attendees and majority of presentations held by internal speakers. This provided opportunities for our talents to learn about other teams and their work. One session was a bestseller, with many trivago attendees joining to listen to “How does trivago work?”, presented by two of our veteran techies - Jörg Hornung (Information Systems Lead) and Tom Bartel (Frontend Software Engineering Lead). For external attendance, we were happy to host a Slack Workshop with Maria Jose Hernandez (Developer Advocate at Slack), and a Live-Hacking event with Michael Müller (Principal Consultant at NTT). The day ended with an acoustic live concert from trivago talents and alumni (yes, our talents are also great musicians!).

Day 2 Highlights

Day 2 was our Community Day - an opportunity for us to share industry knowledge with students in North Rhine Westphalia (NRW), and have them gain more insights on what life at trivago is about. On top of that, we invited members of Meet-ups, as well as Düsseldorf representatives. The CDO of Düsseldorf, Alexander Smolianitski, was kind enough to accept our invitation and kick off day 2 with an opening speech. The coffee break was also used for a lighthearted FAME (Female Ambassadors and Mentors in Engineering) networking event, where our talents and guests could learn more about the initiatives of the group within and outside trivago. The night ended with a trivago Pub Quiz, a great opportunity to recount memories like the location of On Tour 2014 (our company-wide travel experience), or learn about who sent the most Slack messages during their time in trivago.

In conclusion, organizing such a successful tech conference required careful planning, creativity, and a commitment to excellence. By leveraging the trivago approach to venue selection, speaker recruitment, and attendee engagement, a memorable and valuable learning experience was created for everyone involved.

Tom Bartel on stage, explaining how trivago works

Two conference visitors shaking hands. The event was a welcome networking opportunity.

Engineers in conversation during a break, with a lot of laptops open

Nayyereh Afzali on stage, speaking about the "Job to be Done" framework as used in trivago

trivago techies enjoying their lunch break

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the pictures from the conference speak for themselves. The conference was well received by attendees who appreciated the overall atmosphere of the event. We are proud to have established a reputation for delivering a high-quality, engaging, and memorable tech conference, and look forward to another edition in the future. Stay tuned for more updates!