The Workshop and Industry Forum 2017 took place in Dortmund from 22nd to 23rd January. It started for me with a relaxed arrival in a spacious Mercedes V-Class. Due to a lack of alternatives that weekend, my colleague and I were allowed to bask in the ample space of our largest Herth+Buss company car. The weather was pretty great. We had the practically empty A45 for ourselves to drive casually yet quickly to our destination.
Upon arrival in Dortmund, Florian Heberer and I still had a few moments to get ourselves in the mood for the evening event in the congress hall. In the first few minutes of the event, we took the opportunity to get a good overview of the attendees. One or two conversations with familiar faces shortened the time we had to wait for the evening’s main event: the award ceremony for the “Trusted Workshop” scheme. This is an industry initiative that allows independent workshops to measure their customers’ satisfaction and use this to promote themselves. Unlike in the case of conventional certifications and quality seals, the customer is the only person who plays a part in determining who this award is presented to.
“Trusted Workshop” scheme
The congress hall was packed to the rafters with 450 participants from workshops and industry, of whom over 200 came from the workshops themselves. To my delight, the winner of the “Trusted Workshop” scheme was a familiar face: JP! Jean-Pierre Kraemer is well-known from the series “PS Profis”. He has since become the proud owner of his very own – and highly successful – tuning workshop “JP Performance”. Not to mention a very popular YouTube channel. After the award ceremony, he stuck around for a few short conversations. Once I had ticked off the first “to-do” item of the evening – taking a selfie with JP – we made for the well-stocked buffet. We rounded off the evening with a casual chat and some good food.
Speeches at the Workshop and Industry Forum 2017
The next morning, the actual main event continued for us. The vast majority of the speakers held fascinating talks. My personal favourite was Dr Jens Uwe Meyer, a former police officer and news presenter. Nowadays her shares his wisdom with the public as an innovation expert and keynote speaker. His speech about the next stage of innovation provided a lot of food for thought. It was about the way we deal with innovations on a day-to-day basis, which is not always ideal. After all, ignorance is sometimes bliss. After this concluding highlight, we enjoyed a few more refreshments before making our way home again.