Never Put Your Passport in a Brown Bag

So… Where was I? Oh yea, I had just jumped on the plane to Copenhagen. In a blink, I was in an architectural paradise. The only time I got to see the city during the day was on my way from the airport to the hotel. I very much enjoyed the design creativity that overflows from this city; every single building has its charm and originality. Here is a photo of a building that was not too far from the Conference.

It is not until I arrived to the “Bella Center” – venue of the conference – with my tiny JVC camera and dusty tripod, that I realized the greatness of what I was about to do for the following two days. On the first day of shooting, I swear I could feel the vibrations of intelligence and knowledge emitted by the brains of all the great people that were present at the conference. As I felt those vibrations, I felt my own brain shrinking, nervous to say something dumb and ashamed my own library of knowledge. As soon as I started talking to some people, though, all that fear evaporated, and I realized that they were humans, just like me. I met people that were representing Google, Facebook, IBM, Disney, and my personal favorite: representing the music industry. It was truly impressive to see such people united for two days, discussing how they are going to make this digital single market work.

On the first day of the conference, I shot some B-Roll and interviewed speakers. To my disadvantage, both rooms where the conference was taking place were very dark. I struggled a bit with the JVC, but I think the end result was OK, considering the equipment I had with me.

That night I joined an estimate of 200 people participating in the conference on the journey to Axelborg, location for the gala dinner (ouh, fancy!) As we entered the venue, I think I stopped breathing for a second. The Copenhagen University Choir was singing in a balcony above our heads. As I looked up, I noticed an almost infinite snail staircase, and the view and music blended so well, that I stayed until the choir performed their last song.

That night was great: amazing people, amazing music, amazing food and amazing speech by Lisbeth Knudsen (CEO and Editor in Chief – Berlingske Media). I admired her honesty and courage of taking a step back, and questioning the digital world: do we really want this as our future after all?

During the second day, I focused on interviewing participants and organizers. The day went by pretty fast, and before I knew it, I was in the plane with my professor on our way back to Geneva. We stopped in Zurich on the way. Since I’m always eating, I had a brown paper bag that had food in it. I remember having put my passport in it, as I didn’t have anything at hand at that moment. Well… It turns out that I threw out my bag, and when the boarding started for the plane to Geneva, I couldn’t find my passport. I ran like a maniac to the trash where I remembered I threw out the bag, and literally dug my hands in the trash like a desperate caveman looking for food. When I finally found the bag, my passport wasn’t in it! So, I ran back like a maniac (again), and it turns out my passport was with me the whole time. “Good job, Alex. Good job.”

I think this Conference was a great experience for me. I learnt how to deal with limited deadlines, interact with professionals that are highly distinguished in their field, multitask during a conference (listen, photo, video, Twitter, repeat) and of course, I learnt to never put my passport in a brown bag.

PS: The Conference video will be posted soon! Stay tuned! Meanwhile, here is a very nice photo taken by the friendly Zhong Min Peng. Webster Media Represent!

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