For the third time MTP Engage brought together product people from Germany and further afield – this year in a packed three-day agenda.
Day 1: Leadership Forum
We started with the first-ever MTP Leadership Forum in Hamburg, a decidedly intimate event for 40 product leaders. The forum started with lunch and ended with rooftop drinks overlooking Hamburg’s beautiful Alster lake – giving attendees some great opportunities for good conversations.
In between we held sessions on Product Strategy and Product Principles, on Managing Product Portfolios, and on Developing Product Managers. Each session started with an off-the-cuff presentation (by Martin Eriksson, C.Todd Lombardo and Petra Wille, my MTP Engage partner-in-crime), which were followed by panels with regional and international product leaders (including Marty Cagan as special guest).
Day 2: Workshops
On Day 2 we ran five all-day workshops for Product Managers at two venues in central Hamburg. There was a great vibe in all groups and participants really took away valuable learnings.
Day 3: Conference
On MTP Engage Conference day an audience of 400 product aficionados saw a day full of presentations in our typical mix of international keynotes on broader topics as well as more hands-on sessions curated from the broad range of proposals we received.
Some of the overarching themes of this year’s event were:
- How to grow and improve as a product manager
- Aspects of hypothesis-driven product management
- Modern Product Management as a driver of change in traditional industries
- Our influence as product managers and our responsibility to make use of it
During breaks, attendees were encouraged to use our exhibition of The Copenhagen Catalog (a set of ethical principles for a new era in tech) to trigger thoughts and conversations.
Recordings of the keynotes and sessions will be published here in the coming weeks!
Thanks to the beautiful weather (no, Hamburg is not always like this..) the venue’s courtyard provided a very nice environment for people to hang out and chat during the breaks.
In addition to the main day program we want to provide additional opportunities for the attending product people to get together and “engage”. That’s why ever since we started MTP Engage we put a lot of attention on side events to complement our offering.
This year we were particularly proud to host a private screening of General Magic, an impressive documentary about the visionary Silicon Valley startup that, in the early 90s, invented the smartphone and many other things we take for granted in today’s communication. It failed because it was too early, but it’s an impressive display of real moonshot thinking, and interesting to see how different the protagonists dealt with the temporary end of their vision.
On the evening before the conference over 80 workshop and conference attendees took part in our Product Blind Date Dinners, meaning that mixed groups of 8-10 product managers showed up to spend the evening in some of our favourite Hamburg restaurants. Apart from the initial curation of tables, this part of the event is the one most out of our control and we love the serendipity that comes with it. No one knows in advance how the group will click, what they will have for dinner and what topics will be discussed. It looks like everyone enjoyed themselves – and a good basis for further networking on the following conference day.
Having dinner with 7 strangers. Well, product people which means loads of success 🚀 and failure 🔥 stories. Love it! #mtpengage #productblinddate pic.twitter.com/HnLnClvYIY
— Nils Neubauer (@NilsRNeubauer) May 23, 2019
#productblinddate dinner was a great opportunity to meet PMs from around the world. #mtpengage pic.twitter.com/DnrPpeeGah
— Corina Dm (@corinasaysstuff) May 23, 2019
Wrapping Up at the After Party
Lastly, as always we closed the conference day with a party at Westwerk art gallery where we exhibited the Copenhagen Catalog, offered craft beer from our friends at Bunthaus beer and danced until late – with product manager Dominik on the turntables.
See you in 2020!