Ah, yes, I remember attending CeBit in Hannover once (I imagine this is the same show, perhaps renamed?). I thought going to CES in Vegas was exhausting in terms of walking and wading through a million people until I attended CeBit! And it snowed every single day I was there (in early March 2006). Everyone joked and called it Schneebit, "schnee" being the German word for snow. Sounds like the food service was a bonus, though! I don't remember that. :)
It's been 16 years since I've been at the Hannover Fair and I still find myself telling people how huge it is, Rich. All of those 26 buildings that you mentioned are as big as any hall at Chicago's McCormick Place. The big problem is finding a hotel room within an hour's commute of the show.
I know, Chuck, the hotel situation is tough! shen I went it was with a group of my colleagues we stayed in a host house of this very friendly German woman who didn't speak a word of English. At the time I spoke no German at all (now I speak and understand a bit because I have a lot of German friends here in Portugal) so it was quite a funny experience, especially when she would come to our rooms for our 7am wake-up call.
Seems like that's the way to go at Hannover, Al. Liz mentions below that she, too, rented a room in a local home when she was at Hannover. The alternative is to find a hotel an hour or two away, pay a fortune, fight the traffic twice day, and end up exhausted when the trip is finally over.
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