Budapest-2024: jubilee fun with the Rubik’s Cube, then a leisurely cruise on the Danube!

The next stop on our whirlwind Euro-April-2024 tour – Budapest…

We’d had our Italian Partner Conference days before – in Milan, as mentioned (and the press loved it). Now it was time for our Global Partner Conference in the Hungarian capital. As per, we had guests fly in from every continent apart from Antarctica (of course) and also, alas – Australia (due to the geopolitical situation). The rest of the world however was in full attendance :) ->

…But I’ll come back to that topic. First, we needed to get from Italy to Hungary…

Now, as regular readers will know, I don’t like spending money for no reason. I normally fly commercial (albeit in business), but sometimes – just sometimes – due to a lack of time between engagements, I need to be extravagant and rent a jet. And this was one of those times: we hopped from Milan over to Budapest in just an hour and a half, in this ->

…Over the Alps ->

Once in Budapest, we were straight to the venue for the annual bash for our partners (those companies that sell our products, technologies and services in their respective countries/regions). Every year we try to choose different city/resort for the event, and this year it was Budapest’s turn. We had 100+ guests attend from more than 40 countries. Not bad at all!…

Now for a few facts about our conference…

All as per usual really. We told and showed what innovations we’d come up with in the past year (many); we shared all about how the year had gone since our last global meet; and we demonstrated where we’re all headed as a friendly community, how we’re changing our product portfolio, and how we can improve collaboration with our dear partners.

More generally, it seems to me that, even countries swayed by the “modern agenda” – aka a… certain modern-day geopolitical narrative – are tired of the constant suppression of common sense and being forced to do things that don’t appear compatible with elementary logic, and which sometimes pose serious risks to survival strategies into the foreseeable future. Meanwhile here in Budapest, it was simply “welcome!” – to a world free of cynicism, multicalibral hostility, and geopolitical/media pressure. Here, it was nothing but discussion of earthly realities – albeit digital ones ).

Quick digression now; you’ll see why in a bit…

This year’s a big jubilee in Hungary – a 50-year one. Can you guess who/what of?…

The Rubik’s Cube!

Half a century ago to-the-year, a 29-year-old Ernő Rubik, a Hungarian teacher of industrial design and architecture, invented what was initially a learning device for his students (to teach them about 3-D objects). When he realized its potential as a 3-D combination puzzle, he patented it – and the rest is history.

Given this important jubilee – plus my love of all things Rubik (the bigger: the better) – we just had to make our conference a Rubik-themed one, naturally. And I kicked things off by forming “2024” on each side of four separate dozen-or-so-by-dozen-or-so-sided cubes.

Even our event memento-souvenirs were Rubik-themed, showing the evolution of our portfolio – from its early beginnings (antivirus) through to today’s top-level corporate solutions.

Here’s a Rubik’s master-solver at the conference:

And here are all three Hungarian Rubik-solving champions we invited to the conference: Balazh, Norbert and Agoston – top trainers and winners of international speed competitions. They gave brief lessons and a masterclass up on stage, finishing with solving 3×3 cubes in under 12 seconds! ->

Best of all was when they solved a Cube… blind! Woah. Now, I’m not bad at big Cubes, but blind??!! ->

Now, what else. Ah yes!…

We were staying at the Budapest Anantara. Given that there were more than 150 of us, the management of the hotel gave me a complimentary room – the President’s Suite! I’d never have booked it myself (too modest and unfussy) but, all the same, I have to admit it was a pleasant experience. Just look! ->

I’ve been in a zillion hotels around the world, but I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a room rooms halls quite so opulently lavish!

It had its own dining room ->

A cavernous bedroom:

Murano glass chandeliers:

And a bathroom you need a street map to find your way around ->

Our guests were given a full four (!) options to choose from for the post-conference spot of Budapest tourism: excursion of historical places, thermal baths, a cruise along the Danube, and something else (I’ve forgotten). I went for the Danube…

Budapest is a very particularly beautiful city. It’s rare to find such architectural excesses anywhere. Well, maybe except… yes everywhere! Sorry, I’m rambling :)…

That’s enough from me. I won’t say anything else; if I do it’ll be something daft…

I was here last in September 2021 when the weather was nicer.

There’s the Hotel Gellért, home to the Gellért Baths. I was there in 2014; this year we had no time for a visit ->

Buda Castle:

Amazing views!

And that’s all for today folks from Budapest. It was time to be heading over to Türkiye – from where I’m writing these words. Alas, the weather was terrible in Istanbul, so zero tourisms early on; let’s see if that changes during our stay…

The rest of the photos from Budapest are here.

Leave a note