CiviDay Cologne (or Köln, as the city is called in German) was a pretty lively gettogether of CiviCRM old-timers and newcomers. It was hosted by Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst and SYSTOPIA Organisationsberatung. With 16 participants it showed healthy interest in CiviCRM in (western) Germany. After all, this was the first meetup of its kind in the Cologne-Bonn area, and CiviCRM usage and community networks in Germany generally still have some room to grow. So we are already planning on follow-up user meetings since a strong community will be the key to CiviCRM's success here.
Newbies could get their feet wet in a brief introduction to CiviCRM. Naturally, there was a lot of interest in how CiviCRM can be adapted to specific German organizations' needs. The good news is that we have already made a pretty good part of the way. With extensions for SEPA direct debit, automated processing of bank statements and generation of donation receipts according to German law, the most critical features are now available. One issue that was discussed in detail was how features that fundraisers in Germany would usually expect can be integrated (e.g. recording costs and having Return On Investment reporting, interfaces and functionality for complex campaign/action planning). Hopefully, there will be a GSoC project for that. A round of lightning talks on a variety of topics completed the event and showed those who didn't already know the flexibility and power of CiviCRM.
German speakers can find more info in this post on the SYSTOPIA blog.