It was down to the port to the Maritime Museum for the opening reception of TCF Barcelona 2016 – the 17th TCF and the biggest ever.
As ferries over the road loaded up with tourists and freight bound for the Balearics, 1,200 bankers, fintechs, analysts, reporters and tech groups were welcomed to the Catalan capital with acrobats, jugglers, music and wine inside the historic, cavernous building.
Attendees took the Connected World theme to heart – mixing, networking and joining up with old friends from past TCFs, while the replica galleon of the flagship of the Holy League of Spain appeared to float above them.
Last year in Istanbul there was calligraphy; this year it was caricatures that proved popular. Even two artists knocking them off in an average of three minutes failed to keep up with demand as polite queues formed all evening.
Robert Le Hunte of HFC Bank Ghana will add his to the collection he already has back home, and Emmanuel Annoh of the City Investment Company will frame his. Christopher Chilenga of National Bank of Malawi couldn't stop smiling and promised to put his with last year's calligraphy souvenir.
But there was also serious business being discussed. Prospects hooked up with long-term clients to get the inside story of what it's like running Temenos systems; clients put faces to Temenos insiders usually only communicated with by email; suppliers exchanged news on a rapidly-changing market; and the Innovation Jammers – here for the final – relaxed ahead of the all-important pitch on Thursday.
For Fred Cook, CIO at Blueshore Financial, it's all about the people. Wide awake at 1am, Cook was still on Canadian time. His first TCF was Berlin, six years ago, and he was happy to be back in Barcelona. He had the added bonus of watching history being made at the weekend when 19-year-old Max Verstappen became the youngest ever F1 driver to win a Grand Prix. It was a first for Cook, too.
Luis Miguel Vásquez of Inteligo Bank, Temenos client and TCF novice, waved a fistful of business cards as evidence of his successful evening. But for him, the highlight of his trip so far was another sporting event. Over from Peru, he bumped into the homecoming of his favourite football team FC Barcelona, which has just won the Spanish League. "Look at these pictures," he told me proudly. "It's a dream come true."