We Are the Event
Thrilling music, dancing lights, the big show on stage. Each year the Daimler Supplier Award at the end of February in Stuttgart captivates with a unique atmosphere. However, the show also goes on behind the scenes – it already starts many months prior to the event.
Staging an event on the scale of the Daimler Supplier Award requires a lot of support: Service providers help to organize a smoothly running event for around 600 guests. Three of them will be described in more detail below: the event agency, the Daimler Symphony Orchestra, and the technical service provider.
After the Award is before the Award
This at least rings true for the project team as it already starts planning for next year’s event in July. Soon after the first craft is also involved: the event agency. The project team launches a new tender for event management services each year. Various agencies present their concepts as part of a so-called pitch. The project team chooses the best concept and presents it to the hosts, the Daimler Procurement Heads. Once they approve, the agency gets the go-ahead. The Daimler project team and the agency organize the agenda, presenters, award ceremony, catering, and invitation management in close collaboration with each other.
Save the date!
Decisions on who is invited are taken from June of the previous year. The three Daimler purchasing units decide this on the basis of the Daimler Supplier Network, the supplier cooperation model. Daimler’s top suppliers, so-called Key Suppliers and Strategic Partners of Global Procurement for Trucks and Buses, International Procurement Services, and Mercedes-Benz Cars Procurement and Supplier Quality, are invited. Outstanding performances in the categories Quality, Innovation, and Partnership are recognized at the award evening. The purchasing units nominate three potential winners or nominees in each category. There is also a Special Award. A total of ten suppliers are rewarded with the coveted trophy.
In October, the project team compiles the final guest list before the save the date letters are sent out to invited guests. Procurement management specifies the winners of the Daimler Supplier Awards in November so trophies then also feature the correct names. Nominees complete three compliance checks by January. Guests receive the official invitations in mid-January.
In the meantime, the pressure is on the agency to implement its layout and floor plan for the event location on the basis of the event concept. On the evening of the event, guests can then conveniently register as an online tool is used in the run-up: guests use it to register by the end of January.
Events on this scale require an agenda and management plan down to the last second and the agency already creates this in November. Productions of videos and other media presentations can only start once the plans have been completed. Everything runs together at the event agency: artists, orchestra, presenters, technology. The agency simply coordinates it all. It is responsible for making sure that all performances come together at the event like clockwork.
Recorded music? No thanks!
In addition to solo artists, such as violinist Anna Phoebe, who sparked a passion in the audience in 2016 with a thrilling performance, most of all one band of musicians dominates the evening’s atmosphere: Daimler’s very own symphony orchestra. All its members are Daimler employees who come together in their free time to make music and play in front of audiences. The music performed on the evening must match the overall concept of the event and within the remaining time until the event, the orchestra must rehearse it to perfection. Technicians are tasked with the challenge of converting a dealership operation into a concert hall: experts identify the perfect locations for the speaker system and ideally mix the sound to create the best possible sound experience for all guests. They also make sure all musicians are correctly wired up so the sound is smoothly transferred through the speakers.
Twelve kilometers of wiring, 335 lights, 100 microphones
In line with the agency’s event concept the technology service provider supplies the required technical tools, such as microphones and PA system, sets up the stage, and routes all wiring. The sound, volume, on-screen images, lighting, etc. is then fine-tuned at the dress rehearsal. Prior to and during the event, agency and technology directors form a close bond. On the evening itself they are all linked thanks to communication equipment. Making sure everything runs according to plan: welcoming guests. Presentations. Show. Speeches. Award ceremony. After show events.
Focus on excellence
In addition to support from crafts, the evening is supported by 40 Daimler employees, most of all from Procurement, for instance at reception, the cloakroom, or to hand over the silverware. Traditionally, trainees from technical and commercial units are tasked with explaining the features of vehicles. On February 23, 2017 they will all be there when the motto is once again “Focus on excellence!” It goes without saying that they will all work together again in 2018, on occasion of the Daimler Supplier Award’s tenth anniversary.