South Africa’s award winning brand experience agency, the VWV Group, recently flexed its global muscle when it was appointed to produce the Bavaria commercial sales conference in Colombia. Bavaria is an SABMiller subsidiary and the biggest single contributor to profits in the SABMiller global empire.
The conference, held entirely in Spanish, was themed “Vamos” or “Let’s Go”, and VWV was responsible for producing and directing the strategic messaging, including 19 different brand presentations. The two day event was held at the Las Americas Hotel, in the beachside resort of Cartagna, catering for 1 380 delegates from all corners of Colombia.
VWV, an agency dedicated to conceptualising and executing campaigns that connect consumers to the world’s leading brands, pitched against five other Bogota-based companies. Having won the job based on creative, experience and track record, VWV set about transforming what was traditionally more of a party event, to a more serious, strongly strategic opportunity for corporate and brand messaging.
The chairman of the VWV Group, Mark Steinhobel explained, “There were huge challenges involved in producing this conference. Firstly, working on an event in a foreign country is never easy, and then working in a country that isn’t English speaking just adds more stress to the situation.” The other challenge VWV faced, was that it was held miles away from any resources and all the equipment required to pull the event together needed to be transported in.
In addition to the assistance of its USA office, VWV called on Ricardo Gressel in particular in order to pull together a seamless conference. Gressel, a brand communications specialist, was instrumental in managing a new strategic direction that needed to strike the delicate balance between information and entertainment that was achieved through storytelling, instead of mundane PowerPoint presentations. For this reason the event was concluded with great feedback. In particular, a glowing report from the CEO of Bavaria, Richard Rushton who said, “It has been a 500% improvement on previous years!”
Steinhobel finished by saying, “VWV has set a new benchmark for the Bavaria Colombian conference and the 2012 event has been seen as a turning point for the company. We were really happy with all the glowing feedback and despite the various challenges, managed to deliver a great event that ticked all the boxes.”