Monday, April 03, 2006

Gdansk Too

Graham Rust sent over additional details of the Dialogue Managers’ Meeting. I thought it would be fun to put it in a Q&A format…him being such a celebrity and all. (Kinda like a dialogue – get it?) Link through to the new Dialogue members here, too.

(Britisher Graham, although founder and MD of the agency in the Czech Republic, can’t break his deplorable English spelling habit.)

Richard: Why – why – are all your photographs labeled “Sopot?”

Graham: The meeting was held in the Seaside “city” of Sopot, between Gdyna and Gdansk (together they make up the Tri-Cities.) Sopot boasts the longest wooden pier in Europe – see above. The resort, and indeed the practice of bathing in the sea (previously unthinkable to Poles), was originated by a Frenchman, a Monsieur Jean Haffner, after whom the event hotel was named.

R: The meeting went well?

G: The meeting’s usual good humour was only threatened by controversy over which country had the best windsurfing location in Europe. For the time being, with respect to our hosts, it was accepted as Poland.

R: What about your hosts?

G: Mediafocus, the host agency, was founded in Gdansk and still runs a successful office there, although they recognised the need to open in Warsaw. Grzegorz Inglot, MD of the Warsaw operation had to drive back overnight for an essential meeting on Friday...with regrets, he says he still feels at home in Gdansk.

R: There’s a new member in Turkey?

G: Dialogue’s new member for Turkey is OYKU (which means “little story” or “legend”). By coincidence, they started business in Ankara, the political capital; but realised they also needed an office in the commercial capital, Istanbul.

R: And in Spain and Portugal?

G: Below Group, the new member for Spain was founded in Seville, but eventually centered their head office in Madrid. They also opened in Barcelona, and then in Lisbon. So while Dialogue has grown from 20 to 22 agencies, we have actually added six important cities to Dialogue’s unequalled European coverage.

R: What up with the Dutch?

G: Dialogue’s member for the Netherlands, DataGold, has joined forces with another Dutch agency to become a new agency called Great, a powerful and professional agency, based in Rotterdam.

R: How about new business for Dialogue, the network?

G: Two major business issues were developed. The network is in the process of securing the pan-European dealer marketing task for a major brand, and the 2006 Dialogue Forum will execute a brand development project for a pan-European luxury brand. We look forward to releasing the identities of these two important network clients soon.

R: What’s the meeting schedule going forward?

G: The Dialogue 2006 Forum will be held in Malta, the autumn Managers' Meeting in Paris...and, for 2007, we are spoilt for choice of new destinations for the ongoing series of meetings which build the strong personal and business relationships of Dialogue. (As my father-in-law, a Lincolnshire butcher, used to say: “this’l’atter’do.”)

Best to you, Richard. Never a meeting goes by without your name coming up, and always with affection.

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