Sony accesses all areas in Istanbul

Turkey's capital was convenient for the consumer giant's global retail partners, while its agency went the extra mile to deliver success.

BRIEF: Sony holds an international conference for senior managers from its leading retail partners every two years. The event, which is designed to update them on the company's latest products and future plans, brings together 1,200 delegates from more than 50 countries. The programme, which includes high-profile entertainment, has to take place at a destination that is easily accessible from Asia, Western Europe and the US with an internationally-acclaimed convention centre.

CHALLENGES: Sony settled on upon Istanbul for the event, a decision that HRG Turkey vice-president Peri Holden believes reflects the country's growing stature.

"More multinational companies are choosing Istanbul due to its outstanding infrastructure including modern luxurious accommodation, state-of-the-art venues and experienced conference professionals," he says.

The conference had been booked to take place at the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC). But in the lead up to the event, heavy construction work began on a site near the centre, closing down two-thirds of the access roads and gridlocking traffic. With contracts already signed, a last-minute venue change was out of the question. HRG Turkey incoming operations manager Nadin Aynali recalls that the nerve-jangling moment as the agency scoped other plans. "Our dilemma was how to transfer 1,200 delegates using 40 coaches from five different hotels without any delays," he says.

Also when Sony's Japanese event agency KNT Delegate emailed the registration data-file, some of the information was corrupted. This would have resulted in the loss of registration data, critical at such a high-security event that included a private concert by Gloria Estefan and the FIFA World Cup on display.

SOLUTION: Too late to consider a change of venue, HRG Turkey instead entered a game of diplomacy using their local contacts. "We had numerous meetings with the local police and traffic authorities," recalls Aynali. "Finally, we were permitted to change the traffic flow in the city around the ICEC area, thus providing our vehicles with priority access."

To accommodate the 40 coaches and avoid running into traffic each time, HRG also hired two public parking lots for the entire duration of the event. "This meant our coaches had easy and immediate access to ICEC at all times," adds Aynali.

To overcome the IT glitches HRG had its in-house technology team design new software allowing them to import data directly from KNT's platform. HRG also arranged 24-hour security for the whole event, as well an all-hours emergency hotline.

EXECUTION: On arrival at Istanbul, delegates checked into a number of hotels, including the Conrad Istanbul, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt Regency and Swissotel The Bosphorous. Each respective hotel held a welcoming reception on the first night, while the conference was held at the ICEC over the next three days. The programme included product exhibitions, a series of seminars, break-out networking sessions, as well as gala dinners for each of Sony's respective marketing regions. The event closed with a grand reception at at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski with a performance from Gloria Estefan.

VERDICT: Sony corporate events management general manager Keiko Aoki was pleased with how HRG handled the event and felt it matched Sony's brand values.

"HRG Turkey's quality and the hospitality given to us was remarkable," she says. "It successfully managed 1,200 guests coming from more than 50 countries and arranged requested special vehicles, restaurant bookings and a variety of sightseeing tours," she says. "HRG Turkey was highly appreciated by our invited guests and received very positive feedback."

FACTFILE
Client: Sony
Event: Conference
Group: Size 1,200
Agency: HRG Turkey
Date: 22-24 July 2008
Venues: Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre
Budget: Undisclosed

- Sony en Turquie

Tous les deux ans, Sony organise une conference internationale pour presenter aux directeurs des distributeurs partenaires ses derniers produits et projets. L'Istanbul Convention & Exhibition Centre a ete choisi pour accueillir les delegues arrivant des quatre coins du monde. Les travaux de construction problematiques pres du Centre ont necessite une negociation avec les autorites qui ont delivre un laisser-passer prioritaire aux vehicules des delegues. Il a fallu egalement importer des donnees du Japon pour resoudre un probleme informatique. Cinq hotels ont accueilli les 1 200 participants qui ont assiste, pendant trois jours, a des presentations produits, des seminaires, des seances de networking et un diner de gala organise pour chaque region marketing de Sony. Une reception grandiose au Ciragan Palace Kempinski avec un spectacle de Gloria Estefan a cloture l'evenement.

- Sony in Turkei

Sony en Turquia

Cada dos anos Sony celebra una conferencia internacional para informar a sus socios minoristas sobre sus ultimos productos y planes de futuro. Se necesitaba un local muy bien comunicado, asi que se opto por el Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC). El problema de las obras que tenian lugar cerca del recinto se soluciono con la obtencion de vehiculos para la conferencia con acceso prioritario. Los fallos informaticos se resolvieron importando los datos directamente de Japon. Se utilizaron cinco hoteles para alojar a los 1.200 delegados. El programa de tres dias incluyo exposiciones, seminarios, sesiones para establecer contactos y cenas de gala para cada una de las regiones de marketing de Sony. El evento se clausuro con una recepcion en el Ciragan Palace Kempinski y la actuacion de Gloria Estefan.

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