15.08.2018 12:52 Uhr (CET) | RRaffaeli@erichkeller.com
Right from the beginning of the Erich Keller USA penetration campaign, it was made clear to me that talks on the golf course are fundamental in our industry. Not (yet) a golfer, a big handicap for me. In my former job, I was able to organize and carry out a "Golf & Dive Event" together with colleagues. Golfers and scuba divers met at a well-known German golf club and exchanged experiences of the respective activities. Golfers had the opportunity to make their first diving experiences in the club pool, accompanied by diving instructors. Divers were allowed to test their skills in handling golf clubs and golf balls. The highlight were the dives in the big club lake, where divers collected golf balls. The club paid the Project AWARE Foundation EUR 2.00 for each ball collected.
A few months ago, I met Rhonda from Waldner´s Business Environment, Alyson from CBRE and Vinny from RDA for an after-work drink. The story of talks on the golf course came up for discussion again. Rich in experience from the "Golf & Dive Event" mentioned above, I euphorically discussed my idea and plans for a "Golf & Dive Event" at Glen Oaks Club. I was listened to with wide eyes. As usually happens with after-work discussions, the ideas and suggestions became "better" as the evening progressed. Among other things - to give it a "Swiss touch" - ideas like "Tell - Competition" (with crossbow and arrows shooting at targets) or "Alphorn - Competition" (participants who could have lived out their melodious vein on the original Swiss national instrument) were discussed. However, these ideas were not taken any further due to the risks and possible logistical problems.
My enthusiasm for an event at the Glen Oaks Club waned relatively quickly - at the latest when the topics of liability and insurance came up for discussion. Nevertheless, I liked the idea of "Swissness" in New York. I contacted the Swiss Embassy in New York and discussed my idea with the Swiss Business Hub Team, who assured me of their support and that of the embassy. At the same time, I asked the marketing department of IWC Americas if they saw opportunities for holding a joint event in their New York boutique. I used the successful partnership between IWC and Erich Keller as a door opener. After discussions regarding invited guests, goals and event story, IWC gave the OK for the use of their location.
On May 16th we were able to welcome nearly 50 guests at Madison Avenue. Mr. Giorgio Pompilio - Deputy Ambassador of the Swiss Consulate in New York officially opened the "Swiss Night Experience". His words on Erich Keller´s successful story were refreshing. The list of projects successfully completed worldwide, the production and presentation of Switzerland´s gift to the UN at UN headquarters, the naming of prestigious awards in the fields of innovation and design, but above all the mention in the same sentence of Swiss quality, precision, engineering, IWC and Erich Keller, were like balm to the soul.
Then the buffet with Swiss wine, Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolates opened. The IWC watchmaker who was present offered guests a workshop and participants were allowed to disassemble and reassemble IWC watches. To the best of my knowledge, only one of Gensler´s lady architects was successful in managing to re-assemble the many screws and miniature gears into a functioning unit. In any case, it was an interesting experience. The lively discussions came to an end late in the evening and the guests were able to enjoy another little highlight - another piece of Swiss engineering and innovation - the Erich Keller economy peeler. After a short explanation everyone understood how the "part" can be used effectively without injuring oneself.
Many thanks to all participants who braved the heavy rain and found their way to the IWC Boutique. Many thanks also to Waldner´s Business Environment and the IWC team for their great support. We would also like to thank the Swiss Embassy and the Swiss Business Hub for their help. Thoughts of a "Golf & Dive Event" are still floating around somewhere at the back of my mind. For the time being, however, we are happy with a successful "Swiss Night Experience"!