“Mercedes – Global Training Experience 2016”

In the past few years Dubrovnik gained a worldwide reputation as the perfect movie set backdrop for scenes of the world-famous Game of Thrones TV series, where beautiful medieval walls became a true Fantasyland. Since the city played an important role in this popular TV series, it has understandably attracted thousands of tourists, including the attention of the Event Manager at Daimler AG, who decided to organise its annual global training sessions – the “Mercedes – Global Training Experience 2016” – in Dubrovnik.

This year’s Mercedes’ training days set for its employees and agents and held in Dubrovnik started on 4th February and will run until 14th April. Approximately 12,000 delegates, including 150 members of the team of organisers, have attended the event and every week 4 groups of around 350 to 400 delegates arrive at the Dubrovnik’s airport. The event is considered a world-class one, just as the Mercedes brand ranks as a world class brand among cars. But what has made the event more special is this year’s presentation of the E-class luxury cars, which is organised every seven years in this way. For months Mercedes Benz’s C, S and E class cars are being showcased on the streets of Dubrovnik and for this particular occasion Mercedes brought around 340 cars to Dubrovnik. New Mercedes Benz models are exhibited at several places in the city centre and have been attracting the attention of locals as well as the attention of guests visiting Dubrovnik. All the test drives are organised in the city and its surroundings, as well as in the port of Dubrovnik.

Apart from successfully establishing the necessary event infrastructure, organisers also received help from the municipal administration, namely for the needs of the event, and were allowed to use Dubrovnik’s port areas, the main Dubrovnik street – Stradun, and some other locations in the old town. Every day participants are being invited to the restaurant Klarisa, where special evening events are organised, or they can choose to individually visit other locations in the city. For the purposes of making this attractive event and for exhibiting Mercedes Benz cars the local administration and other municipal sectors, chaired by Dubrovnik’s mayor Andro Vlahušić, enabled the use of public spaces such as parts of the main street and other streets of the old town, allowing the installation of promotional banners and similar hi-tech promotional gadgets that are very eye-catching and have been grabbing the attention of local inhabitants and visitors.

“In addition to the tremendous importance of publicity the event produced, the fact that the global training of the Daimler AG company is held in the period from January to mid-April has a direct impact on business operations of several tourist companies in the area and increasing the tourism income of Dubrovnik during these months,” stated the team from the Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik, aware of the level of importance of such international events. “Promotional effects are immeasurable, but from a local point of view the direct economic effects are even more important. Numerous companies in Dubrovnik have significantly benefited from this mega-event.”

[pullquote]”What is particularly interesting is the transformation of our sports centre into a ‘training centre’,” said Perica Andrić, Sales Manager at Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel. “Also, one part of the garage is intended for training, while the other part of the garage serves as the part in which the cars are prepared for test drives.”
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Guests invited by the organiser, the Daimler AG company, have filled up several hotels’ accommodation capacities in Dubrovnik, such as Valamar President Hotel, Valamar Lacroma Hotel and Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel. In Dubrovnik Sun Gardens they expect to register around 14,000 overnight stays during the event. Mercedes E-Class is the main product of event, which holds the largest share of sales, and since Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotels enjoys the same reputation, declared as the E-Class hotel, the whole event is marked by the E-Class category.

This automobile event is not the first one to be organised in this resort, which, in addition to the traditional hotel infrastructure, offers a variety of possibilities suitable for organising this kind of event – all facilities within the resort can be accessed by car, organisers can use a multitude of options for branding, the versatility of spaces allows the transformation of the sports centre into a training center, and as the resort is close to the main road it offers the conditions for good timing and appropriate exchangeability of test drives.

A significant contribution to the successful organisation of the event was made by the local DMC agency DT Croatia, which was responsible for part of the evening programme, sightseeing, assistance in hotels and information centres, recruitment of hostesses, logistics, rental of public land and Dubrovnik’s port area and for the branding arrangements in the city.

In addition to this great automotive industry event, along with the already mentioned Game of Thrones, this March the city of Dubrovnik served as a film set for shooting scenes for the most popular film series in global aspect – the 8th edition of Star Wars,” said a satisfied team from the Tourist board of the city of Dubrovnik. “With similar global world events and the filming of mega-popular series and films such as Game of Thrones, Bollywood spectacle “FAN” and the latest film production “Spacebear”, Dubrovnik becomes globally more recognizable. All mentioned above are additional references to our city, which facilitate the presentation of the destination and motivate further on the decision makers in the organisation of big events.

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