The Arrival: Celebrating The Arrival Of Gas
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The Arrival: Celebrating The Arrival Of Gas

Expectations were extremely high – as Nord Stream is the only major new European pipeline project to be realised on time and on budget.

Holmes Report

Nord Stream is a natural gas pipeline system that will link Russia and the European Union through the Baltic Sea. In November 2012, with construction of the first of the twin pipelines completed, everything stood ready for delivery of Russian gas to Europe. This was a truly remarkable milestone for the Nord Stream project and a benchmark worthy of celebrating.

Expectations  of political  stakeholders  were extremely  high – as Nord Stream  is the only major new European pipeline project to be realised both on time and on budget. No other new pipeline is expected  to be operating  before 2015.  Furthermore,  Nord Stream’s  high political profile necessitated the invitation of high-ranking European guests to an event aimed at  contributing  to the reputation  of the company,  which  has made  a vital contribution  to Europe’s energy security.

On the day the Nord Stream Pipeline was officially put into operation, the “Arrival of Gas” event  was  held  in  proximity  to  the  remote  location  where  the  pipeline  reaches  land  in Lubmin, Germany. It is at this location that the gas transported through Nord Stream flows into connecting  pipelines.  Heads of government  and other political and business  leaders symbolically “opened the tap” to mark the first flow of gas.Nord Stream (along with leading agency TRIAD Berlin Projektgesellschaft mbH) had to develop a thoroughly convincing and creative event with the highest of standards –set “in the middle of nowhere”.

Objectives:

With this event, Nord Stream aimed to:
• Underline the value of the gas delivery for European consumers
• Create high awareness for the occasion
• Underline the importance of Nord Stream for providing secure energy supply to Europe, and its importance in the energy partnership between Europe and Russia
• Showcase Nord Stream as a truly transboundary European project and as one of the most important international infrastructure projects
• Deliver extensive information about the project

Challenges:

From the onset, Nord Stream faced the following challenges in organising the event: A benchmark project such as Nord Stream had to be celebrated as such.
The event for the start of construction of the pipeline held in 2010 at Portovaya Bay (near
Wyborg, Russia) was a hugely successful event. Therefore, the celebration of the first flow of gas through the pipeline in 2011 had to be even more impressive and creative. The event plan had to be so convincing as to persuade high-ranking European politicians and the media to travel to the remote location of Lubmin.
All preparations, planning and implementation had to consider “G 4” conditions (due to attendance of at least four high-ranking European politicians).
Complete event infrastructure  had to be erected at Nord Stream’s German landfall at
Lubmin, Germany.
In a nutshell: Only a solid event concept would convince heads of government and state to  participate,  and  their  attendance  was  key to  creating  the  media  resonance  Nord Stream wished to achieve.

Strategy:

Nord Stream created an event with a compelling core idea / story line, underscored by a
“catchy” claim, “The Arrival” and key visuals, including a film and the symbolic opening of the “tap”.
Nord  Stream  planned  the  construction  of  an  unique  temporary  tent  city  in  Lubmin, Germany.
From the very beginning, high requirements on logistics and security efforts necessary for the protection of high-ranking individuals were considered.

Planning:

Core idea and story line: The event showed the vision of the Nord Stream project – from the initial concept to planning to realisation. The audience was able to see the “journey” of the gas from Russia to the EU in a specially developed film, and was witness to the arrival of gas (Find out more in attached presentation, slide 5).
Claim and key visual: “The Arrival” was a simple and catchy claim for what could be witnessed  at the event. Additionally,  the methane  gas molecule  formed  a key visual throughout the design, architecture, and event logo.
Construction: The construction of the tent structure was designed to mirror a methane gas molecule. The high-quality dome-shaped tents offered space for a welcome area, a “ceremonial  dome”, VIP-facilities,  press area and functional facilities  such as kitchen; wardrobes, etc. (See more impressions and photos of the dome city on attached discs). Flow of events: The flow of event offered a fascinating experience to the guests while taking the tight time management  of high-ranking  guests into consideration  (Find out more in attached presentation, slide 10). A reception in Berlin on the eve of the event (combined with a Nord Stream photo exhibition) worked as an appropriate kick-off for the event.
Creativity: A creative atmosphere informed the audience on the Nord Stream project in a highly entertaining  way.  The highlight  was a 360-degree  projection  of a film  created specifically for the occasion onto the dome within the main ceremonial tent. Of note: The projection  on the main screen on stage was also connected  to the projection  on the domed ceiling. (Watch the movie on attached USB-stick).
Administration: Early and detailed planning, and close cooperation with institutions such as  the  German  Federal  Office  of  Criminal  Investigation,  Federal  Police,  etc.  was undertaken to ensure the safety of guests.

Results:

The huge success of the event (qualitative and quantitative) spoke for itself:
More than 400 international, high-ranking guests attended – we were proud to welcome Angela  Merkel  (German  Chancellor),  Dmitry  Medvedev  (President  of  the  Russian Federation), Jean-Francois Fillon (Prime Minister of France), Mark Rutte (Prime Minister of the Netherlands), Günther Oettinger (European Commissioner for Energy) and many, many more…(Find out more in attached presentation, slide 14 & 15).
Guests  were  welcomed  with  high-end  catering  in  a  tent-city,  realised  at  the  bay  of Lubmin. An emotional  and technically superior entertainment  programme  provided an appropriate framework for the festive speeches.
Ideal “politics meets business” platform, and ideal platform as knowledge pool and for management discussions.
Smooth flow of events, despite huge security requirements.
Media  results:  1,528  news  articles,  wires  stories  and  news  features  surrounded  the event, 1,820 online articles monitored during the same time. 220 TV features and 130 radio reports surrounding the event broadcasted in the key countries (November 4-10). All three major German news networks (Phoenix, n-tv and N24) broadcasted live from Lubmin.

 

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