Christmas party at SMA – an unparalleled event. Colleagues assured in advance that the party would be something very special. They also reminded that as a new SMA employee, I would definitely have to sing. I was not worried in the least and was looking forward to my first Christmas party last Friday in the Kassel exhibition halls.
The first impression was overwhelming: Tables were set, replete with Christmas decorations, for around 4,300 SMA employees. The buffet, which was set up in the adjacent hall, offered a litany of tasty delicacies and required next to no waiting time. A number of colleagues made a great deal of baked goods, creating a bottleneck of people at the cake buffet. In the end, we ate it all. I decided that I would definitely bake a cake for next year’s Christmas party.
Diversified & Emotional Program
I naturally wanted to be as close to the stage as possible to take in the activities up close and personal, which kicked off at 3:00 p.m. In his opening speech, Speaker of the Managing Board, Pierre-Pascal Urbon, clearly pointed out how turbulent the fiscal year was and how well we managed the difficult challenges. Chair of the Works Council, Yvonne Siebert, also spoke about the positive and negative aspects of the developments in 2011. Our Managing Board proved to be genuine talkshow hosts. During a very informative and entertaining discussion round, Pierre-Pascal Urbon asked his Managing Board colleagues what they achieved in their respective departments over the year and how things would continue in 2012. Company founders Günther Cramer and Peter Drews also spoke. They orchestrated a very personal look back over the last 30 years. As they drew their speech to a close, they were certain that “We could not have done it better.” Then came an impressive response: All the SMA employees gave thunderous applause and standing ovations for several minutes.
I got goose bumps once again as some of my colleagues beamed up on the stage singing a song. Chief Sales Officer, Marko Werner, left quite the friendly impression as he accepted the musical singer Lisa’s invitation to dance on the stage. After the program was over, the SMA band fired up the crowd and entertained the guests. We danced in the disco until the wee hours of the morning.
To sum it all up, it was a fantastic party and the Trade Show & Events team were flawless in organizing it. It’s just too bad that we did not raise more money at the annual Christmas donation campaign. After all, SMA supports three social projects with this campaign.