Last weekend, our Shanghai office celebrated its tenth anniversary party. Our Chinese colleagues had rented an impressive river-side location, invited clients, friends and family, and celebrated what has been the biggest success story of Avantgarde’s international expansion.
Only ten years ago, if someone had told Christian Stipp, one of the founding partners of Avantgarde China, that the new branch of the agency would grow into a company of over 80 people and become the most successful international Avantgarde office, he would have thought that you were nuts! Our China office has become a true powerhouse of experiential marketing, boasting clients such as Porsche, Mercedes AMG, Bitburger, Haribo and Bahlsen.
We were just five people and didn’t have any clients. However, even back then we shared a spirit between us that made us stand out from many other European companies in China.
Over 400 invited guests showed up for the official celebrations of Avantgarde China’s tenth anniversary, among them aforementioned clients as well as suppliers, present and past employees, friends and family. From the Munich HQ, apart from Christian CEO Martin Schnaack and board member Guido Emmerich showed up at Bund Beach, a beach club right on the Huangpu River. They were in for a special treat when the entire Avantgarde China staff suddenly joined for a flash mob dance performance – professionally choregraphed and prepared over the many weeks lining up to the big night.
Celebrations lasted until late, and many an old tale was shared among the guests. “I still remember the first day at work at our new Avantgarde office,” Christian Stipp remembers. “We were just five people and didn’t have any clients. However, even back then we believed in becoming successful. We shared a spirit between us that made us stand out from many other European companies in China.” Apart from delivering outstanding work for its clients, managing director Patrick Pesch contributes Avantgarde China’s success to three decisive factors: “Embracing the local culture, building a strong team of local and international marketing experts and having a clear vision for the company to become the best western agency in China.”
Right there on the river, next to the glimmering lights of Shanghai’s spectacular skyline, everyone raised their glasses to celebrate the first ten years, but many already had the prosperous future of the company in their minds.