One of the biggest offices in the international Avantgarde network is our East German branch smack bang in the old town of Dresden. We asked the local account director Robin Wenzel about the city, the office, and everything else Dresden. Just like his entire personality, his answers couldn’t be any more enthusiastic.
How and when did you join Avantgarde Dresden?
In 2001 I heard that Avantgarde was looking for intelligent, beautiful and young people for a new project in Dresden. I identified with all three skills, the project leaders agreed, and Dresden is my home town and was, is, and will always be my favourite city – it was a perfect match!
Can you please describe the Avantgarde Dresden office?
The Avantgarde Dresden office lies in the heart of the old town, right next to the historic sites „Zwinger“ and „Semperoper“. Here’s what goes down in our office: We are tourism experts, a service center, travel agents, store managers, guest managers, driver guides, cultural administrators, ticket vendors, customer service, drivers… or in short: everything that happens during three festivals, but every day and 365 days a year!
Who are your main clients?
Among our main clients are the Volkswagen Gläserne Manufaktur („Transparent Factory“) since 2002, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) since 2005, and the Semperoper (since 2009). In 2009/10 we launched „SKD-Ticketing“ and „SemperoperErleben“, our self-operated cultural management projects. This turned us into our own client! These are sustainable business models, and we are very proud that we were the first to implement them. We also help out in a lot of internal projects across the agency network, especially when it comes to process-oriented projects or projects with a high demand in staff. These are our core competencies.
You are also quite active in terms of sports…
Our employees organise many sports activities. Apart from playing beach volleyball, bowling and running groups we are also defending champions of the Dresden dragon boat race. And we are a force to reckon with in indoor football, too: Over the past couple of years the AVA team of the Gläserne Manufaktur has performed pretty well in the Volkswagen Indoor Football Cup and has won the title twice!
Let’s talk about your city. Why would you recommend travelling to Dresden?
Once you’re here you will know – and never forget! But be warned: It is very likely that you will fall in love with Dresden and decide to stay for good!
Apart from the many historic sites and museums in town – what else is a must-see in Dresden?
Well, apart from Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), Semperoper, Green Vault, Dresden Castle, Albertinum, Gläserne Manufaktur, Sistine Madonna, Gerhard Richter, the oldest paddle steamer fleet in the world, Blue Wonder, Pfunds Dairy (the world’s most beautiful dairy), Zwinger, Brühl’s Terrace, Japanese Palace, Elbe Valley (the world’s only revoked World Heritage Site), Meissen porcelain, Saxon Switzerland, Pillnitz Castle and Park, Suspension Railway, Funicular, Great Garden, Dynamo Dresden… everyone should visit the Avantgarde office and drink a beer in the Avantgarde dLOUNGE.
Where can you eat good local food? And what’s good local food anyway?
In the restaurants around tourist magnets like the Frauenkriche, e. g. „Pulverturm“ or „Sophienkeller“. If you want a star-rated taste of Saxony you should try the „Bean&Beluga“ or „Kastenmeiers“. Authentic Dresden specialities are Stollen, Eierschnecke cake and „Bliemchengaffee“.
Where to go to buy a souvenir from Dresden?
Either at the „Stadtladen!“, the „Art&Info“ or the „Schinkelwache“. All three are Avantgarde-operated shops in Dresden. „All proceeds go to Avantgarde“ – this should give you a good feeling when shopping. Also, around Neumarkt you’ll find interesting shops.
Where to find the best party in Dresden?
Every year, at the second weekend in June (13.-16.6.2014) the Dresden district of Neustadt celebrates the „Bunte Republik Neustadt“ (BRN). This is a must-see. If you like it a tad posh, head to „PureBeach“ on the Elbe river.
If I have the choice: When is the best time to visit Dresden?
Virtually anytime. From May to August you could combine your visit with an exquisite steamer cruise on the Elbe or a visit to the most beautiful open air cinema in the world – the Dresden „Filmnächte“.