Dow and PortAventura Convention Centre
Tarragona – 3 March 2014 – Over the last three weeks, Dow has reunited in Tarragona 800 employees in service at its many centres worldwide in order to carry out a UAT (User Acceptance Test) on its new NEA (Next Enterprise Architecture) global management system. This is a great investment that Dow is making to improve their work processes and management systems.
For organisation of the event and accommodation of participants, Dow relied on the experience of PortAventura Business & Events. The meetings began on 10th February and lasted until last Friday 28th February, using the PortAventura Convention Centre as a central hub. The convention centre was turned into a work and meeting space for Dow’s 800 employees, who were staying at the PortAventura Resort hotels.
NEA is made up of a series of information technology tools that will be gradually implemented in all Dow centres, resulting in improved workflow and the potential for transverse processes. This will lead to key improvements in the Company’s competitiveness and increase its technological efficiency and quality and service to its customers.
In light of this, and due to the upcoming implementation of NEA, the PortAventura Convention Centre was chosen as the ideal place where 800 employees conducted, from 10th to 28th February, the testing phase of this new update for SAP, the acronym used to name the computer system that deals with all of Dow’s business management.
After looking at several alternatives in various locations across Europe, Tarragona was chosen because of its numerous advantages including excellent structure and access to existing facilities in the area, security, proximity to Barcelona airport and also to Dow’s Industrial Complex in Tarragona. This means that Camp de Tarragona welcomed 800 attendees of 31 nationalities coming from 100 airports in 25 different countries. Guests and training providers also had the opportunity to visit the Industrial Complex of Dow Tarragona and other cultural and tourist attractions of metropolitan Tarragona and Barcelona.
Everyone who took part had intensive NEA training and testing during these three weeks in order to deepen their knowledge and strengths so that they are able to put these skills into action in the coming months. All in all, it was the most diverse and inclusive event of its kind to be held so far at the PortAventura Convention Centre, Dow’s Global System Implementation manager, Tom Christie, explained that “for Dow, efficiency and security are fundamental pillars and to be able to test the NEA with over 145,000 hours of actual work is invaluable for all that we have been able to learn, implement and share“.
Jacobus Roofack, event manager, also praised “the excellent choice of Tarragona, given that PortAventura has provided great facilities and the utmost attention at all times through its excellent business and hotel infrastructure and also for the great quality of service and customer care they have given us. We have enjoyed a fantastic relationship with its staff, as well as excellent communications, surroundings and opportunities that have allowed us to make the most of this UAT“.
Finally, the Director of the Dow Chemical Tarragona Industrial Complex, Kepa Díaz de Mendibil, stressed that “it is an honour for Tarragona to have been selected to host this event as it is not only a strategic choice for the Company, but strengthens the competitiveness of our Site and the area in which we are located“. Kepa Díaz de Mendibil concluded with a highly positive evaluation of this gathering of how “it has been an excellent example of how to leverage the existing synergies in our region amongst the different agents and economic driving forces in our environment“.
PortAventura Convention Centre: event hosting venue
Director of PortAventura Business & Events, Belén Madrid, explained “we were well aware from the start of the relevance of the NEA project and for this reason we have worked closely with Dow to be able to pick up on all their needs and define every detail of their stay at our resort. Our role was to provide seamless logistics to ensure the full attention of Dow employees could be focused exclusively on getting the most out of this meeting”.
To meet these needs, PortAventura Business & Events put together an event logistics team of over 200 people including production teams, technicians, catering, hotel, security, cleaning and maintenance staff. The entire convention centre was divided into compartments and adapted to create spaces for work, meetings and presentations, as well as areas for relaxation and discussions. These 20 days resulted in more than 12,000 overnight stays in the resort hotels and preparation of over 30,000 breakfasts and lunches at both the Convention Centre and Hotel PortAventura and Gold River restaurants. This has been one of the biggest events organised to date at the PortAventura resort.
The CEO of PortAventura, Fernando Aldecoa, stated that “it has been a privilege to be able to contribute to the success of such an important event for a multinational like Dow, a worldwide leader within the chemical industry and in turn a key company for the economic sector in the province of Tarragona. This meeting also allowed us to demonstrate the extensive skills of our human resources and the capacity of the PortAventura facilities to host events of such great organisational complexity”.