Making of: The 2019 Uniper Annual General Meeting
Behind the scenes at the shareholders' meeting, attended by almost 1000 internal and external participants
Christian Wülfing has been preparing for the third Uniper Annual General Meeting with his seven members events team for over two years. "This is the first time we've held the event in Düsseldorf, because the shareholders' meetings were previously held in Essen — in the slipstream of our former parent company, E.ON," explains our chief protocol officer.
Christian Wülfing is no stranger to big events: The Senior Vice President Corporate Protocol & Live Communications organizes approximately 100 events for us every year, including trade fairs such as E-world in Essen and trade congresses abroad such as Gastech and the World Gas Conference. He previously worked in the international hotel industry for 20 years, before finding his way to Uniper via Ruhrgas and our predecessor company, E.ON Global Commodities.
Organizing an Annual General Meeting in the Stadthalle of the Congress Center Düsseldorf is a mammoth task, posing a challenge not only to Christian Wülfing's team. A total of 150 colleagues are involved on-site and during the event — including around 300 external service personnel for security, technical equipment and catering. Simply feeding the guests requires 30 chefs and 90 service staff to prepare 170 kilograms of currywurst, 180 kilograms of frikadellen and 3583 small bowls for side dishes and desserts. That's on top of 400 liters of coffee, 60 liters of milk and 20 kilograms of sugar.
How does it all look up close? The "welcome area" begins behind the entry inspection point and includes the assembly hall, in which the Management Board and Supervisory Board host Q&As. Loudspeakers in the welcome area allow shareholders to relax there while listening to the speeches. To the right of the hall is the "dialog zone" where, in addition to the catering area and press center for journalists, there are also a number of presentation panels about security of supply, power plants, climate and the future of energy. The striking technical exhibits were designed by our trainees from the power plant sector. The exhibit at which visitors can immerse themselves in Uniper's business model and the world of energy through augmented reality provided by a HoloLens is a definite highlight.
Everyone is familiar with pictures from the media when the Management Board and the Supervisory Board—in our case CFO Christopher Delbrück, standing in for CEO Klaus Schäfer who is currently unwell, and Supervisory Board Chairman Dr. Bernhard Reutersberg—report to the shareholders and take questions. But a look backstage is also extremely interesting: 50 of our experts in total are stationed next to the control room for live broadcasting, taking shareholders' questions, summarizing them and passing them on to the Management Board and Supervisory Board in folders to be answered at the podium. The afternoon's exciting finale also takes place backstage: The electronic counting of votes on the agenda items at the Annual General Meeting, which will be carried out on tablets after all the speeches.
Christian Wülfing and his team look forward to such challenges, organizing everything to a tee time and time again — even though he walked almost 9 miles and climbed 23 staircases the day before the AGM alone. Once again, it was all worth it: everything went perfectly according to plan.