VIP hospitality in the blood
Years of experience in the VIP industry, passion for live experiences and enthusiasm for digital innovations: The 30 employees of the first worldwide digital marketplace for VIP hospitality DAIMANI redefine the VIP ticket market.
Max Müller walks swiftly up the stairs. Past the offices of Amazon Web Services on the second floor, past the reception of the Zurich "Co-Working SPACES" and one floor up to the DAIMANI empire. Here beats the strategic heart of the company, the DAIMANI marketplace, on which VIP packages from over 300 event providers can already be booked today. Soon there will be over 1,000.
Digitisation in VIP hospitality: Replacing the Linear Sales Model
Max Müller and Christian Nilson have been working on the idea of a digital platform for the VIP hospitality business for a long time. Seven years ago, the current CEO Müller and the COO and co-founder Nilson of DAIMANI developed a kind of precursor for the DACH region and Great Britain. But it quickly became clear that a VIP hospitality platform was needed to enable customers worldwide to book events. Both have been in the VIP hospitality industry for years. Long enough to know that "linear sales models" no longer fit well with the times. Discussing the event by telephone, confirming it by fax or e-mail and sending the ticket by post: this is how the business with VIP hospitality often still works. Andreas Truttenbach can vividly tell stories about these disadvantages. So it's no wonder that the head of a medium-sized family run company, who is a regular VIP hospitality customer since many years, is now the main investor in DAIMANI's digital business. Only about ten percent of the VIP business is booked online. "Much too little, because the customer expects a booking to go as smoothly as it does at Amazon ,and the ticket should be digitally available," says Truttenbach, who has also been able to win over his CFO Thomas Plocher for DAIMANI.
Organization: Management and Board of Directors established
Pascal Portes completes the supervisory board at DAIMANI as the second board member alongside Truttenbach. CEO Müller, CFO Plocher and COO Christian Nilson form the operational management and complement the team of decision-makers. The Frenchman Portes is probably the most prominent VIP hospitality expert in sporting terms: as a tennis professional he made to the 44th place in the world rankings and represented France for the Davis Cup before entering the sports management and VIP hospitality market. As Managing Director France, he is close to top events such as the French Open or the Tour de France. In addition, together with Müller and Nilson, he had already managed VIP packages for the last World Cups in Russia, Brazil, South Africa and Germany - from strategic planning to operational execution.
Experts with decades of industry experience in the regions
Since the birth of DAIMANI, the international VIP business has been part of the company's DNA. This is reflected on the one hand in the employees, who usually have decades of experience in the VIP business, but also in the fact that DAIMANI is represented in many regions with its own offices: Paris, Hong Kong, London, Cape Town - DAIMANI is present at many event hotspots. In Hong Kong, for example, Charlie Charters, ex-journalist and book author, who has a broad experience in the VIP business. Among other things, he has handled the global sales of football world championships and brings with him a large event network. "He opens doors and concludes partnerships" says Müller about the man he has known for a long time and who now serves the Asian business as Managing Director for DAIMANI Hong Kong Limited, a "strong" market of around 2.5 billion euros, which is becoming increasingly important. More and more major events are coming to Asia: The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Championship has just taken place in China, the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. However, DAIMANI also has its specialists on the European market who bring with them corresponding regional experience in VIP hospitality. Charters' counterpart for the German market is Oliver Gerst. For the German Touring Car Championship at Hockenheim, the Stuttgart German Masters and the CHIO of show jumpers in Aachen, the co-founder of the company brings his industry experience with him, as well as excellent contacts to the German Football Association.
High-end platform for VIP: The time has come.
Back to the platform. A digital marketplace for so many events requires a technology that can handle the number of daily transactions. To make it work, professionals with a healthy dose of passion are needed to keep bringing new ideas to the platform. The trained hotel specialist with an MBA Christian Nilson occupies a key position - both strategically and operationally. Nilson and Müller had 50 events back when, Nilson looked after the back office, Müller was the man for business. Now, with over 300 events, the DAIMANI go-live is way bigger. Even back then, it was clear that the digital transformation in various industries was already underway and it was only a matter of time before it would also assert itself in this segment. The time has come.
Be that little bit better
Building a digital marketplace for VIP hospitality is not a nine-to-five job. Perseverance, stress resistance and a lot of heart are essential ingredients. After all, it's just like sports. Success doesn't come without sweat. Pascal Portes and Max Müller know this "being a bit better" than the competition well - Portes from numerous tie breaks on the tennis court, Müller from his time as a decathlete. Today, the two are sparring partners in the global world of VIP experiences.