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WebMedia Goes Dutch

Auckland-based design company WebMedia is preparing to make a splash in one of Europe's great cities - by flying all 45 of its staff, and a selection of other enterprising New Zealanders, to Amsterdam next month.

WebMedia CEO Glenn Harding says the venture has been planned for some time as a reward for staff from the company's Auckland, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Melbourne offices.

"We've always regarded recruiting and retaining talent as one of our key issues. Our proposition to staff is that when they're working for us, they're working in the international market - and this is one way of emphasising that," says Harding.

In fact, the first staff member employed via the WebMedia website will enjoy their induction with the team in Amsterdam.

Harding adds, “It's more than that - we're looking to make a splash while we're there."

A crew from the company will be bringing the event back home via a Website dedicated to the visit, which will carry written and video reports, as well as photographic and sound entries. Other WebMedia staff will be attending and speaking at a number of events during the week.

And the adventure will culminate on April 18 with an industry event at one of Amsterdam's hippest clubs, Baby. About 200 media and industry people have been invited to join the WebMedia clan.

Music and creative visuals will be provided by New Zealand's leading independent dance music label Kog Transmissions, which is poised to plunge into the European market. DJ and broadcast star Mikey Havoc will not only host the event but he will be recording segments of the visit for his next TV series.

WebMedia's links with the city were forged last year when two of its sites - gogo.com and webmedia.com - scooped three awards, including the overall Gold Award, in the Amsterdam-based European Multimedia Association's prestigious EMMA Awards. Along the way, WebMedia beat the heavy hitters of the European Web development industry.

EMMA was so impressed with the New Zealanders and their work that WebMedia has been invited to redesign its Website, with final specifications to be worked out during the visit. EMMA and other key industry body’s have also been helping lay the ground for WebMedia's arrival, arranging contacts in the media and the multimedia and venture capital sectors.


EMMA and the Dutch government have also offered to support WebMedia's plans to open a European office in the city and Trade New Zealand's Hamburg office has offered help with local contacts.

"The way that people in Amsterdam have received the idea has been really gratifying," says Harding. "They seem genuinely excited at the prospect of a bunch of enterprising New Zealanders turning up and announcing themselves.

"The creative strength of New Zealand culture has been something we've held up as part of our brand since WebMedia was founded," says Harding. "We regard it as a competitive advantage. That's the face we'll be showing to the world."


For Further information or comment:

Tania Stoyanof
International Communications & Marketing Director
PH: 64 9 377 7910
MOB: 64 21 673 098
email: tania@webmedia.com

OR

Steve Hill
WebMedia Director
PH: 64 9 377 7910
MOB: 64 9 021 930 637
Email: steve@webmedia.com

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