“Ahoy there, shipmates!” – Summer festival attracts over 800 guests

A harbour and beach in the middle of Radevormwald, well inland in western Germany? This year’s Kuhn Edelstahl summer festival made it possible. Held under the “Ahoy there, shipmates!” banner, the festival turned the company site into a virtual harbour, complete with “Chill Beach”, pirate ship, fish-and-chip stall and “Hover Man” 5D simulator. It all went off as planned, with more than 800 guests responding to the call of the sea. “This is a whole new record, given that there were about 200 fewer visitors last time. We wanted to offer something for the whole family to enjoy, with an opportunity for employees to show off their jobs and place of work”, in the words of CEO Andre Kuhn.

Photo action with props to the motto

From sea-shanty choir to duck fishing

Apart from the food and drink stalls, which were free of charge for visitors, attractions included a wide range of activities to enjoy in the glorious late-summer weather. There was face-painting for the children, a plastic-duck fishing competition and a chance to browse the harbour market. One big centre of attraction was the bouncy castle in the form of a pirate ship, and the members of the Leverkusen Shanty Choir provided entertainment with their traditional sailors’ songs.

CEOs get a soaking

A few senior managers went for a “swim”, so to speak, and all in a good cause. This involved them sitting on a ducking stool suspended over a large tank of water. Visitors were invited to pay two euros each for three attempts to hit the buzzer with a ball. Those that hit the button dropped the unfortunate boss concerned into the water. The event raised €420 for the Children’s and Young People’s Circle of the Town of Radevormwald.

Promoting cohesion

One special feature of this summer festival, which takes place every two years, alternating with our Christmas party, is its open character. We invite not only employees, but also their families, close friends and former colleagues. Not all companies invite staff members’ families to events like this. “This is really important to our employees. Additional key benefits for the company include worker motivation and retention, plus a collective sense of community”, says Andreas Döbler, the man in charge of the firm’s training programmes. This is how company CEO Andre Kuhn expresses it: “We are a value-oriented family business. We offer our employees a bit of extra stability in an ever-more restless world.”

Business in transformation

Stability is not the same as stasis. The key to long-term success lies in continuous further development, as Andre Kuhn says: “The summer festival nevertheless offers a great opportunity to take a break and celebrate what we have already achieved together.”

One man well-placed to judge the changes that have taken place is a former employee like Georg Keusen, who worked for Kuhn Special Steel for 33 years before retiring eight years ago.

“Wow!” is all I can say about what has become of the Despatch Department. Does it really now involve a team of eleven?!?” They are needed of course, given that the 1,800 square-metre facility handles 200 metric tons of goods every month. He and his fellow visitors are already looking forward to the next summer festival scheduled to be held in two years’ time.

Site plan of the summer party “Ahoi Comrades”

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