12 Apr 2022

A virtual spectacle instead of a press conference

Event concept and execution on a digital platform

Client

Mercator

Year

2021

Written by

Kristijan Radikovič

Mercator is a significant driver of the Slovene economy. Not only is it the chain store operator with the longest, 70-year tradition and one of the first self-service stores in Slovenia – it is also the best partner to local suppliers. Mercator is also one of the most prominent regional innovators in the field or retail. Its turnaround strategy has set an example for other West Balkans retailers to follow. In 2021, Mercator’s shares were bought by a Croatian powerhouse – the Fortenova Group.

Background

In 2014, Mercator was acquired by the Croatian Agrokor. Three years later, various circumstances forced the new owner of Mercator into a difficult position, which marked the beginning of the most complex restructuring of any European company in 2017–2018. Out of Agrokor’s ashes, a new company arose – the Fortenova Group, which successfully restructured Agrokor’s debt within a year.

But despite the fact that Fortenova acquired most of Agrokor’s retail, food, and agricultural companies, Mercator remained under Agrokor for a number of reason. In this time, Mercator revamped its turnaround strategy, kept repaying its debt and innovating its business models. In 2021, Fortenova finally acquired Mercator, which further strengthened Mercator’s presence on the regional markets.

For this occasion, Mercator and Fortenova Group wanted to hold a press conference, but they had trouble organizing it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They ultimately decided to move the conference online with a livestream in four languages: Slovene, Croatian, Serbian and English. To help them develop the concept and stream the event, they contacted our team, since we haver all the necessary journalist and production knowledge.

Solution

The one-hour press conference on the acquisition of Mercator by the Croatian Forenova Group was streamed live frrom the Ljubljana Castle. The features, statements by the management and questions from Slovene suppliers for the CEO of Forenova Group and the President of Mercator’s Management Board were pre-recorded. This combination of livestream and pre-recorded material made the execution of the livestream easier for both our production team and the client.

The project was implemented in cooperation with Herman & Partners and our partner Confivo, which is developing a platform for online and hybrid events. This platform enabled journalists to attend the digital event and pose questions to the CEO of Fortenova and the President of Mercator’s Management Board in the second part of the event.

The press conference was attended by a total of 100 accredited journalists from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. The quality of the concept and livestream execution was also recognized by Pop TV, a Slovenian commercial media, which stated: “Fortenova held a true multimedia spectacle to forecast a different, brighter future for Mercator.”

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