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An Interview with One of the Founders of BEx-City.de
BEx-City.de serves as a sort of "niche" site in the Social Media world - connecting current and former employees of BEHRINGER for the sake of catching up, telling old stories, and just plain getting back in touch. Matthias has dubbed former employees "BExs," as in "Ex- Behringers." It's pretty remarkable that a thriving community of former employees has such an active online presence, with online discussions, photo trading, and meet-ups taking place from time to time. According to Matthias, a roster of over 300 members in the BEx database has accumulated. Some of the members had joined the company almost 20 years ago! Matthias was kind enough to answer our questions with some insightful and enlightening responses.BEx-City.de serves as a sort of "niche" site in the Social Media world - connecting current and former employees of BEHRINGER for the sake of catching up, telling old stories, and just plain getting back in touch. Matthias has dubbed former employees "BExs," as in "Ex- Behringers." It's pretty remarkable that a thriving community of former employees has such an active online presence, with online discussions, photo trading, and meet-ups taking place from time to time. According to Matthias, a roster of over 300 members in the BEx database has accumulated. Some of the members had joined the company almost 20 years ago! Matthias was kind enough to answer our questions with some insightful and enlightening responses.
BEx-City.de, and what is its goal?
Matthias: BEx-City.de is just a small website, meant as a contact point for active and former BEHRINGER employees to keep in touch and share memories about our common time with the company. We are publishing photos from company events, like Christmas parties or trade shows and organizing regular get-togethers. If a BEx wants to contact another BEx, but cannot find him in social networks like Facebook or Xing, we are there to help. Our email address database is quite large.
BEHRINGER: When did you guys start it up? Who all founded it?Matthias: The idea forBEx-City.de came up in July 2008, when Victor Melchor Casal, a former BEHRINGER Sales representative for Spain, had the idea to organize a meeting with current and former colleagues from the Sales department. Simone Falkenstein - current Sales Key Account Manager for BEHRINGER Germany – joined Victor in putting together names of former colleagues and searching for email addresses. The idea of such a meeting received enthusiastic critical acclaim and turned out to become a company-wide meeting, not only restricted to Sales employees. That was the moment when I had the idea for a website, and we formed the BEx committee. The term BEx is the combination of BE = active BEHRINGER employee and Ex = former BEHRINGER employee.
Matthias: We are not hosting any other website like BEx-City.de. BEHRINGER is very special, as it was always fun working in this company because of the great colleagues. Regardless of how tough the job could have been, during the years we could always count on our colleagues and have a lot of fun with them during and after business hours. The combination of professional work and joking around for example during a lunch break or a short cigarette break made it fun working for BEHRINGER, and formed a unique spirit. Visiting a colleague from another department in his office and having a cup of coffee together without having an official appointment lead to enhanced communication - which in the end, was also very beneficial for the company. Keyword: look beyond one's own horizon.
Matthias: Actually, our "master table" of email addresses contains 307 records and is still increasing! I don’t have any statistics about the traffic on BEx-City.de but we receive regularly positive feedback from our members via email. We organized the first BEx meeting in 2008 and the second in 2009, but we are thinking about meeting more often in future – because it is so much fun to meet all the colleagues again and to share memories of the "old times."
Matthias: Correct, we are a special service for BEHRINGER employees besides all the public networking websites like Xing, Facebook or LinkedIn. BEx-City.de is just meant as a contact point to enable the members to get in touch with each other again. Besides this, we are posting information about the next get-together and that’s it.
Matthias: It's just that we continue what we did during our active time with BEHRINGER: meeting and having parties after business hours closed. The MI & PRO Audio branch itself is one big family. Even before BEx-City.de we met all our former colleagues once a year at the Musikmesse & ProLight & Sound in Frankfurt. This was neither organized nor planned - just that a lot of old colleagues showed up on the BEHRINGER booth for a chat. Most BEx are musicians and many of them are still working in this branch – so the biggest trade show for the MI and Pro Audio branch in Europe became automatically an unofficial annual get-together event.
BEHRINGER: Any plans for future expansions to the site? What can we expect fromBEx-City.de in the future?
Matthias: At this moment we are not planning any expansions for the website – except that we are encouraging our members to send us photos, which we would like to publish in the picture galleries. If BEHRINGER could provide pictures – especially from the early years – we would be happy to post them as well.
BEHRINGER: Matthias, thanks so much and keep up the great work!