„Know-how is to know how”

For many years Dorothea von Eberhardt and Princess Irina zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg have displayed an outstanding professionalism when organizing events. Their knowledge of local and international protocols as well as their commitment to social and cultural organisations is legendary. Their newly established Berlin based Agency has also recruited Sophie Hummelt, a bright, young and eager Junior Partner.

Please tell me what, in your opinion, creates a successful event?

DvE: A successful event has to be planed to perfection. It should impress by the carefully selected guest list; by inviting people from various segments of society and from many backgrounds. Great guests contribute greatly to a great event!

You have been an event organizer for many years. What do you believe are the main skills you have honed over the years?

DvE: It is essential to understand the needs of the client; to implement his plans and his vision. The client expects from us a several propositions; he wants to access our rich fond of experience and may require our advice. As to the execution, there always needs to be a leitmotif or a thread running throughout the process. A great success also requires alternative plans. Roman poet Horace, a long time ago, got it right when he sad "a host is like a general: calamities often reveal his genius". There will always be situations that require our immediate attention and prompt improvisation. We are trapeze artists who, because of our extensive experience, are able to turn a difficulty into success.

How did you come up with the name ID Partners?

DvE: ID Partners combines the initials of our first names. It also invites the connotation of "idea" or "identity", terms used in corporate life and we believe fit us well. The term "Partners" was selected deliberately to target the international customer base. Both of us have lived, learned and worked abroad and we have built solid friendships and relationships there. It is natural for us to offer our services beyond Germany. We are experts at collaborating with local service providers anywhere and therefore we can offer more opportunities for our clients.

Is this why you can read the information on your website in seven different languages?

DvE: Absolutely. We believe that it is a matter of courtesy to tell about ourselves and our services in many languages, especially in Russian and Chinese.

Prinzessin Sayn-Wittgenstein over the decades you have been involved in many charitable organizations and you have worked in various fields. How do you see your role in ID Partners?

IzSW: I see myself as a bridge builder between nations and people. I know I am good at connecting people to their needs and their wishes, which is one of the tasks of ID Partners. Initially I was mainly concerned about the German-Polish exchange of cultural, political and economic issues. At this time we are linking people from different regions of the world, such as the US and the Middle East.

Is this due to your upbringing?

IzSW: Definitely. My parents educated me in "the European way". I grew up as a confident European. This Pan European feeling is ingrained in my family which is spread across the world. In the early 1980s I was able to establish the first contacts with the Catholic University of Lublin, in Poland. It was then the only free and independent University in the Communist bloc. The people I met then taught me what it meant to live in freedom.

Is it fair to say that you are living the "United Europe"?

IzSW: We western Europeans have taken upon ourselves the obligation to involve and help other countries and cultures and to link them together. For me it is a challenge to help make it happen.

You are using often the terms "protocol and etiquette" concepts that may be considered outdated; some might even smile at hearing these words...

DvE: We think that knowing the appropriate conduct, under any circumstances, gives one a feeling of security. It allows a relaxed behaviour and a faster path from acquaintanceship to friendship. Most people equate these words with protocol rules and behaviour at state visits and public appearances.

IzSW: Why would anyone laugh at good and elegant behaviour?
Know-how is to know how.

Interview by Paul Ulrich.