6 min read

How DAM helps Kieler Woche set sail for event image management

How DAM helps Kieler Woche set sail for event image management

Each June, millions of visitors flock to Kiel, the capital of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, for Kieler Woche (Kiel Week in English), the largest sailing event in the world as well as the largest summer festival in Europe. Year after year, this ten-day sailing and festival extravaganza offers world-class sports, musical entertainment and top-notch cultural events for all ages.

For more than a decade, Kieler Woche has utilized the FotoWare DAM solution to share and collaborate on up-to-date materials with both internal and external users, including international sports journalists. Moreover, with the recent integration of WiFi-capable cameras for the event, its FotoWare Mobile App has become an essential tool for uploading photos on the go, directly from the field.

We spoke with Philipp Dornberger, Head of the Kieler Woche Office, to learn more about how the FotoWare DAM solution and Mobile App have revolutionized day-to-day event operations and streamlined visual content management.


Can you tell us about Kieler Woche?

Originating from a sailing regatta in 1882, Kieler Woche has become the world’s largest sailing event, attracting over three million visitors from more than 70 countries to Germany's northernmost state capital at the end of June. Nearly 4,000 active sailors on boats of all sizes and classes compete in exciting races on the Kiel Fjord, while visitors can enjoy the "Open Ship" and traditional Windjammer Sailing Parade.

During Kiel's special "ten-day week”, visitors can take part in 2,000 events at numerous festival areas throughout the city. Kieler Woche also stands out from other major events with additional defining elements, such as international understanding, culture, science and politics. These can be experienced in the Cities Forum, where international experts discuss current topics or in the presentation of the World Economic Award. 


ILCA6_Impressionen_Gegenlicht ©Sascha Klahn-1

Photo by Kieler Woche

Kieler Woche Office - who is the event crew? 

I am the helmsman of the Kieler Woche crew, keeping us on course even in stormy waters. I am head of the Kieler Woche department, in charge of the overall organization of the Kieler Woche event.

The “Kieler Woche Office” is responsible for coordinating the entire summer festival, including activities such as sponsorships, marketing, promotions, merchandise sales, infrastructure and guest services. Additionally, the Kieler Woche crew manages events such as the design competition, stand and event area awards, the city forum, music events, fireworks, the flag concept, Kieler Woche soft theatre, the international market, folklore & street theatre, receptions, the Kieler Woche supporters' association and all the overarching traffic, safety and sanitation initiatives.


Philipp Dornberger 00002 ©Lh Kiel - Bodo Quante.jpg.iifM6PnSMZ0rB3FjQA0A.ts-Yoy8B8N

Photo: Philipp Dornberger, the Head of the Department at Kieler Woche. Photo by Kieler Woche


How is DAM used for Event Image Management? 

Our DAM solution is divided into two sites: https://media.kieler-woche.de for assets from Kieler Woche and https://media.kiel.de for assets from the City of Kiel. 

We currently maintain 16,500 assets across both sites, mainly consisting of image files. However, the number of videos, PDFs and Word documents and presentations is constantly increasing. The majority of the files are reserved for internal use. 

With FotoWare's DAM solution, we can quickly provide internal and external users with up-to-date images, which is especially important for international sports journalists during Kieler Woche. We also use individual albums and send the links in our press releases. This allows us to offer the press a larger selection of pictures than we could with file attachments. In the area of public relations, we use the option of uncomplicated data exchange, allowing agencies to exchange data directly with municipal employees via albums without a media break.

Sailing is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, as evidenced by the media’s interest in events like the Ocean Race. In addition to being the largest summer festival, Kieler Woche hosts daily sailing competitions for international and Olympic sailing classes, including preliminary competitions for the Olympic Games. The main purpose of using FotoWare DAM is to provide quick and uncomplicated access to assets. As such, Kieler Woche also contributes to the increased worldwide popularity of sailing.

LEARN MORE: How FotoWare Helps Visa pour l'image Share the Best Stories from Around the World



Kieler Woche's FotoWare DAM. Photo by Kieler Woche


Who are the primary users of DAM?

The primary users of the DAM solution are external users, mainly sports journalists from around the world, to whom we directly provide images of the sailing regattas on the day of the competition. We also provide journalists throughout Germany with Kieler Woche impressions of the summer festival for pre-and post-event reporting.

Internally, both sites are used on a daily basis by the Kieler Woche crew in online and social media editorial departments. Additionally, many staff members use the images for presentations or public relations work throughout the year.


The FotoWare Mobile App: How does Kieler Woche collaborate with the international press directly from the field?

The Windjammer Sailing Parade, which takes place on the last Saturday of the Kieler Woche, is a media spectacle in a class of its own. Dozens of tall ships, such as the sail training ship Gorch Fock or the Alexander von Humboldt, sail across the fjord, accompanied by numerous traditional sailing vessels and private boats. 

Our social media team will accompany the windjammer sailing parade on the water in a press boat. Among other equipment, a WLAN-capable system camera will be used, which has a much higher resolution and offers better image quality than a cell phone. Employees transfer the pictures to their phones using a special app from the camera manufacturer and post them directly on the Kieler Woche social media channels. 

They then upload the pictures to the image database via the FotoWare Mobile App. Our photo editors receive an email notification, which they’ve previously set up for the relevant archive, informing them that new pictures have been uploaded. They then process them with FotoStation, a special Desktop application for photo editors, which is better suited to mass keywording than keywording from a cell phone on a rocking boat.



Kieler Woche's FotoWare DAM. Photo by Kieler Woche


The pictures are first moved to an internal folder that can be accessed by our online editors to publish the assets on kieler-woche.de. At the same time, our photo editors set up an album with a selection of pictures from the Windjammer Sailing Parade and generate a link which the press sends out along with a press release. Public provision of the assets of all pictures from the Windjammer Sailing Parade will only take place over the course of the next day, as we wish to be fair and give professional photographers the opportunity to sell their pictures to agencies.

The sailing regattas will be accompanied by dedicated sports photographers hired by our sailing partner, Point of Sailing. They’re usually on the water all day. Once on land, they sift through their material. Andreas Kling, press officer for the sailing competitions, loads the assets into FotoWare DAM and generates albums with their corresponding links, which he then includes in his press release.

At the same time, our photo editors receive an alert informing them that new assets have been uploaded to the sailing section. They assemble these into an album that’s published directly on the home page of media.kieler-woche.de with the current date. In this way, sailing journalists have the opportunity to download additional daily updated assets directly from our homepage without having to search the "main archive".


Tilted-tablet device showing book cover on the screen
7 DAM Workflows
Learn about 7 Digital Asset Management workflows that are commonly used to save time.




What are the key benefits of using the FotoWare DAM solution?

Fast and simple, it enables large amounts of data to be processed and made available or sent in the shortest time possible. Additionally, we are now using the FotoWare Mobile App more frequently. Previously, we could only load smartphone pictures into the app, which did not do justice to the quality of pictures taken with professional cameras. (Our photo editors are extremely demanding in this regard.) However, with the availability of WiFi-capable cameras, we have been using the FotoWare Mobile App more frequently.

The use of the FotoWare solution has significantly changed the press and public relations work of Kieler Woche and, of course, that of the capital city of Kiel. In the past, our photo editors had to manually search for images from a system folder and send them via email, mostly in a downloaded version. If requests came from countries with different time zones, the pictures often arrived at the editorial offices when their newspapers were already set or their blogs had already been published online. Today, with the FotoWare solution, editors can access assets around the clock and download them in a high-quality resolution on a daily basis.

Moreover, FotoWare Support has much improved. Questions and resolution of problems are handled quickly and competently. This is crucial for us, especially during Kieler Woche.

Eröffnung der Kieler Woche 2022 ©Lh Kiel - Alexandra Brecht-1

Photo by Kieler Woche


What are the next steps?

Honestly? We have not yet fully exhausted all the possibilities of FotoWare DAM. We’re always discovering new features. 

One interesting tool is the new Consent Management function. Though Kieler Woche is anything but a "typical" event for public authorities, we are part of a public administration. We therefore have a specific responsibility to comply with the GDPR. At the moment, obtaining consent for specific pictures or other assets is - as it most likely is for many other users - very cumbersome and paper-intensive, so we’re currently considering whether and how we can use the new module.



Want to learn more about the Digital Asset Management solution?

Are you working with media files or asset management and want to learn more about what the FotoWare solution can offer your team? Don’t hesitate to book a non-committal demo with one of our experts and see the FotoWare DAM solution with your own eyes!

Book a Meeting



How DAM enables Bystronic to keep brand consistency across channels

5 min read

How DAM enables Bystronic to keep brand consistency across channels

Bystronic is a leading technology company in the sheet metal processing industry. Headquartered in Switzerland, Bystronic has provided high-quality...

Read More
How Digital Asset Management Strengthens the Power of Photography for the World Food Programme

6 min read

How Digital Asset Management Strengthens the Power of Photography for the World Food Programme

The World Food Programme is a branch of the United Nations that assists in providing food aid to 80 million people across 80 countries. We spoke with...

Read More
How FotoWare Helps Visa pour l'image Share the Best Stories from Around the World

4 min read

How FotoWare Helps Visa pour l'image Share the Best Stories from Around the World

Photo by Visa pour l'Image Established in 1989, Visa pour l'Image is an annual international photojournalism festival that takes place over 15 days...

Read More