Gripped by the trade fair virus

Linda Schopper spoke to Mirjam Dietrich

In this section, we give you a glimpse behind the scenes. This time we visit Linda Schopper, our Project Manager who caught the trade fair bug almost ten years ago.

How did you arrive at Messerli?

Linda Schopper: I came to Messerli through my former neighbour. We were talking and he showed me pictures of projects that Messerli had implemented. He thought that I would fit into the company well and advised me to apply. I had no prior knowledge of the world of trade fairs and so I changed career when I came here in 2006. I was a teacher originally, although I’d already worked in the marketing industry for a long time. Right from the start, I was impressed by the many attractive projects and the international environment. I worked mainly in the Acquisition section at first. Later, I began to support clients independently more and more, and guided projects from the briefing stage right through to the handover of the stand.

What motivates you most about your job?

The thing I like most is the variety of skills that we need in our day-to-day work. We guide our clients through an intensive process. We have to support them and give them security. I really cherish this interaction. At the same time, we have to deliver a great stand at the trade fair and take responsibility for it. The collaboration with the teams is also exciting. Whether it’s developing new ideas with the design team or solving technical details in production and at the construction venue – it pushes me and I always learn a lot of new things.

What is the biggest challenge in your day-to-day work?

You have to give every concept its time and you can’t try to shorten the creative process anywhere. For me, that’s partly a challenge because time pressure and thus the temptation are often huge. It takes patience to wait for the internal schedules and not speed up the process too much. However, with the necessary experience comes the confidence that if time is tight or last-minute changes arise, there is sufficient flexibility, commitment and goodwill in the departments to cope with such events.

What has changed in the field of trade fair construction over the years?

In contrast to how it was in the past, today there is a much greater demand for cost efficiency and sustainability. The demands have increased among our clients as well as in their target groups.

Why is Messerli the right choice for exhibitors?

Messerli has extensive experience in all the key industries. We cover almost every sector. Thanks to our network of strong international partners, we are able to offer great quality assurance, irrespective of the trade fair location. I think we provide a complete package that masters many disciplines: from planning to graphic design and right through to implementation.

What funny event will you never forget?

On a project in Mumbai, there were often funny moments simply because two completely different cultures clashed. I’ll also never forget the preparations for the Mammut anniversary. There were a few funny times there when even curious passers-by were in fits of laughter.


This article first appeared in the 2014 issue of Brandworld.