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Be different, stand out, be seen

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Messebau Tünnissen offers a full range of services aimed at helping its clients present themselves and their products and services in the best possible way at trade fairs and events as well as in their own premises. The company can offer a complete turnkey solution to all of its clients’ presentation needs from the design and construction of an interactive exhibition stand to the creation of a flaghip store’s interior design.

“We take the company’s brand identity as the starting point for our work,” outlines company founder Willi Tünnissen, who is still active at the helm of the company he created 37 years ago. “Everything stems from their corporate identity, and our aim is to present it in as distinctive, striking and memorable a fashion as possible.”

Exhibition stand design and construction is where it all started for Messebau Tünnissen, and this continues to be the company’s main activity. Having won major accounts such as Audi and DuPont early on in its history, the company was able to grow rapidly and acquire other household names.

“We construct all of the exhibition stands and design events for Samsung throughout Europe,” says Mr. Tünnissen. “The client in this case is Samsung’s own PR agency, Cheil Germany GmbH, which is based in Schwalbach. In 2016, we will be at the ISE in Amsterdam and the MWC in Barcelona for Samsung. In the case of major accounts like this, we have to be able to operate on a Europe-wide scale to ensure that their corporate identity is the same wherever they decide to present themselves.”

Messebau Tünnissen’s turnkey solutions cover everything from planning and design to construction and installation. “We are not the cheapest in the market, but we are the best,” insists Mr. Tünnissen. “We are well known in the industry. Companies know us and the way we operate. We have a lot of very loyal customers.”

Much of the company’s new business is acquired through word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers. As well as large international companies, Messebau Tünnissen also works for a lot of small and medium-sized companies.

A good example is Medtronic, which invented the implantable pacemaker. Tünnissen constructs 15 stands for various medical congresses and trade fairs attended by Medtronic each year.

“Our bread-and-butter clients are drawn primarily from the automotive sector,” says Mr. Tünnissen. “We have worked for various BMW dealers since we first started and have also added Porsche and VW to our client list since then.”

With such a long and varied history, Tünnissen is well placed to recognize shifting trends and respond accordingly. One of the biggest trends is the ongoing use of multimedia. “The digital world is heavily influencing exhibition stand design and layout,” says Mr. Tünnissen. “Digital media use in trade fair stands has increased by about a third in the last few years, and I expect this to continue. Social media and live streaming help to expand the impact of the stand beyond the immediate environs of the exhibition and reach even more people than those visiting the event in person. Enhancing that experience is all part of the modern exhibition stand designer’s brief today.”

However, this is just one extra string to the designer’s bow that also includes elements such as lighting, colour, seating and layout. The way each of these elements is used in the overall design will influence its impact on visitors.

“We want to create a lasting impression – one that draws visitors in to the stand and lets them leave with a positive feeling,” says Mr. Tünnissen. “Trade fair stands are the ultimate blank canvas for a designer. Our skill lies in our ability to keep offering our clients innovative and unique solutions that chime with their identity.”

Production takes place at Tünnissen’s 4,800 m² workshops in Kranenburg, where the company employs 39 people. The company also has a design office in Cologne. At present, work is well under way for the IFA trade fair in Berlin from July to September 2016, where Tünnissen is so far building stands for Sony and Samsung.

“Our strengths are competence, quality and value for money,” says Mr. Tünnissen. “But we also project a friendly, human face. I think personal contacts are the most important factor in our success.”

As the face of the company for over 35 years, Mr. Tünnissen is not yet ready to retire. At 70 he still enjoys the work and is not quite ready to give it up. “As long as I’m well enough to do it and I enjoy it, I will carry on,” he says. “The company is my baby. I have made it what it is today, and I also feel a responsibility to my employees. I don’t want to give that up – not while it still brings me such enjoyment.”

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