After an enforced break of around 19 months due to the Corona pandemic, the first trade fair onsite will take place in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg in September. The former police director Heinz Prießmann led the #NMfamily safely through the pandemic and was very much involved in the hygiene concept for the trade fair restart. He reports on his personal experiences in the first part of the interview.
Mr Prießmann, over 500 days without a trade fair on site in Nuremberg. How are you and how relieved are you that trade fairs and conferences are taking place again in Bavaria?
I am delighted that life is finally coming back to the exhibition centre! When I saw the full loading yards and the set-up of FACHPACK this morning, it was a great feeling! If someone had told me in March 2020 that the lights would be out in our halls for a year and a half, I would have thought that was completely absurd! As the infectious event approached, we rushed to put together our Pandemic Plan, which saw us safely through the pandemic. The workload during this time was even higher than during an "orderly" trade fair season. But at the same time, I was privileged to meet a strong #NMfamily that responsibly followed our recommendations and consistently implemented the new Corona rules at the convention centre. Thanks to the disciplined and exemplary behaviour of the colleagues, the spread of Corona in the company remained extremely low with ten cases of infection at the Nuremberg site.
But at the same time I was able to get to know a strong #NMfamily that responsibly followed our recommendations and consistently implemented the new Corona rules in the exhibition centre.
In your previous job as police director, you managed a number of crisis situations. Were there similar situations during the Corona pandemic? What were the moments that got to you?
When a train from Italy was stopped at the Brenner Pass entering Austria on Sunday 23 February 2020, I was suddenly aware that the crisis had arrived in Europe. Instinctively, I used my contacts and inquired at the situation centre of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior how the threat scenario for our region was assessed. This information enabled me to assess the situation more validly and to better assess the potential impact on our business model and on the health of our employees. From this, we developed the appropriate protective measures. During my time as a police officer, we used exactly the same pattern to deal with police situations: Situation analysis - developing scenarios - planning and implementing measures.
NürnbergMesse was the first German exhibition company to offer its employees vaccinations. How did you manage that?
We found a partner in a Medical Care Centre, which provided NürnbergMesse employees with the valuable vaccine on site in an initial vaccination campaign at the end of May, around three weeks before the company doctors. Looking back, it was a feat of strength that was implemented quickly and purposefully by a strong team from all areas. And when I now read that 91 per cent of the NürnbergMesse staff have now been vaccinated against COVID-19, that is a wonderful team success that makes one really proud. Here, too, I draw positive parallels with my previous work: police problems often arise ad hoc, are complex and have to be solved quickly, because the subjective feeling of security of the population, in our case of our employees, is threatened.
Thank you very much for the interview!