Venue Services from N&M: “We will lead you into the future.”

Clients are placing increasingly complex demands on locations: the challenges faced by location operators include tight schedules for planning and delivery as well as ever growing requirements in terms of technical performance. Four years ago, Neumann & Müller Veranstaltungstechnik launched its “Venue Services” with exactly this kind of clientele in mind. The broad range of solutions provided reflect the diverse nature of the patronage served.

Historic industrial buildings restored and turned into modern event locations, concert halls, trendy clubs, stadiums, theatres and museums along with in-house corporate studios – these unique locations with their unique event concepts have their own very specific requirements. And in recent years these requirements have become ever more demanding: the time available for planning and realisation is becoming shorter while the complexity of events is reaching new heights. Neumann & Müller Veranstaltungstechnik's (N&M) “Venue Services” address the issues that present location operators with the greatest challenges.

Corinna Di Pietro and Thomas Oberthür are in charge of N&M's “Venue Services” business unit. Together with their team, they aim to provide the best possible consulting, design and delivery for every project they handle. They begin with a detailed analysis of the location and the resulting technical needs, with many projects leading to a long-term partnership with the client that sees N&M providing ongoing technical support for the venue's daily business, including servicing and maintenance of the equipment.

For example, in 2019 the company embarked on a “Preferred Partnership” with STATION-Berlin. This arrangement focuses on technical services for the former Postbahnhof (mail terminal) on Potsdamer Platz. Following extensive renovation, the location is now a very sought-after venue in Germany's capital. Congresses, such as those for Germany's Energy and Water Industry Association (BDEW), as well as numerous corporate events for renowned enterprises have been realised to the tremendous satisfaction of clients and their service providers.

As Benjamin Bessey, the N&M project manager for STATION-Berlin, says: “Clients love the raw atmosphere and the industrial look.” The central location and sheer size of the 23,000 square metres of available space send out a clear message. Having previously worked for many years at halls that presented considerable logistical challenges, his team appreciates the virtues of the venue: STATION-Berlin is basically empty, so it can be set up to meet any specific request the client may have. N&M works closely with the technical managers and sales team at STATION-Berlin to plan technical services as well as stages, seating and decoration. This work also includes assisting in drawing up the space planning and coordinating the entire realisation process. The team's many years of know-how and excellent technical expertise are especially useful when dealing with complex productions, for example when a congress also requires technical services for an exhibition space for sponsors and for a prestigious gala evening.

Corinna Di Pietro and Thomas Oberthür also cite these benefits when presenting the five strongest arguments for “Venue Services” to potential customers: having one of the largest and most modern equipment pools at its disposal, N&M can always provide clients with the right technology to meet their needs – whether on an ongoing basis or for a specific event. This approach minimises the investment risk as clients can choose from various models ranging from purchase and long-term leasing through to pay-per-use. “Venue Services” can also help location operators avoid staff shortages as N&M is able to call upon a professional team of experienced project managers and technicians to join its team on site. As Corinna Di Pietro explains: “A long-term partnership with us is especially beneficial when it comes to maintenance and service for the equipment.” She added that processes had been clearly defined for “Venue Services” that ensure efficient and reliable standards across all the unit's projects. When the need arises, staff assess the existing equipment and give advice on modernisation plans designed to make locations fit for the future. This involves having the technology to be able to offer a wide range of event formats: in-person events at the location itself, hybrid (with some attendees joining by video link) or entirely Digital Live Events, which have great potential in terms of involving new target groups at any time and from any place and for enabling live virtual participation.

N&M designed such a future-oriented set-up for an international corporation in North Rhine-Westphalia and installed it on the company's premises. As a result, many internal communication activities now use digital and live broadcast formats produced in the company's own green screen studio or in a webcast studio installed by N&M. Lars Nawrot runs the corporate studio for N&M, and, together with his team, has agreed a clearly defined standby service with the company: “We guarantee our client that we are ready to get to work on site at the shortest notice.”

The studio equipment enables the company to hold simultaneous in-person events around the globe and link up international locations. Company managers use these technologies to communicate information to their staff in formats such as town halls and board briefings. Keynote speeches are also broadcast from the corporate studios, and training courses are held for external target groups. N&M provides all the video streams for the annual general meeting: these include primary streams for the shareholders' portal, the associated secondary streams and their back-up streams. This year, the corporate studios team also started producing additional streams in sign language.

On the conference level on the fourth floor of the Porsche Museum at the company's flagship plant in Zuffenhausen, the car manufacturer has 600 square metres of space that it uses for congresses, presentations and galas. Separated by a glass wall, there is an 800-square-metre roof terrace, which can also be included in event planning as part of the extremely variable space concept. N&M adapted the permanently installed control desk to handle the ever more exacting demands of event planners – for example for hybrid event formats. For some time now N&M has worked as a provider of technical services for Porsche AG on projects such as the company's annual general meeting and, when asked, took the opportunity to tender for the contract as the museum's exclusive technical partner. As Jan Bauknecht, N&M's man in charge of projects at the Porsche Museum, explains: “For those responsible at the museum, the important thing was that we, as a service provider, can be relied upon to deliver events at the location using the available media equipment. We also advise the museum on how they can optimise their event equipment in terms of cost and technology.”

The Porsche Museum stages around one hundred events a year, with 80 percent of them being held on the conference level with capacity for 400 (seated) guests. Many of these events are in-house congresses held by various Porsche departments; numerous associations and initiatives have used the facility as external guests.  On prestigious occasions such the “75 years of Porsche sports cars” jubilee in 2023 – which saw the opening of a special exhibition and the unveiling of the "Mission X" hypercar concept study – the architecturally striking museum building takes centre stage. It also provides a unique setting for exclusive celebrations, whether in the middle of the exhibition area or in the modern, generously dimensioned foyer, from which visitors can peek into the museum workshop through a glazed partition. “We devised a concept that allows us to blend the technical equipment almost invisibly into the background for smaller occasions and to scale it up for major events,” says Jan Bauknecht.

This flexibility and forward-looking approach are further points that Corinna Di Pietro emphasises in her pitches to clients to capture the essence of the benefits to be gained from Neumann & Müller's “Venue Services”. Because one thing is clear: with such a diverse range of services at their disposal, location operators can master almost any challenge that may arise. Or, as she puts it: “We will lead you into the future.”