Working at satis&fy
MY JOB IS AN ADVENTURE
I’ve been working for satis&fy for five years, two of which as Scenic Lead in the Scenic Services department. With continuously changing challenges and increasingly complex projects, no day is like the next.
My work mainly involves organising the construction of exhibition stands, stage set-ups, graphics implementation and complex scenographic installations worldwide which always occurs in close agreement with construction, the graphics department, the warehouse and project management.
Each project starts with the calculation of the initial offer. Once the offer is confirmed, I advise project management on the suitable materials, agree on the print requirements and implementation of custom-made products and forward the requirements of all the elements to our departments. Besides the selection of the necessary tools and consumables, I am also responsible for the personnel planning and on-site coordination of the crew.
My projects started with simple standard set-ups such as 15 square metre exhibition stands with standardised components, rented furniture and carpet flooring. This then quickly developed into more complex major events with countless custom-made products, hundreds of graphics and set-up times spanning several weeks.
Since I started working as scenic lead, my areas of responsibility have continuously changed and developed further. This is, on the one hand, to do with my personal desire to develop myself further but also the trust which my managers and colleagues place in me by always entrusting me with bigger projects. On the other hand, it is also due to the ever-increasing demands in the event industry.
It all started with my training as visual marketing designer in summer 2012. The first lesson that all trainees at satis&fy are taught is that no project is a one man show. To learn this, I spent the first few weeks of my training together with the other trainees in the warehouse. Here I sorted out cables, loaded trailers, stacked stage parts and gained an initial insight into the unbelievable achievements of my colleagues in materials scheduling. Each event is based on what our warehouse crew does and they handle, organise and re-sort a weekly materials turnaround of around 100 to 250 tonnes.
All these impressions which I gained here led me to my next stop in event design. As my personal main area of specialisation is in graphics, I was able to stay in this department longer than the others. I improved my image editing skills, created print files and did 3D visualisation of event set-ups for the first time.
The next area of work was advertising design where I learnt a great deal about correct pre-press and data control with large format digital prints. I also learnt everything about production print machines, creating vector data for film cutting on the plotter and the mounting of self-adhesive films.
In the second year of the training I went to the joinery where I primarily assembled tenters. I also attended a woodworking school for a week where I was able to complete the TSM1 certificate. After this training I was able to use the format circular saw and panel saw and work on the production of special designs.
Courses and qualifications formed a large part of my professional training. During my training I completed the TSM1 and also took my forklift truck driving licence, completed the qualification as lifting accessories expert and did a basic course in working at heights.
From the second year of training I regularly worked on bigger productions. satis&fy does this with all trainees regardless of the area of work. I therefore worked for the Manchester Premier Cup in England as well as a Nike production in Barcelona, amongst other things.
I spent the last months of my training in the Scenic Services department where I had sole responsibility for the planning of smaller projects which formed the foundation for the work I am doing today and the practical part of my final examination which I did after two and a half years training. For this exam, I designed and built a small exhibition stand on which I presented products from the Fairtrade organisation Baobab.
Work and study
After I passed my final exam I started a communication design course in Darmstadt which I did in addition to my work. The combination of studies and working at satis&fy is not always easy. There is a considerable workload for both and in the first few semesters it was quite a challenge to fit my studies in with my work. But my team was really understanding and my managers always supported my wish for further training.
As I oversee my projects on my own responsibility I am able to do a lot from home and plan my working hours flexibly so that they don’t clash with compulsory events and exams. This doesn’t always work smoothly. In summer 2016 I went to Ibiza for Red Bull. During that time, I had to go back to university for a final exam and then return to Ibiza for the dismantling only few days later. On the day of my presentation I only just missed the flight and spent the whole day trying to get a new flight, speaking with my professors on the phone and somehow trying to postpone the time of my presentation. Thankfully, I just about managed to do this after many telephone calls and e-mails whilst stuck in traffic on the way to the airport. I was able to give the presentation the next day and flew back to Ibiza only a short while later.
Development and personal responsibility
In the next few months I will go to the USA where I will spend a five-month practical semester at our site in Portland and further develop my experiences on an international level. This is a further great opportunity for me to combine my studies with my work and develop further personally.
My start at satis&fy was more technical, my occupational profile is fundamentally commercial and my personal key area of specialisation is in graphics and design. At satis&fy I have the opportunity to combine all my interests in one profession which is as varied as it is challenging.
In the past five years my everyday work has always developed further and changed. I grew up, so to speak, at satis&fy and want to continue to grow here. Two years ago, I would never have foreseen that I would be where I am today professionally. Likewise, I am unable to say now in which direction I will develop in the next five years. However, I am certain that I will spend many more years at satis&fy.
Mastering challenges has always been the greatest talent of the team at satis&fy – both in the managing of unusual projects as well as in the promotion of talents.
Photos: Anna Imm Photography