When Nico Ubenauf walks across the Vilco construction site and raves about what the new event center in Bad Vilbel has to offer, you might think it belongs to him.
Ubenauf is not the owner, but the city congress center, which consists of an elegant new building in connection with the historic Kurhaus, is his baby, so to speak.
Because he was involved as an expert in the plans for the future center of the spa town in the Wetterau early on and advised at the time not to build another standard town hall, which, like many others, would then be largely empty.
Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.
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At the time, he advised urban decision-makers to think bigger and sketched out what he wanted on a beer mat.
Bad Vilbel took this to heart, and Ubenauf and his company Satis & Fy have now been awarded the contract after a Europe-wide tender to ensure that the halls are actually regularly filled with up to 2000 guests from the beginning of next year.
The Vilco is not the only place that the Karben-based company, which seemed to have lost its business basis with the beginning of the first lockdown, has secured itself during the time of the pandemic.
The former technology company - which became known because it bathed the Alte Oper in colored light for large celebrations and staged both the stage and the halls with light, video installations and sound - suddenly had all the orders for the staging of national and international star appearances , Congresses, trade fairs and employee events.
Initially no perspective, short-time work, paralysis
After years of steady growth, the number of employees worldwide to almost 700 and sales to more than 120 million euros, the pandemic suddenly stopped development.
The Rose Ball in Berlin, the Geneva Motor Show, the Prolight and Sound trade fair and the Luminale in Frankfurt, major events by banks and auditors and many other events: all canceled.
And no perspective, short-time work, paralysis.
But Ubenauf is an entrepreneur from the bottom of his heart and is convinced of his industry.
A year ago, for example, he joined forces with leading companies and associations in the event industry to create the #Alarmstufe Rot initiative.
On July 28, 2020, they let striking event locations such as theaters, clubs, monuments, event locations, city and exhibition halls shine in red light for the first time.
“Our industry was not sufficiently noticed,” says Ubenauf. Because even if the easing makes some things possible, many companies continue to suffer, and for many the perspective is still unclear. That is why there was a second “Night of Light” in June. The sixth largest industry in Germany has had almost no income for more than 15 months and has to bear immense losses despite the government's corona programs, according to the Federal Association of Event Management. Despite regular assurances, the parties in the federal and state governments did not advocate for the branch of the economy, which was suffering through no fault of its own.