Are women entrepreneurs looked down on?

Events as an addiction: a quarter of a century trendhouse

She just marched off, no doubt and full of daring - when Brigitte Nussbaum founded her agency trendhouse 25 years ago, it was not foreseeable how successful she would be with her baby. The boss and her co-managing director Martin Danner in conversation about a quarter of a century event.

A BMW on the Olympic tower and six awards later it becomes clear: instead of hesitation, trendhouse relies on imagination and joie de vivre. And is more successful than ever with it. In an interview, trendhouse managing directors Brigitte Nussbaum and Martin Danner reveal why events are like an addiction for them.


Ms. Nussbaum, what was it like when you founded trendhouse and decided to start your own business?

Brigitte Nussbaum: Best of all, it wasn't a big plan at all. I just did. It has always been my love for events that has been firmly anchored in me since school. Then I did an apprenticeship as an advertising clerk and worked for two companies: I organized the events for a radio station relatively quickly and the trade fairs for their customers at an advertising agency. After graduation, I was fortunate that both of them offered me a job. But because I found both the international and the show character of radio exciting, I couldn't make up my mind. At that time a friend asked me to come up with an idea of ​​how we could stage a BMW inexpensively but still on a large scale. Then the idea came: We'll lift it up on the Olympic Tower in Munich. On the evening of the event, when all the guests had left, I looked down at the sparkling Munich and said to myself: Girl, you'll do it yourself. And the two who want you are your first customers.


I can imagine that at that time it was even more difficult as a woman to appear strong as an independent entrepreneur in this business. What experiences have you had in this regard in the industry and have they changed over time?

Walnut: I've always seen it as positive to be a woman. Interestingly enough, the event area was also directly credited to a young woman. I have never been put in any obstacles because I am a woman.



Which values ​​and norms are represented in your company that are important for you and the team?

Walnut: A respectful and fair togetherness. Helpfulness as well. When young people join, the door is always open to them. You ask and get help and support. That gives a common sense of achievement and welds together. Our project managers also have a high degree of freedom to tackle things, choose partners, put together their teams, conceptualize the event and finally implement it.


There aren't many agencies that have held up so well over such a long period of time. What's your secret?

Martin Danner: It has to do with the spirit, people have to be happy to do it. Customers notice that too. You need the desire to want to do certain things. Don't stand still, go the uncomfortable way. Put old ideas in a drawer in order to develop new, even better ones. At some point the technology can no longer keep up and you know you are in the right place. That is the drive that has made us grow over the past 25 years. Of course, this also includes customers who have the courage to take such a step.


"The unconditional attention to detail, no compromises, that is what defines a trendhouse event"

Brigitte Nussbaum


Trendhouse not only makes events, it also offers full service. Is it a must these days?

Walnut: Only then is it the guarantee that everything is from a single source.

Danner: It was clear to us that our task is holistic. Our concept has always been: This is the idea, this is the story and we build around it. This is how we have always been set up as a team. There are people who are good at implementation, there is the creative part, there is a passion to stage things. There are of course the agencies that consciously decide differently and only want to do a certain part. For example, they just want to advise and concentrate on it.

Walnut: A combination is perfect. With one customer, one thing is more in demand, with the other the focus is elsewhere. Sometimes you can get in via one rail, but you can also cover the second. You have to be open in order to be able to play the market well.



So customer requirements have changed a lot over the past 25 years?

Walnut: You have also developed further. Smaller things like catering or the search for an artist can now be carried out by the entrepreneur himself, that is not a right to exist for an agency. You need an understanding of communication. Change processes and digitization are also big issues that are currently deeply affecting companies. I can't just write an email to all employees, I have to communicate. And I do that with Event. Because many customers are overwhelmed with this, we come into play and bring some air into this whole thicket. We then think about how we can bring these topics to the stage so that they are informative but also highly emotional.


What is a trendhouse event?

Walnut: The unconditional attention to detail, no compromises. Everything is well thought out: How can you bring in an emotional track or another level in order to create a holistic experience for the customer?


"Doing events is an addiction, you just can't stop"

Martin Danner


What makes a successful project for you?

Walnut: When you have created moments that stick. That can be at an award ceremony, at which not only the award winner is touched, but also the whole audience is excited. The art is to make the winner appear worthy, but not to bore the others. To create magic moments on stage that give goose bumps everywhere and everything is as quiet as a mouse to enjoy these moments. That is what the guest does, the audience does, and we do that too. It is a dream job to make people happy in a certain situation in the context of a company. It's more than a job, it's a passion.

Danner: It's kind of an addiction, you just can't stop.



Finally, let's look into the future, into the year 2044, another 25 years later. Which trends and developments have changed the industry in the long term and how has trendhouse developed further?

Danner: One trend that will continue is that customers will increasingly see us as advisors. This has manifested itself in recent years, because they know that we have a broader knowledge of the most varied of industries and that we can provide important input at this point. Consulting competence in connection with the competence to stage messages so emotionally that they get caught. But you will always remain technical, that is due to the time. However, the technical aspect moves behind the story.

Walnut: He is integrated. And I also believe that there is no substitute for face-to-face. With all the digitization, is it enough that I hold GoTo meetings so that I don't have to bring people all to one place? Exactly the opposite is the case! People have a need to look each other in the eye and talk. There is a togetherness with a lot of interaction, arguments on a certain topic in the company and then you fly back full of enthusiasm and motivation. The togetherness counts.


Thank you for the interview.