Andreas Küpper is in his element at the INTERSCHUTZ 2015 where everything revolves around fire service vehicles. Time spent at the trade fair is very important for MAN´s municipal vehicles expert, mainly because he can talk to lots of customers.
"Give me an M, give me an A, give me an N“, calls one of Andreas Küpper´s colleagues jokingly, following the morning prayer. Morning prayer being the tongue-in-cheek term for the launch of each exhibition day, before any visitors arrive on the stand. "The stand manager addresses the staff, gearing us up for the new day," says Andreas Küpper, as he cleans his rimless glasses and straightens his red tie.
9 o´clock and the fair begins. The municipal vehicles expert has hardly set foot on the exhibition stand when eight men approach him. As members of Buxheim Fire Department, they are interested in one of the five fire service vehicles exhibited on the stand. Andreas Küpper promptly lists its specific advantages. He´s good at this - convincing people with his specialized know-how, offering logical arguments and presenting complex details in a nutshell. But above all, he passionately enjoys presenting "his" vehicles.
Behind him, three visitors to the stand climb into the cab on another exhibit to take photos. He looks across at them, smiles and turns back to the firemen from Buxheim. "Each vehicle is individually constructed," explains Andreas Küpper. Which he likes. He sells individuals. And this is something he does with particular ease.
Each movement is intended, his gesticulations restrained, his words soft-spoken. In the background, an international jumble of languages drifts through Exhibition Hall 27, with sirens constantly sounding. None of this bothers him. The next firemen are already approaching him with specific questions about the suspension. Mr. Küpper provides an impromptu explanation of the advantages offered by the TGM´s air suspension.
Business as usual at the INTERSCHUTZ, the world´s leading Exhibition for Rescue, Fire Prevention, Disaster Relief, Safety and Security, which takes place at alternating venues every five years - the June 2015 location being Hanover.
157,000 visitors swarm across the exhibition area covering some 106,000 square meters, where fire monitors and foam guns are being demonstrated, tire fires extinguished, cars cut apart, people saved from a truck and the world´s highest aerial ladder presented with a working height of 68 meters. A parade of oldtimer fire service vehicles is also on the agenda, along with the German High-Angle Rescue Championship. There´s a lot happening - also on the MAN stand. This consists of two meeting rooms, a catering area serving around 300 guests and, of course, five exhibits - a mid-size fire-fighting vehicle, a water tender, two combined fire-fighting and rescue vehicles, as well as an airport fire service vehicle. Around fifty MAN staff are busy attending to these vehicles, one of them being Andreas Küpper, who once again demonstrates his expertise.
Eventually, every exhibition day draws to a close. Days like this are familiar to Andreas Küpper. He has worked for MAN since 1990. "First I was involved in normal sales activities, but for the past seven years, I´ve worked in the special vehicles sales sector," he says. In his Wiesbaden office, he is faced with all kinds of work - advising, preparing quotes, processing orders, selling, dealing with tenders and contract negotiations, negotiating with body manufacturers, presenting vehicles and handing them over to customers. And the trade fairs are of course a highlight. To Andreas Küpper, his work is something special. "A hundred years ago, MAN began constructing commercial vehicles, fire departments being some of our first customers. We have meanwhile become the market leader in this sector in Germany and Austria," says Andreas Küpper. He is proud to have contributed to this success.