The Venue Team

Susanne Zehntner

since July 2001 at the Messe Wien

Which event was/is the most exciting one for you?

The first cardiology congress in 2003, the largest in Europe at the time, was a challenge with a huge learning effect. Working at an event of that size for such a short time in the industry was a bit like being thrown in at the deep end.

On the trade fair side, the combination of Ferien Messe and Vienna Autoshow. Operationally and logistically, it is a masterstroke by the entire team to juggle these masses of people in the venue for 4 days.

I do my job very well because ….

I know that we don’t operate on open hearts here at Messe Wien…. there is a solution to every problem…always!

Which personal qualities are particularly helpful in your work?

Humor and sarcasm. Sometimes also in reverse order 😉

What do you like to do in your free time?

Archery…the power lies in the calm. It’s incredibly relaxing… you won’t achieve anything with hectic.

If you were to get on an airplane right now, where would you go?

Bella Italia…sempre per sempre, without thinking about it. Sea, sun, cappuccino and Aperol Spritz. Any questions…? 😉

If you could choose a superpower, which one would it be?

Beaming…you could save so, so much wasted lifetime….

Silvia Hiller

since December 2005 at the Messe Wien

Which event was/is the most exciting one for you?

As a horse lover – the Equitana, a trade show in Salzburg. My trip and helping out at Equitana in Neuss 2022, together with Dani Nestl, was a great experience. It was an exhausting, but exciting 3 days. It was so much fun to get an insight into the work of Tina and her team and to be able to help out on the stages.

What was your biggest challenge – where did you have to push yourself to your limits?

The first Vienna ComicCon was very exciting and special. I was assigned to the influencer stage back then. It was a challenge to keep the “young fans” in check and provide them with water so that no one would fall over. We completely underestimated the crowds. I still have funny memories of working with Barbara Leithner and Kurt from CAM, when the teenagers almost stormed the “stars” on stage. We joined forces and dragged all the construction site fences to the stage to rebuild the set-up and get the situation back under control.

But I was also pushed to my limits by many trade fair managers when, late in the afternoon one day before the trade fair, we suddenly had to reprint and exchange another 100 posters for the A-stands.

How do you prefer to spend your evening after a hard day’s work?

With a cup of coffee with my chickens in the garden or on a ride on my horse through the forest or meadow.

What does a perfect weekend look like for you?

A good breakfast with the family and then spending the day in the countryside or at the riding stables.

Which country would you like to live in, apart from Austria?

In Spain, somewhere by the sea; because I love Spanish horses and the sea and I don’t like winter 😊.

Where would you travel to, if there was a time machine?

I would love to travel 30 years into the past to “visit” my parents and to chat with them. It would be even more exciting to travel into the future and visit my children in their old age. At the end of their lives, chat with them about their lives. Find out how they have fared, what they have experienced. How the world has changed. Did they have a beautiful, fulfilling life or did they have to endure many strokes of fate and illnesses? Were they able to realize their potential? Were we able to pass on our values to them… that’s what I would wish for.

Elisabeth Arnold

since February 2024 at the Messe Wien

Why is your job your dream job?

I simply love the events industry in all its facets. I have been lucky enough to work in this field ever since I started my career.

I do my job well, because…

…I come to the office wearing a smile every day and always have fun in a team with different colleagues.

What do you do to start the day right?

I cycle to work – there’s nothing better!

How does a perfect weekend look like for you?

Starting the day comfortably at Lake Ossiach with my husband & two children, having a hearty breakfast, cycling around the lake & going out for dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant.

If you got on a plane right now, where would you go?


Which country would you like to live in, other than Austria?

In Spain – in a finca on Mallorca with sea view of the harbor.

Sarah Staudinger-Dobias

since September 2016 at the Messe Wien

What would event organizers say about you and your work?

Event organizers would describe me as a positive and energetic person, who works accurately and thoughtfully, is very reliable and, above all, enthusiastic about great events.

Is bigger better? If yes, why? 😉

Large-scale events do have their own appeal covering many aspects that greatly interest me i.e. logistics, efficiency, emotionality, staff and crowd management, sustainability etc. – and it is very exciting to contribute a small part into staging a large-scale congress at Messe Wien.

What do you do to start the day right?

Drinking coffee in the shower, eating a good breakfast & listening to very loud music.

What do you like to do for fun?

In my free time I like to spend time in nature or in my garden, doing sports, with my family and preferably everything combined.

If you got on a plane right now, where would you go?

I couldn’t really decide right away, but my dream destinations by plane include: Morocco, Japan & New Zealand. I recently had a great night train experience – so, within Europe, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Prague are on my list. However, I also like to travel to Croatia by car – it doesn’t always have to be by plane.

Tell something about yourself that would surprise most people around you.

I can count in Hebrew (that’s a long story…)