USP Partner AG, a pillar of support in the 550 year anniversary of the Basel Autumn Fair.


The Basel Autumn Fair – or simply, “d’Mäss”, as it is known to the locals, is the largest and oldest fair in Switzerland. Based on years of tradition, the fair is an annual event in the city of Basel, which is situated on the banks of the Rhine River in Northern Switzerland.  In 2020 the Fair was due to celebrate its 550th anniversary but given the pandemic and the constraints regarding large gatherings, the approach had to be somewhat different. The presidential department of Basel-Stadt made the decision to go ahead with the celebration but instead of the normal fair they chose to celebrate the autumn fair with various small and large campaigns. 

A central element to this anniversary celebration was the construction of 4 large information columns planned, produced and installed by EFMP Partner USP Partner AG in cooperation with Valencia Kommunikation. These 4 symbolic pillars showcased  the importance of the fair to the city by documenting the history of the city and that of the historic Fair,  including the story about how Emperor Friedrich III  granted the right to hold an annual fair to the city of Basel.  All aspects of the city, in all its diversity, were demonstrated  for the benefit of visitors, and areas of interest, including the culinary cultural asset, «Mässmogge», were all displayed. 

This was done by means of a colourful mixture of texts, images and infographics.  The history and traditions of the autumn fair were illuminated holistically. The eye-catching design and intriguing display lured visitors to discover more. 

The design also evoked memories for every Basel resident, each of whom would have their own personal memories of  “Herbschtmäss ”: either of  attending the fair with their  parents or grandparents, travelling by train as a teenager to get there, or of simply enjoying the many sweets and specialties, available at the fair, that they would look forward to every year. 

In addition to the visual aspect, the information pillars also  had an acoustic dimension that linked, via QR codes, to audio files that could be listened to on one’s personal smartphone.                                       

The audio component complemented the information pillars in an inspired way by bringing  the entire experience to life.  To achieve this effect, three humorous dialogues were created, which revolved around the topics of “culinary specialties”, “indoor trade fair “ and “Hääfelimäärt”, that worked to put the visitor right in the middle of the trade fair.                                     

The scripts were enacted and staged live by the acting duo Salomé Janz and David Bröckelmann. In addition to this, a monologue was performed by Franz Baur, who was also the bell-ringer at the fair.

All in all the combined visual and audio effects proved to be a very effective communication platform.

USP Partner AG is also responsible for the maintenance of the structures and equipment and for the logistics of transporting the 4 pillars of the fair to their next location at Barfi, and then via Petersplatz to Messeplatz. 

USP Partner AG  is rightfully proud of the part they played in helping to mark the 550th anniversary of the Basel Autumn Fair together with Valencia Kommunikation.  Thanks to their planning and implementation they managed to ensure that the 550th anniversary of this historic event could be celebrated by locals and visitors alike, despite the constraints imposed by the pandemic.

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