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Brand Activation / Experiential Marketing expected trends for the future

29 Mar

The experiential events industry is flourishing. Marketing budgets are ever increasing and focusing more on live events and experiential, whilst available technology is not only progressing but becoming more affordable and effective. These together are enabling some superbly innovative and creative ideas to surface all over the world.

So what do I think is going to trend in the future? Three key things.

  • Sustainable events
  • Immersive experiences
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

Sustainable events

It’s no secret that the events industry is not massively easy on our environment. Huge trucks carting tonnes of kit all over the world every day for a one day set up, large sets torn to shreds and discarded after short amounts of live time and anyone that works in the industry I can guarantee you is always drowning in printouts / paper….

However, the industry is waking up now and realizing the importance of delivering events with the planet in mind.

Recycled shipping containers are already a regular in the events world. But there are heaps of other ways event managers can consider the environment. Using electric cars / vans like the Nissan LEAF or the eNV200 for transporting crew and kit, printing using ink free printers, recycling every bit of paper and every empty bottle after an event, using recycled materials to print materials, solar powered kit and heaps more.

There are even sustainable events agencies appearing like The Blub London who are using industry standard ISO2012-1 as a benchmark for all their event planning.

Immersive experiences

The rise of projects like Secret Cinema and the current ‘Live Escape Game’ craze throughout the UK are perfect examples of this, as well as the rise in popularity of virtual reality headsets. Kit from a number of different tech companies (Oculus Rift, Samsung) is making it cheaper, easier and a better quality experience to create immersive experiences.

However, previously some brands have used technology for the sake of using technology. There hasn’t been enough thought put into what the end consumer would take from the experience. It has become apparent that the brand, the activity and the interaction needed to fit together seamlessly for right message to be carried away.

With this in mind, more brands this year will be thinking more creatively about how they implement these immersive experiences, whilst using the best kit available.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Probably the biggest and most exciting trend of the three, IoT has the potential to make experiential even more engaging, fun and personal to a consumer.

IoT is the network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity enabling these objects to collect and exchange data.

Imagine a city that is totally connected. Cars, roads, cameras, traffic lights, clothes, phones, bikes, fridges; everything. If a phone can talk to a fridge you can find out what you need to buy for dinner on your way home from work without physically looking in your fridge. If a street camera can talk to traffic lights or your car they can redirect you around another route from where there might be heavy traffic to make your journey quicker. If your phone can talk to your jacket while you’re riding your bike you can receive phone calls, emails and texts – still riding with both hands….

It’s remarkable how this technology can be used. There are already projects like The Things Network where technologists are testing out city wide networks in places like Manchester that are totally free to use. So not only amazingly forward thinking but incredibly cheap to run and create. 

Absolut are already ahead of the game, you can see some of the ideas they’ve been looking at with a number of agencies in this article in Marketing Magazine

I found this infographic very helpful in understanding the basics of IoT! The possibilities of how you can transpose this type of technology into an event space or activity is incredibly exciting and infinite!


Google Project Tango

27 Jun

Just heard the fantastic news that Google’s Project Tango will be available for purchase next year! If you haven’t heard of Project Tango and you work in the event industry, this device is set to revolutionise and completely change the level detail we obtain when conducting site visits.

Essentially, Project Tango is a hand held device created by the awesome Google Advanced Technology Lab. The device uses two cameras and infrared depth sensors to track its surroundings and to create a 3D navigable model of the environment it is in.  It’s used by pointing the camera at what you see, so the sensors in the phone can take 250,000 measurements of its surroundings every second. Google have announced their partner for Project Tango will be LG!

So, as an Event Manager with one of these handsets, I (or anyone at all) could go to a venue, 3D track every room I am planning to use for an event, and build an exact scale 3D image of every nook and cranny of the spaces I plan to use.

Ever been asked by your production team the exact measurements of a wall/stage/door you never thought to check on your site visit? No problem! This device will track every measurement for you. Too busy to go on a site visit, because you’re actually planning your project? No worries! Just send your Account Exec over with the device to track everything on your behalf!

There’s plenty of other uses for the device other than within the events industry of course. The video game industry are planning to use it for replicating specific locations and building entirely new games, NASA have even cottoned on to the technology and are using to assist with space exploration, Oculus Rift are trialling using it to create incredible virtual reality experiences or even builders or architects or interior designers could use it…. that’s just to name a few!

Here’s a little video to demonstrate it in its full glory!

Johnny Lee and the ATAP-Project Tango Team says “The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.”

I am so excited to see what this incredible handset can do. It would save our industry the money, time and even contribute to helping the environment (by less people having to fly/travel all over the world on site visits)! The future is here!

I Love Events top things this week!

31 Jan


Wow. This is a cool bit of kit.

This amazing projector is the next step in home/office/ event projection. You simply place the unit next to a wall, and the top of it opens up to reveal a hidden projector.

This fine piece of machinery projects a 147 inch image – that is 4 times (YES 4 times!!) the resolution of HD.

The unit itself is made of aluminium, making it look sleek, subtle and includes a built in speaker system and storage unit for all your laptops/consoles/DVD players etc.

If I had an extra £25,000 going spare I would certainly buy myself one of these babies!! You can find out more about it here



Very excited for Sochi! I’m planning a Winter Olympics Party; which so far involves drinking vodka and watching Cool Runnings.

However, I’ve seen some that some sponsors of the Winter Olypics are planning some exciting activity around the games. One in particular,  MegaFon.

MegaFon are building a digital ‘Mount Rushmore’ whereby guests to the Olympic Village have their face scanned in a 3D photobooth, then light cylinders transform the building’s skin into an eight-metre 3D portrait of each visitor for 20 seconds.

Very cool! You can watch a test video of the kit here



It’ll be my first year at BTC, but I’ve been meaning to go for many many years. I only have one tattoo but I’ve been debating my next one for a long time, so what better way to get some inspiration and to see the work of some of the finest tattooists in the country!

There will be parties, bands playing, seminars, competitions – all sorts of fun! Brighton Tattoo Convention will be held at the Brighton Hilton Hotel, on Saturday 15th February, and Sunday 16th February. See you there!


Have a great weekend everyone! x

I Love Events top things this week!

10 Jan

1. WORK.

Being back at work. I know, I know. That’s pretty sad. But I love my job. I love using my brain after having some time off and I feel rejuvenated and inspired after a nice long break. Bring on 2014 with Proud Robinson!


My good friend Theresa Macaulay brought me a book for my 30th Birthday called ‘Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grownup’, a book about how it’s becoming increasingly more socially acceptable to be an adult that enjoys the activities and things that kids like. Myself and quite a few of my adult peers appear to be a ‘rejuvenile’ – owning superhero mugs, playing with Lego, wearing clothing associated with youth culture – like Converse & band t shirts (to company meetings no less!) – it’s a change in society that she obviously realised I’m a part of. The book is great, and after reading it I realised that a huge number of people in America, the UK and beyond are part of it too. Found it very interesting and a good insight societically that could be relevant for ‘rejunvenile’ related brands/experiential activity. You can buy it here on Amazon for under £10.


I saw the YouTube video floating around of Michael Bay at Samsung’s conference panic because his telepromter wasn’t working. The majority of people were mocking Michael Bay for this, but realistically it was the event teams responsibility to ensure their kit was working to get the most out of their host. Mr Bay is a movie director, NOT a public speaker. He cannot be expected to have pulled that out of the bag. My point is that I blame the event team, and I’m sure they’re in trouble for that. Don’t blame poor old Michael! His films are all fantastic! And he was pretty funny in the Kenny Powers K Swiss CEO video!


LOVE LOVE LOVE this experiential activity done on a beach in Brazil offering free showers in a bespoke shower system made to look like a soft drinks dispenser – the activity achieved 1500 ‘servings’ a day! Great idea, perfectly targeted.


That’s my two cents for the week! Have a great weekend everyone!

The Nissan Pop Up Cafe

7 Oct

The Nissan Pop Up Café has been one of the biggest, boldest and most innovative events I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on.

The goal with the Nissan Pop Up Café was to provide a compelling and innovative way for the public to discover and explore Nissan products, namely the Nissan LEAF (100% electric car), and the New Nissan NOTE.

Already, we at Proud Robinson have taken the café to Oslo and Copenhagen and we’ve had over 26,000 visitors. The structure itself is a feat; an incredible Pop Up canopy that shelters many exciting activities.

The Café includes a variety of different tech including Sliced LEAF (literally, a Nissan LEAF that we’ve sliced in half to show all the internal workings). Sliced LEAF is hooked up to a virtual test drive program, so guests can play GT5 using the steering wheel and pedals. As well as this, we’ve incorporated Stop Motion videos, where we film using 12 Go Pros placed at different angles around the car, producing a video that eventually ‘reveals’ you’re in Sliced LEAF.

We’ve also got a solar forest (5 solar trees that allow you to charge your smart phone from solar power generated from solar panels), we have Kinetic Scalectrix (power generated by Kinetic energy using handcranks), recycled petrol pumps (the idea for this was by Nissan Australia – ‘if the whole world went electric, what would we do with all the petrol pumps?’), and an interactive light display demonstrating the New Nissan NOTE’s safety shield technology.

On top of this, we offer test drives in a Nissan LEAF. The whole idea is to educate guest on how advanced the technology is in a LEAF, and ‘myth bust’ as most people have preconceptions on what electric vehicles are capable of.

Next stops on the Pop Up Café tour are Berlin (16th – 23rd October), then Hamburg (2nd – 9th November).  A very exciting and forward thinking activity to be a part of!

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