phillips product launch event case study

designed. event production was commissioned to produce a product launch and reseller event for Speech Processing Solutions, part of the Philips Group.

Product launch event brief

The Speech Processing Solutions marketing team provided a very specific brief which we adhered to throughout the event production cycle. In addition to the brief, the production team worked to very specific timings. The event was not only a launch for both new hardware and software to Speech Processing Solutions resellers, but provided time and space for engagement with resellers and their existing product range. Event filming and video production were also required. The footage would then be used after the event for attendees and new reselling partners.

Site visit and venue logistics

With the event running from early afternoon through early evening, and both inside and outside on a roof terrace at the start of October, we had to consider many elements that would influence the overall look and feel of the event. The designed event production team conducted a site visit to assess both the inside and outside environments. We also wanted to understand venue access, as this would potentially alter the set design and choice of equipment used to create the event. Through the site visit, we confirmed that access to the Sky Bar was only via one standard sized lift, this was extremely important given the importance that the client had given to the set design. The internal space for the event comprised two areas, the bar and entrance area, and a second larger area where the set and stage would be built. The bar area at Grange St. Paul’s Sky Bar is made from highly polished and reflective surfaces, while the main space features heavy curtains and a wooden floor. Working in such different acoustic environments meant that we had to be careful in the way we used sound and lighting as each would behave quite differently in the two distinct spaces space. With the roof terrace overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral we wanted to maximize this exterior space – we worked with the venue’s in-house events team to make decisions on lighting and sound.

Event filming and video production

Speech commissioned us to create an event video which would be shared with their existing and new resellers after the event. The purpose of the video was to showcase the positive relationship between Speech and its reselling partners. Capturing video footage had to be unobtrusive and low key with the attendees remaining almost unaware of the camera operator. Our video production team worked closely with the marketing team at Speech prior to the event to clarify what they wanted to achieve with the video. With a clear vision of the final video requirements, the camera operator was able to move freely and capture the correct footage throughout the launch event itself. After the main presentation at the event, interviews were completed by the stage area, using natural ambient light. This was completed in such a way that it didn’t intrude on the rest of the event, plus using the set as the background for the interviews kept the footage on brand. This strategy means that if required, the interviews could also be used separately to the rest of the video.

Event lighting design

As the event would be running from early afternoon to early evening, lighting was key to creating a sense of continuity within the created environment. As the bar and main area of the space have glass ceilings, we relied on the ambient light during daylight hours. Our event lighting design was set to take over at dusk and continue into the darkness of the evening.

The finished lighting design

We used wireless up-lighting units throughout the two inside areas. The units were placed strategically around the edges of the space, to cast light up across the different material finishes. Several units lead out onto the terrace area, helping to create a welcoming atmosphere and encourage people to mingle and stay later into the evening. The set and stage area was lit with wired up-lighters which were left on after the completion of the presentation to maximize the set panel impact and add to the lighting effect created within the enclosed environments of the venue.

The event’s sound design

With three areas needing to be covered for the presentation aspect of the event, it was vital to ensure all attendees would be able to experience clear sound whichever area they were in. To ensure this was the case, we used a combination of wired and wireless PAs. By using a wireless PA in the bar area, its placement meant we could minimize the harshness that could have been experienced in such an aurally reflective environment. In the main room, we used a wired PA to cover the entire room, as the room was long and narrow this ensured that wherever guests were in the room, they had full clarity of sound. On the terrace area, we used a second wireless PA. This meant we avoided any tripping hazards and it gave us the option of being able to quickly move the unit inside if the weather took a turn for the worse during the event. Both prior to the presentation and following their conclusion, we played a carefully selected range of music to encourage the atmosphere. The main wired PA was turned off during the video interviews, but the wireless units remained to keep the continuity of the event in place.

Branded stage and set design

The most important part of the Speech Processing Solutions product launch event brief was the set design. Speech wanted their resellers to clearly see that they were moving forward and ahead of what was expected and that they understood what their resellers expected from them and their products. Working with the venue’s available space, our branded stage and set design team created stretched fabric panels that could be built on-site, suiting the limited access available at the venue. Our graphic designer and set builder worked together to produce an impactful set design that could be reused in the future if required.

The completed set design

We created three large panels, with the smallest measuring 1.7 metres wide x 2.3 metres high and the largest 6 metres wide x 2.3 metres high. These panels were created to the Speech and Philips brand guidelines and featured high-resolution photography and text. We also created two pull-up banners for the product range which could be re-used by the marketing team after the launch event at other smaller events and exhibitions. Part of the presentation included video and Powerpoint. Our event AV team set up 55” screens on either side of the stage to relay this content. The Speech team used a clicker to move forward through their Powerpoint slides from a lectern on the stage. With multiple speakers, a decision was made to use the lectern microphone rather than a wireless microphone. All content would be delivered from the lectern, and no handovers would be required, making this the best option for the event sound.

The outcome

The launch and presentation event went smoothly and lasted just over 5 hours, taking place from bright autumn sunshine, through the shadow of St. Paul’s Cathedral as the sunset and into the darkness of an October evening. Working with the clearly defined brief, both for the product launch event and video production, we enabled Speech to make a stronger connection with their reselling partners’ thanks to strong visual branding, high-quality sound and lighting – all of which helped us to create the right atmosphere for the event. After the event, the team at Speech informed us that they’d received many compliments about the product launch event, and had been particularly pleased with the branded set panels and the impact they had both at the event and as the background in the video interviews.

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