The Show Must Go On

Posted on: Friday 02 July 2010 6:27am

Brand owners, venue operators and live event producers consider the challenges and advantages of taking a brand into the live space in creative terms and with monetisation in mind.


Will Brenton, Director, Wish Films

Mike Godolphin, Head of Entertainment, Butlins

Lisbeth Moon, Director of New Ventures, Innovision

Craig Stanley, General Manager of Live Entertainment and Events, BBC Worldwide

Live events are an important part of brand strategy. According to Lisbeth Moon, a brand is much more than a product – it is something that can create an emotional tie. It can be a collection of perceptions in our minds and hearts. In this highly competitive arena, you have to differentiate yourself. It’s important to ask what’s unique about your product.

Live events can create a direct experience, a sensational experience, a life changing event. With a live show you can create several if not all aspects of your brand, transport message, meaning, emotions and life-style.

Most brand marketing is about creating sales, live events are about meeting a need in people’s search for instant gratification. And there are ways of directly monetising an event: through ticket sales, merchandise, footage sales and concessions.

Craig Stanley has worked on shows all over the world for BBC Worldwide. He believes live events for children can work as seated shows in arenas and theatres and pointed to the success of stage versions of the Tweenies, Charlie & Lola and Walking With Dinosaurs as examples. He suggests that when you create a new programme, think early about it’s potential to become a live experience. Think carefully – if you get it wrong, it’s easy to lose both money and brand reputation.

Mike Godolphin provided an insight from the venue perspective. He believes the opportunity to wow is greater when you work with brands people know and admire. Mums often do the booking – so you should keep up with what they value for their kids. Live events offer cross-marketing potential for all partners, brand owners, distributors and the holiday industry. With live events, marketing goes a lot deeper.

Will Brenton is both brand owner and live event producer. He knows the pitfalls of translating screen characters to the live stage. Brands can work in a 10 minute TV strand but don‘t always translate into a 90 minutes theatre show.

So, live events may be done out of commercial interest, but always respect your audience’s expectations and deliver.

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