Report – Making It Live

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2016 9:55pm by Gabrielle Smith

What do you need to create content within the live space? This session explored the benefits of brand extension in the live event space and how successful you can be at attracting a children’s audience away from the screen and into the real world


  • Live event spaces are an important and exciting sector of the industry for new and original content
  • Power of a strong brand and finding a form of measurable success that excites the intended audience is key
  • Know your level of risk


As well as being highly informative, this session was a lively and thoughtful conversation that really covered all bases. From brand extension and live event spaces, to creating and providing interactive role-play opportunities, ‘making it live’ for children and their families was key.

Working for a live events company that DSC_6713specialises in the family market Ellie Carter and Jenny Kane from Paper Chatterbox, realised there were very few companies working with high profile brands and markets for family events.

Through championing the live experience with the interactive or by playing games, i.e. the provision of something interesting and different to a theatre experience gives that injection of creativity that perhaps you just might need!

From the position of brand manager for CBeebies, Jo Redfern commented on the many ways you can engage in the live event space. From theatre, arena or location based entertainment (such as CBeebies Land found in Alton Towers), she noted that the building blocks for taking existing brands into the live events space should start with research.  You must find evidence that there is demand in the market before you consider taking it into the space. You need to seek out the appetite for it.

Connecting via Skype, Donna Friedman Meir has had an interesting career with extensive experience in creating brands, having helped launch Nickelodeon in the UK. In experiencing first hand the power of ‘touching the audience and seeing delight and engagement on their faces’, Wowtopia was realised some years later.

A unique travelling adventure park, with maker and cultural experience there is something for everyone. In creating a high-end festival atmosphere that brings parents and kids together, the mantra of ‘move, make, connect and celebrate’ are at the heart of Wowtopia’s mission.

In connecting content to the audience, Clare Mason from the globally renowned attraction Kidzania combined elements of role-play and an immersive experience for children to taste the grown-up world of work and city living.

CBeebies offer less of an overtly educational experience, however, it is woven through the fabric of pre-school family life that promises to deliver education and entertainment.

In short, brands are looking for ways to connect and engage with consumers in a meaningful way. In an age where some families are incredibly ‘time-poor’ and under pressure, we are all still hungry for shared experiences.

CMC Ebulletin Event Reports BBC Children's Cbeebies Clare Mason CMC 2016 Ellie Carter Jenny Kane Jo Redfern Jon Hancock KidZania live space events making it live Making it Live CMC2016 Paper Chatterbox WOW Explorations

Gabrielle Smith

About the author

Gabrielle Smith

Northumbria University, Ph.D Student

Gabrielle Smith is a second year Ph.D candidate at Northumbria University, Newcastle and is a Film and Television graduate from the universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow. Her current research explores the role of the British children’s television presenter. Additionally, Gaby’s passion for working with children and young adults has been… Read more