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July 1, 2009

EuBEA:insglück helps CeBIT run free

With the deadline for this year’s European Best Event Awards (EuBEA) having been extended to 15 July, we take and in-depth look at one of last year’s winning events.

German agency insglück Gesellschaft für Markeninszenierung mbH won overall best event at last year’s EuBEA for the opening ceremony of the 2008 CeBIT fair, which took place at the Kuppelsaal of the Hannover Congress Centru.

With a budget of €200,000 to €300,000, the opening ceremony had to provide the high-profile speakers – including German chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, French president Nicolas Sarkozy, president of the European Union Commission José Manuel Barroso and Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer – with the appropriate staging. It also had to strengthen the CeBIT brand, raise the profile of the event, signal the beginning of the trade fair and get across CeBIT’s new structure in a clear and effective way.


Speakers' corner: the stage provided the perfect
backdrop for a range of high-profile speakers

Mirroring the rapid change in the high-tech sector, Deutsche Messe AG has continued to develop the image of the CeBIT, and in 2008 launched a new-look event that focused strongly on the needs of the visitor based around its four key pillars: business solutions; public sector solutions; home and mobile solutions; and technology and infrastructure.

Traditionally, the official opening of the fair takes place on the evening before the first day, with a festive ceremony in the Kuppelsaal of the Hanover Congress Centrum. Around 2,500 people are invited, including national and international VIPs from politics and business, alongside chief executives from the most important CeBIT exhibitors. Together with the invited exhibitors and media representatives, the aim is to spread the event’s message to as wide an audience as possible.

The idea
In 2008, CeBIT’s organisers broke new ground with both the content and concept of the event. insglück was charged with communicating these changes and reflecting the show’s future-oriented themes, as well as the rapid developments in the field of telecommunications.

With this brief, the agency developed the idea of a dynamic 'Free Run' through the world of CeBIT. Images and video representing the four key themes for the new show were projected onto the backdrop of the stage and five free runners – dressed as young business people – climbed through a physically demanding course on the back wall of the stage. This created an engaging mix of media sequences and exciting live performance.


Running free: Actors climbed though a physically
demanding course representing the world of CeBIT

A spokesman for the agency added that the aim was to “blur the boundaries between the real and virtual world – just like in the IT world. In this way the opening ceremony reproduces what CeBIT and its exhibitors stand for: breaking new ground creatively and at the same time efficiently and constantly expanding the boundaries of what is possible and being one step ahead of the zeitgeist.”

insglück developed a storyboard, which ensured that the media, live performance and the appearance of the various speakers fitted seamlessly with each another. The agency then created a three-dimensional stage to serve as a projection area, as well as a spectacular “playground” for the actors.

A few days prior to the event, insglück was on location with a film crew and the free runners. This footage they captured during the set up of the show formed the basis of the media production for the opening ceremony. Images provided by the exhibitors, custom-made animations and a powerful soundtrack were added to this footage to create a single, fast-paced film.

During the opening ceremony, the actors initially appeared on screen, which showed them entering the show from various directions. They then met in front of a signpost pointing the way through the trade fair. Finally, with a daring leap, they escaped from the screen and landed on the stage.


Stage diving: Actors leap from the video directly onto
the stage, blurring the lines between the
virtual and real worlds

“Through media projections, the stage design becomes the CeBIT world, the show a multi-media live performance,” explains insglück’s spokesman. “The actors move in continuously changing combinations through pixel architecture and trade fair issues.”

insglück staged a surprising and extremely dynamic kick-off to the fair which, according to Michael Rose, head of protocol and corporate events at the Deutsche Messe AG, fitted perfectly with the new CeBIT concept.

“The opening ceremony surprised the guests,” added Rose. “The event served as the first step in fulfilling the promise of the ‘new CeBIT’, and the feedback was unanimously positive. The opening ceremony appears to have contributed significantly to the exhibitors’ acceptance of the new CeBIT concept. This opening event sets the benchmark. It was a complete success. The positive spirit at the opening of this year’s CeBIT provided motivation for the entire fair.”

The event was broadcast live over the internet, while a condensed version could be called up on the CeBIT website during the course of the trade fair. The show newsletter praised the unique event and the connection of IT and telecommunications issues with the new structure of the CeBIT.

A film crew from the NDR (Northern German Broadcasting) visited the event during the last 48 hours, and the resulting 30-minute documentary was broadcast on 9 March 2008 on NDR television.

A short documentary of the event has also been used by the Deutsche Messe AG as a marketing tool in locations as far away as Australia.

“Winning the EuBEA has contributed towards insglück being first in the Event-Creation Survey 2008/09 in HORIZONT, the german journal for marketing, advertising and media,” comments a spokesperson from the agency. “This is hugely important for us because our clients use these rankings as a basis of decision-making when they are looking for an events agency.”

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