Earlier this year, Done Events was hired as an event agency for the rebrand launch of Tecom’s media entities — Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and International Media Production Zone (IMPZ). During the launch event, Dubai Media City (DMC) and Dubai Studio City (DSC) unveiled their new logos, while International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) announced its new identity, Dubai Production City (DPC).The changes were unveiled at a gala dinner hosted by Tecom, the parent company of the three organisations, which took place at the Sound Stage venue in Studio City.
Anu Thomas, project manager, recounts: “Done Events was provided with the opportunity to create a unique experience, which showcased the three entities and their services using digital media and futuristic technologies. The event saw a ‘who’s who’ from the media industry, including the stakeholders of Dubai Holding and Tecom.”
While corporate events on this scale in Dubai are usually noteworthy productions to an extent, what really piqued our interest here at Sound & Stage was the use of a new approach to projection mapping, which saw various elements of the event beamed onto the guests’ tables to provide a level of interactive experience suitable for the media industry-based celebration. Thomas explains: “The most notable element of the event was surely the dinner table projection mapping, which was executed and witnessed for the very first time in the UAE. Each member of the audience was blown away with the detail and innovative technology unfolding in front of them. The audience felt involved in the show in a way that few of them had ever experienced. It was a way for everyone to see the brand unveiling and stage content at the same time; everyone receiving the VIP treatment as it were!”
Sonu A.B., senior production manager, elaborates further: “The projection mapping showcased every element of the stage screen displayed from the MD’s presentation, the launch video and the interactive entertainment. The logo launch was officially done and displayed in front of each guest giving them a first-hand look at the new brand identity.”
He continues: “Each guest could visually see what dish they were being offered before the dish was presented. In the past we have shown all the information on one massive screen usually located on the main stage. For the first time the information was available to each individual right in their seats.”
And achieving such a feat obviously included much prior planning for the team involved. While the guests may have been enjoying the ‘novelty factor’ of the table mapping, the equipment and work going on behind the scenes to ensure it was pulled off effectively was notable in its own right.
Sonu explains: “The guest experience and connectivity to the brand was the key purpose of this feature. The table mapping was very unique due to the following reasons: Table mapping has not been experienced before on that scale in UAE or even in Middle East for that matter; [there was] a seamless blend of content from main stage screens to the tables; virtual menu options; full HD content for creating different moods during the event; logo launch moment and other key information shown on the tables.”
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He continues: “Each dinner table had to be custom made so as to use it as a 16:9 projection surface. Each table was 4.88m x 3m with a tailored tablecloth and seamless joints. Each table was positioned perfectly on the floor plan to accommodate the projectors positions. In order to get the alignments right for each of the 21 tables, each table had a dedicated 21k projector rigged directly above it. The only concern we had was to get the tables in the right place as the carpet had to be laid underneath the tables beforehand. The technical staging had to be absolutely perfect for the effect to be right.”
Considering that the new brand identities symbolising a sharper focus on promoting innovation as the driving force behind the growth of the media industry, it seems only fitting that a technological innovation such as the table mapping element provided the talking point of the launch event.
Majed Al Suwaidi, managing director of Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, and Dubai Production City, commented: “We are very proud of the great success we have enjoyed over the past 15 years. There have been many outstanding achievements, which have contributed towards the realisation of our vision to become the region’s leading hub for the media industry. Our reputation as a community supporting the creation and delivery of high quality content for all parts of the media industry has gathered strength and we are now ready to build on this platform through the next phase of our development.”
He continued: “We will always welcome international businesses and fully recognise the contribution they make to the building of vibrant communities. However, our focus will increasingly be on nurturing local talent and entrepreneurs, who are the future of the media industry.”
So with the future very much in focus for the organising body behind the event, how is the next stage shaping up for event technology such as that which was witnessed by the guests in attendance at the gala dinner?
Sonu reveals: “We are beginning to see a growing trend for clients requesting more technology and activations during corporate events. This has manifested in audience participation crowdsourcing apps, real-time translation or augmented reality.”
He continues: “Every corporation wants their event to be unique and the same cookie-cutter hotel packages no longer cut it. We are experiencing more and more requests for internal temporary structures within an event to transform a space as seen at exhibitions or the trend for more pop-up style food and beverage outlets. This trend has also come with stipulations that event planners should find innovative ways to promote local, organic and sustainable causes as part of the event. From ‘green’ décor to locally sourced ingredients or farm-to-table settings, planners have to deliver on a message of caring and responsibility.”
And, with new innovations like those on display at Tecom’s rebranding pushing the boundaries of what can be done in terms of technology at corporate occasions, it looks as though it won’t be long until more event organisers in the region start stepping up to the table.