To design and produce an evening event sponsored by Microsoft for GAME Retail, with 400 GAME store managers from across the UK and Ireland. GAME’s conferences and evening events are a Christmas launch pad, combining supplier showcases and internal messages with fun engagement. The propose of the Microsoft evening was to celebrate the launch of HALO 5, creating engagement throughout the GAME store managers in order to improve productivity and sales at the end of October 2015.
The core objectives of the event were to create an engaging evening that immersed guests in Halo 5. The evening was a chance for Microsoft to showcase their biggest game of the year, enabling guests to play the game and understand the development and back story before it was released.
Pre event research was undertaken with Microsoft to understand key features of Halo 5 and understand how these key features, specifically the look and feel of the game along with the characters, special effects, design and lighting could be manipulated as part of the event. Weeks were spent with the marketing team to understand which of the key elements could be transferred into an appropriate venue to bring the game alive.
With an income target to meet, the primary consideration in devising the evening was to maximise revenue, so we created an evening that gave our client the ability to engage and motivate their top level store management as well as selling the evening to one of GAME’s key suppliers; Microsoft.
We needed a venue that was on message and embodied the look and feel of Halo 5 and was a convenient location to the Ricoh Arena, where the conference had been held during the day. Given the time of year and nature of the game we needed to find a venue that worked both inside and out so we settled on a warehouse with an outdoor arena giving easy access to create the evening across two spaces with a congruent theme. However we then needed a wet weather plan given that shelter was limited in the arena, so we attached a 30m x 15m canopy to the arena arch ways creating a sheltered space to eat and drink should the weather have been wet.
Most importantly the venue mirrored that of the game with addition to technical backup, dressing and theming it gave a gritty and exciting atmosphere to the night that absorbed delegates into a world of gaming.
The evening began with the outdoor arena drenched in Halo style lighting, smoke and fire burners to recreate the opening scenes of the game. Once delegates had entered the arena they were given the option of street style food from vendors ranging from award winning burgers to pizza cooked fresh from mini coopers. The arena continued to come alive with life size Halo characters moving around delegates for photo opportunities.
Given that this was the biggest Halo 5 launch in the country we created a 20ft graffiti image of the games protagonist under the arch of the arena, as well as live graffiti of other characters to mirror the feel of the game into the venue once more.
As the catering came to a close delegates were moved across to the indoor warehouse which continued the theme where we utilised the industrial brickwork, installed camouflage netting and live scenes of Halo 5 were projected onto the main stage previewing the highly anticipated release.
Guests were gathered around the main stage as the Game Executives awarded prizes to some of the most successful managers across the country. As the awards drew to a close the delegates were given free play across three key zones. The main stage was rigged for head to head gaming across 16 linked consoles, the mezzanine was home to a green screen with authentic Halo 5 props, live DJ session where guests could become a DJ and alternate reaction games to test their hand-eye coordination. Additionally we created two spaces on the terrace; a silent disco with two DJ’s battling across two channels that ranged from 80’s and 90’s music with some Halo 5 soundtracks as well and a dessert area where delegates could help themselves to late night treats such as fresh crepes and homemade waffles.
The anecdotal feedback from both GAME store managers and Microsoft was that it was the best evening they had been to – the levels of entertainment, atmosphere and food were outstanding.
Any stats from Halo 5 sales??
‘Microsoft, well done. Food for everyone, crepes and waffles! Awesome. Much love!
Anthony Blabey, delegate.
‘Cascade nailed all the elements that we worked with them on. The party in particular was spectacular. The level of execution was above and beyond my expectations.’
Channel Marketing Executive, Microsoft.