Creating A Sense Of Occasion For The British Franchise Association

Earlier this year we were appointed by the British Franchise Association (bfa) to produce its annual events programme.  The bfa had a very specific brief and here’s how Business Development Manager Terence Corness and Project Manager Carmelo Amenta helped the bfa raise the bar at the Franchisee Of The Year Awards at Birmingham Town Hall earlier this month.

The Brief

With its awards programme growing in profile and popularity, we were asked by the bfa to produce a more engaging event; enthralling the audience, creating a bigger draw for prospective applicants and a real sense of occasion for finalists.  Terence worked with the client to take the overall brief and then brought in Project Manager Carmelo to prepare a creative response and produce a polished and exciting event.

The Backdrop

The set was the first design item on the agenda and the team began to develop not only a professional backdrop for staging this particular event but to incorporate the bfa’s identity in a lasting design which would become memorable across every event in the association’s annual programme.  It also needed to fulfil some practical requirements; incorporate the bfa’s branding as well as the sponsor branding; allow for a large plasma screen to display video content and graphics; and work consistently in different venues.  

The final design included a layered front and rear backdrop with the front elevation slightly smaller and curved at the outer edges.  This allowed Carmelo to apply different lighting states to each layer adding depth, texture and new dimensions.  These visual effects would work across venues of any shape or size and the overall curved design would scale easily to appear consistent

The Content

With the backdrop in place, Carmelo brought in Metro’s own video production team to develop concepts for the finalists’ VTs.  It was vital that the video content was as professional as possible - telling the human side of each finalist’s story - in order to create a real sense of prestige and reward.  The video content also needed to work seamlessly with the graphics and overall presentation. 

Filmed at award sponsor HSBC’s offices on the same day as the judges’ interviews, each finalist video was directed and produced by Carmelo using our own film crew and HD camera equipment then edited back at our editing suite.  The ability to develop the video content ‘in house’ meant that Project Manager Carmelo had greater control over consistency with the overall concept and VTs could be produced in line with graphics, lighting and staging design.  The presentation itself was completely redesigned to give it a more glamorous feel using a unique animation scheme.

The Production

Carmelo employed other techniques which kept the show running at a steady pace; a professional show-caller rehearsed with the presenters beforehand and a clever, motorised mirror autocue system meant the presenters were word perfect without the use of inhibiting scripts and verbal cues were not overlooked. 

Lighting states (as well as the soundtrack and collection of ‘stings’) were dramatically altered using colours and textures for each new category, breaking up the sequence of events yet maintaining a sense of progress through the evening.

The use of a green screen backdrop for finalist photo sessions was not only useful for creating press shots but also great fun after the show when guests could impose their pictures against a range of quirky backdrops and use a selection of props to create amusing scenes; theirs to keep as a memento of the occasion.


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