Interesting Breakfast - The write up

                  Interesting Breakfast


Thank you to everyone who came along to the wonderful Madison St Paul’s on Thursday morning. Whether you made it to the breakfast or not, we thought it would be helpful to write up the topics and share some of the examples. The theme was Super Connectors and built on our ongoing series of reports.


Content that Connects

First up were Katie & Leonor. They showed how you can build conversation into your content, giving people stimulus to connect around. The added benefit of this approach being that we all retain more information when we’re actively involved rather than just passively listening.

Ideas included:

Scavenger Hunts – Audiences work together to uncover content and make connections

Lego Challenge – Get people collaborating around a behavioural change exercise

Paired Discussion – Break up presented content with periods of chat

Wonder Walks – Pair people up, give them a topic and send them off on a walk and talk

Solution Room – Small groups discuss people’s challenges using the wisdom of the crowd to generate new ideas

Human Spectrogram – Voting with your feet. People move to different parts of a room to indicate their opinions

Reverse Q&A – Put audience questions back to the audience. Bounce the topic around before going to your on-stage experts.


Spatial Design that Connects

Paul & Kat shared some tips for designing spaces that put people at ease and naturally help them network. These included:

Venues – be prepared to sacrifice practicality in order to have a space that sparks wonder and discussion

Bums on seats – think outside the box – stimulating, surprising and unconventional ways to seat your audience

Little things – sometimes it’s the tiny, quirky, left-field things that spark conversation

Big things – be bold, one big design statement is far more powerful than diluting ideas across many areas

Make it fun – the Sketch toilets are all we need to say on this point


Experiences that Connect

Conor & Emily reminded us how far what used to ambitiously be called ‘networking areas’ have come. Conor started with four activations, sure to spark conversation:

Thought Bubbles – these floating orbs are not only great for branding, by asking people to write their own content onto them they become a fun way to share content

Stitch School – embroidery is back! Customised printed looms are a visually stimulating way to get people chatting around a brand message

Scratch Walls – a great conversation building idea, courtesy of Marriott

Luster  – crowd sourced mosaic art piece, which sees delegates printing insta pictures using the event hashtag to add them to a giant mosaic board to reveal brand messaging

Emily reminded us that whilst all the above is great fun, what people really want is food! And, she showed that F&B can also be a spectacle that gets people talking.

Lick me I’m Delicious  – these guys provide experiential food installations such as nitrogen ice cream, tipsy fountains and their wonderful new invention edible balloons. Their contraptions are visually striking and create natural conversation points

Thirsty Thoughts– have designed a robot that allows people to pour a pint of beer or even a mocktail, through mind control

Ooho – are a driving force of sustainability. Their sustainably packaged liquid shots let people hydrate without using plastic and are sure to spark conversation

Robot barman – people can digitally order a cocktail and watch robots make them right before their eyes. Again, a fantastic conversation starter!

Bompas and Parr – create perfectly detailed moulded jellies of everything from famous landmarks, to the human body. A wonderful example of how your catering can be the spark that gets people connecting.

Technology that Connects

We all know that event technology makes big promises about helping people connect. Harriette cut through the hype. She encouraged us to start with our audience type and shared not only the solutions we should be thinking about but the behavioural tips that will ensure they’re embraced by your attendees.

Her four audience types were:

Large audience who do not know each other –  consider pre-event matching making such as Grip and Socio

Introverted audiences – proximity technology helps people continue conversations post-event by sending them details of the people they have connected with. Hiver and Loopd are great examples of this

Extroverts – to extend the number of conversations consider a digital speed networking tech. Mixalot offer just the thing

Competitive audiences – for groups such as sales teams gamified networking might be the ticket. Scavify and EventMobi can add the competitive edge to your event.

For more on this topic be sure to check out our latest Super Connectors report.

Joining the Dots

Finally, Jez tackled the million dollar question – can you demonstrate that creating Super Connectors actually generates real business value?

By building event technology into highly connecting experiences we can gain a detailed picture of audience behaviour. This data, on its own, only tells us about what happens within the event. In order to understand how the experience is moving clients or prospects through the consideration funnel or leading to sales we need integrate our event technology with our business’ wider CRM systems.

Jez drew on a recent study, the Event Marketing Evolution, to show how some of the world’s biggest brands are forensically demonstrating the ROI of their events.

If you’d like to chat about any these topics in more detail do drop us a line. And keep an eye out for our monthly That’s Interesting newsletter.

Five ways to capitalise on the new era of connected creative events

A View from Jez Pazman

Last month’s SXSW showed how far events have come from PowerPoint sales pitches and warm wine.

South by Southwest is just one high-profile example of a wider creative renaissance in the events space. The industry is changing rapidly to meet the changing needs of business and consumers. Today’s audience value surprising interactions that are as much about forming real-world connections as they are about consuming content.

With this in mind, here are five ways brands can design creative events that will attract and deeply engage their target audience.

1 Embrace the power of entertainment

In an ever-more digital world, face-to-face experiences have a special kind of magic. Your audiences are willing you to do something wonderful and they’re more likely to engage when they have a smile on their face.

One example is Google’s theme-park-style ride to bring to life Google Assistant at the Consumer Electronics Show – an entertaining reimagining of a product demonstration at a technology conference….………

<<Click here  to read the article in full…..>>


Interesting May

Interesting May


Welcome to May’s That’s Interesting, Live Union’s curated list of inspiration and useful ideas from the far corners of the event world. This month we bring you everything from designing more intelligent networking to turning audience brainwaves into art.

Most Interesting – intelligent networking

Super Connectors (10min read)
In the first of our new Super Connectors reports we share the event formats that put networking at the heart of your experience.

Just plain interesting – event ideas & inspiration

Coachella’s Augmented Reality Equipped Stage (2min read)
How AR is adding an amazing new creative dimension to live experiences.

How smart companies are measuring event ROI (3min read)
Well-written article on generating and evaluating ROI by integrating your event tech with your wider CRM. And, if you’re interested in that, you’ll like this article looking at how brands such as IBM are using event tech to gain audience insights.

Turn audience brainwaves into paintings (2min explore)
We’re looking to use this great visual experience at an event this autumn.
In a similar vein, check out this wonderful art installation.

Eco-friendly wrist bands (1min read)
Get drastic on plastic!

All bliss no booze (2min read)
Ideas for non-alcoholic activations.

Finding the best presentation images (2min explore)
Useful resource.

Multi-dimensional event identities (1min explore)
Live experiences should have vibrant multi-dimensional identities; Papercraft ticks all the boxes.

A venue to know about:
Magazine London

Something to go to:
Instagram friendly experience for all the family.

Rooftop Film Club
Cult classics and new releases.

p.s. If there’s something interesting that you’ve seen at an event, please do email us

Interesting December

Welcome to December’s Interesting. A bumper edition of useful resources to help prepare for 2018 as well as snowball fights and turkeys.

Kick off your next event with a snowball fight (2min explore)
Nice way to build participation from the start

Stage set of the year (3min explore)
U2’s stunning Joshua Tree tour set broke all sorts of records for using LED, good video here

How to get your audience to risk doing something different (3min read)
Overcome the ‘our guys won’t do that’ objection by creating the right group dynamic

Groundbreaking visual collaboration tool for presenters (3min read)
Really interesting way to increase engagement with presented content

Touchscreen without a screen (3min explore)
Turn any surface into an interactive screen

Eyecon Art (2min explore)
We’re big fans of this simple but surprisingly compelling concept. The gallery page has some wonderful ideas for creating artwork out of your audience’s eyes

Extremely useful list of event tech (10min explore)
A comprehensive list of event tools from registration to streaming. One to file away

The creative process (7min watch)
Overcoming challenges, self-doubt, changing course, collaboration, it’s all here

Ultimate list of event marketing stats (10min explore)
Whether you’re writing a presentation for your next event programme or mulling new event tech you’ll find a stat to help

How to calculate the value of your lead gen event (3min read)
Compelling ways to demonstrate the value of your sales events

Something interesting to go to:
Smithfield Market’s famous Christmas Eve auction (2min read)
Confusingly happening on the 23rd December this rekindled tradition is just the place to pick up your turkey

Something beautiful:
Mesmerising experiential art (2min explore)

Interesting November

Welcome to November’s Interesting. This month we share ideas for listening, sitting, scribing, lounging… and Stormzy.

Most interesting
Interesting Breakfast – The Write-up  (5min read)
Earlier in the month, we hosted the live version of this newsletter sharing the best of the best.

Just plain interesting
Five ways to listen better  (15min watch)
How much of what is said at events is actually heard? Listening tips, talks and exercises are an interesting addition to any agenda.

Sitting outside the box  (2min explore)
We’ve just taken delivery of some of these. Amazingly sturdy and perfect for designing flexible discussion spaces.

AR for events (2min explore)
This is the tech we think is going to have the biggest impact on events in 2018. The contact exchange functionality is useful, but the ability to layer content and help audiences dive deeper is the really valuable bit.

Questions to ask before booking a venue (3min read)
Don’t hamper your event with a restrictive venue contract.

Eleven ways to use scribing at events  (2min explore)
We especially like the live scribing behind the panelists.

Stormzy smashes it at the MTV Awards (2min watch)
Cracking set design.

Igloo lounges (1min explore)

Some interesting things to go to:
A rare opportunity to visit London’s WWII underground shelters and watch  Subterranean Screenings, part of the London Transport Museum’s Hidden London series.

We’re big Abandoman fans – in the spirit of researching talent for your next event, we recommend booking yourself some tickets for the January tour.

If there’s something interesting you think we should include next month, please share it via

Interesting Breakfast - The Write Up

Multitaction Screen v2.jpg

The sheer volume of event inspiration can be overwhelming, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram churn out new ideas round the clock. Keeping up is impossible.

At Live Union we set out to sort the hype from the truly useful. Last week’s Interesting Breakfast, held at the Timber Yard in Soho saw us sharing the new ideas, formats and technologies that we’re most excited about.

Speed presentations and hands-on experiences explored five topics at the forefront of re-imagining events. Below are some of the ideas we shared along with some useful links.

Format design

Shifts in what audiences value are being reflected in changing formats:

Newco is an event programme that has completely overturned the traditional conference format, embracing a field-trip approach. Rather than speakers traveling to a conference to talk to an audience, the audience travel to the speakers. Newco’s San Francisco event saw 2000 people able to visit 150 companies across three days to hear presentations.

Audiences report better learning experiences, more relaxed speakers – who are presenting from their home environment – and great networking as they share journeys between companies.

In general we’re seeing formats that offer audiences more choice and control over how they experience the content. At this year’s Oracle Open World the plenary content was live streamed to media walls in an alfresco networking street. New York’s Future of Storytelling festival has found a creative way to help people select the content that’s right for them. They pair 25 speakers with 25 film makers, and in advance of the event create five minute shorts that bring the topics to life.

Spatial design

New ideas for designing and dividing event spaces are stimulate greater networking and collaboration:

Everblock’s giant building blocks are a flexible and striking way to create huddle spaces and quickly reconfigure your venue. Inflatable structures are evolving to offer every imaginable size and shape, providing interesting opportunities for 360 content.

The trend for adult colouring books is sparking colouring walls at events. This simple concept can be used to stimulate idea sharing, voting and collaboration and audiences enjoy the space coming to life as the event progresses.

As event formats become more fluid agile seating solutions are a must. These cardboard seats from Festival Chairs are definitely worth knowing about.


Technology is allowing events to be both communal and highly individual experiences:

Eventbots are personal concierges that let people request the information that’s most relevant to them at any given moment. There’s no need to download an app or trawl through endless menu options.

Attending events as a virtual delegate has traditionally been a rather limited experience, but now 360 streaming to headsets allows people to choose their own perspective.

Biometrics are delivering innovation in many areas of life including events. Zenus are bringing facial recognition to event registration,  creating a fast, paperless check-in. Meanwhile, Crowd Connected uses data from delegates’ event apps to provide a heat-map of where is most busy, enabling organisers to respond accordingly.

Content Delivery

With events including ever more screens, how you choreograph the content has become a hot area for innovation:

Real time authoring software package, Ventuz, allows you to design stunning animations that can be changed on-site as you would PowerPoint or Keynote. It is also a great package for speakers who wish to share content a non-linear way, giving audiences the choice of what they discuss.

DB Pixel House’s Fusion application is a simple way to control, with a single tablet, content that is playing across multiple screens. This provides opportunities for multidimensional experiences that take delegates deeper into the content.

Augmented Reality is proving a simple, intuitive way to put audiences in control of the content. Using their own device people can tailor their content journey diving as deep as they wish.

Events for Good

Audiences are asking for events that benefit their own well-being and minimise the impact on the environment:

TED has pioneered an alternative to all too often landfill-bound event goody-bags and gifts. Attendees are able to select from different sponsored gifts. Products at the last event included Swell water bottles and LUSH beauty products, all of them having an environmental or well-being angle. To help attendees make their choice the products are brought to life as part of a gift experience, meaning people go home with something they actually want.

Today’s attendees want brain-friendly learning environments and a refreshing change to the everyday. As a result retreat style events are set to become ever more popular. Osea Island in the River Blackwater estuary in Essex has set itself up is an ideal retreat event location: the perfect place to dramatically re-imagine the event experience.

Thank you to everyone who came along to breakfast we hope it was … interesting. And, if you haven’t already, do sign up for our monthly That’s Interesting newsletter.

Interesting October

This month we share great thoughts on where B2B events are heading, an inflatable way to divide your event space and how message mapping can help you stick to your objectives. All this and much more in this month’s edition of Interesting.

Most interesting
Six insightful thoughts on where B2B events are heading  (3min read)
With events increasingly being the beating heart of B2B marketing plans, six top marketers offer their thoughts on the trends shaping them.

Five things we’ve learnt  (3min read)
We’ve had a busy few months so we thought it would be useful to take a breath and capture some of the things we’ve learnt along the way.

Just plain interesting
Chatbots replacing need for an event app  (5min read)
With increasing app fatigue the possibility of having a simple messaging based solution is certainly attractive. If you’re not ready to go chatbot only, try it as part of your event app.

Inflatable pods  (2min explore)
As we look for ever more flexible, participative, active formats being able to create spaces within spaces is a must. These inflatable structures are just the ticket.

Using message maps to land your event objectives  (2min read)
Events have so many moving parts that there’s a real danger the nicely framed objectives you start with get lost along the way. This is a useful tool to avoid that.

Jaguar – go for actual reality  (2min watch)

A handy tool for finding unusual venues  (1min explore)

Something interesting to go to:
Our very own tech aficionado, Harriette, is going to be talking at Event Tech Live, discussing what she finds clients really want from event technology – feel free to share your thoughts with her!

Five things we’ve learnt recently…

It’s been a busy few months of events. Here’s a quick taster of some of the things we’ve learnt along the way.

Play is the perfect antidote for technophobes

Digital transformation is a term that pops up in lots of briefs. Events are seen as a great opportunity to get hands-on with new technology. For many people this spells humiliation.

We’ve overcome this with something we call the digital playground. Giving people fun, lively, creative, experiences of technology. It could be VR painting with Google Tiltbrush or trying out a pair of Snapchat Spectacles, the result is to stimulate a positive tech mindset.

The richer the content the harder the navigation

Content can be overwhelming. Museums know this. That’s why they develop things like online tools for planning your visit.

Something we’ve borrowed from the museum world is the curated tour. Small groups book on to tours and are guided through the content, helping them orientate themselves and plan the rest of their experience. It’s a simple idea that can be expanded upon as a self-guided tour via your event app.

Gamify like you mean it

Events can ask too much of their audience: network, explore content, come up with ideas, share pithy insights via social media. Gamification, done badly, is just another ask of an already frazzled delegate.

That said, when really committed to and positioned at the heart of the event, with clearly communicated goals and motivating rewards, gamification adds amazing value and leads people deeper into an experience.

There’s always another content dimension

Sometimes your options seem limited. A small exhibition stand in a hectic expo hall, where getting noticed is the priority, might not seem to offer a way to communicate detailed content.

We recently overcame these constraints using AR. Visitors could journey deeper into an augmented layer of information, accessed via tablets interacting with the stand’s photography. It was a simple, easy to execute, example of the opportunities of mixed reality.

Don’t lose your spectacles

We live in serious times. Dramatic production can be seen as profligate. But spectacles have the power to motivate, energize and express the basic human joy of people coming together at an event.

With a thousand people, one day and acres of content, drama played a vital role in energizing employees at an event for a financial services client. A surprising reveal of three giant inflatable spaces and people walking through the stage set to enter them was an incredibly enlivening way to start the day.

Interesting September

Gesture control presentations, text messaging chat bots, a digital forest, a floating event space and much more in September’s edition of Interesting.

Short Story Dispenser
An idea full of surprise and charm, the Short Edition plinth prints short stories for people to read. Lots of interesting ways this could be built into a wider event experience.

Facilitation Tool Kit
Hyper Island specialise in designing learning experiences for businesses. This is their tool box of facilitation methodologies. A mighty fine resource for next time you’re called upon to run a workshop.

Gesture Controlled Presentations
With the right content and the right presenter, this could be great. We’re going to experiment with one for our next Interesting Breakfast.

Manifesto for learning experiences
Are your event participants guests or collaborators?

Event Chatbot
No need to download an app with this text messaging concierge experience

Stunning projection
Artist Wonjun Jeong tossed fabric tossed fabric into the air and projected faces on them.

Floating Events
New conference space soon to arrive on the Thames.

Events to go to 
Explore a breathtaking digital forest in the heart of Brighton.

If there’s something interesting you think we should include next month, please share it via

Interesting July

What e-sports means for events, interactive storytelling, a handy venue search tool and much more in July’s edition of That’s Interesting.

Beautiful interactive display. (2min explore)
Wonderful exhibition animation that uses conductive ink to tell stories

Reinventing the way stories are told. (5min explore)
As you’d expect The Future of Storytelling conference is chock full of interesting event format ideas

Taking it Off Grid. (2min read)
Happening right now, a really interesting conference and another example of the trend for taking events into the great outdoors

Furniture matters. (3 min read)
Using furniture to design better interactions at events.

eSports – the amazing coming together of live and digital. (6min explore)
If you’re interested in the future of events you need to know about eSports. There’s also this on the same subject.

Blank Canvas – London Venues. (2 min explore)
A useful tool for finding some unusual venues.

A clever and simple idea to improve networking. (3min explore)

Wrong type of conference. (5min read)
Are conferences chasing the dopamine kick at the expense of people actually learning anything?

If there’s something interesting you think we should include next month, please share it via