Interesting February

Interesting February


This month’s stories include the arrival of facial recognition for event check-in, experiential design trends from CES and a brilliantly futuristic stage design.

Most Interesting:

Experiential design trends from CES (5min explore)
Coming at the start of the year CES sets the style for the months ahead. Look forward to a year of fun, colourful live experiences!

Just Plain Interesting:

When Festivals Go Wrong (2min watch)
The stuff of nightmares for anyone in the event world. The Fyre Festival fiasco is laid bare in a great Netflix documentary.

Nike’s Flexible Screens (2min explore)
This brilliant concept started as an employee training idea but was then picked for in-store activation.

Facial Recognition Event Check-in (2min explore)
Claims to be 50% faster than traditional event check-in.

Alexa Interrupts Presenter (1min explore)
We’ve used Alexa within main-stage presentations, thankfully this has never happened.

The Future of Conference Branding (2min explore)
This event about the future of architecture took its inspiration from 3D software: a wireframe style stage and a nice interactive AR idea.

Pour yourself a drink – using only your mind (2min explore)
The brilliantly named Thirsty Thoughts offers a captivating way to focus minds at events.

A podcast to know about:

Shiny New Object
A compelling way to learn about new marketing technologies. Find it where you go for your podcasts.

Something to go to:

The Story
Taking place on the 22nd Feb this event boasts an incredible lineup, from V&A curators to Aardman creative directors – brilliant stimulus for anyone charged with telling stories or designing narratives.

If there’s something interesting that you think that we should include, please do email us

Interesting jan v2

Interesting January


Happy New Year and welcome to January’s That’s Interesting.

Below we share three New Year’s resolutions for creating amazing live experiences. Featuring some of last year’s most popular ‘interestings’, as well as some new ones, we hope to spark ideas for achieving incredible face-to-face engagement in the months ahead.
Resolution #1: Make it immersive

Incredible screen formats are one way to take your audience deeper.
Charity Water’s 360 screen  (2min watch)
Screen content is bursting out of the confines of 16:9. Budgets don’t always need to vast to benefit from new screen formats.
Nissan’s AR stage presentation  (5min watch)
Augmented Reality makes the impossible possible adding a whole new dimension to the audience experience. 
Screens Re-imagined (5min explore)
Check out Live Union’s thinkpiece delving deeper into how screen innovations are driving new ways of telling stories.
Of course making it immersive isn’t just about screens.
Chanel’s Paris catwalk show  (2min watch)
One of the most incredible and theatrical examples of taking an audience deeper.
Resolution #2: Make it stick

In an increasingly distracting world audiences value event content designed to be remembered.
Facilitation Tool Kit (endless exploring)
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 create a workshop. 
S.T.A.R. Moments (1min read) 
Presentation agency Duarte’s ideas for speakers looking to give the audience Something They’ll Always Remember.
Samsung use AR to turn a badge into a phone (3min read)
Augmented Reality is an incredibly experiential way to help people explore content in their own way and at their own pace.
Resolution #3: Make it connect

With audiences placing more value on networking, the win for brands is to help people connect around their content.
Data strings (1min explore) 
A fun way to spark discussion and get to know your audience. Create visually stunning, live, real-world infographics.
TED’s Tech Playground (3min explore)
At Live Union we offer a Digital Playground format, designed to make technology more approachable. This is TED’s version of the same concept and includes some lovely playful experiences. 
Braindate Lounge (2min explore)
Bring an increased focus to your networking. Technology and environment combine to achieve more valuable connections. 

taking audience deeper v2

Taking your audience deeper


The below article on designing immersive experiences is by Account Manager Sophie and Production Manager Kat. The piece recently appeared in C&IT.

Today all businesses are experience businesses. We’re surrounded by retail, leisure and product experiences that are personalised to our individual preferences, stimulate our senses and spark our emotions. Not surprisingly, when it comes to business events we expect more – we want to be taken deeper.

The good news for those of us creating B2B events is that there are vast amounts of inspiration to draw on. Below we share three immersive experiences from very different corners of the event world.

When Microsoft wanted to dramatise the launch of a new server and bring to life their expertise in data analysis they turned to digital art collective Universal Everything. The result was a custom-built Infinity Room, designed in code and running in real time; the mirrored room created an endless digital landscape. It premiered at a launch conference in San Francisco and was also open to the general public, resulting in a tsunami of trippy photos across social media.

There are two lessons we can learn from Microsoft’s Infinity Room. Firstly, no matter how intangible your product there are creative ways to immerse your audience. And, secondly, taking your audience deeper can be the key to amplification.

The second example is from the world of fashion. Chanel launched their spring 2019 collection with a trip to the seaside. Karl Lagerfeld transformed the exhibition hall at Le Grand Palais in Paris into a beach – sand covered every inch of the floor, there were lapping waves and a 360 panoramic sky backdrop. From the seagulls in the soundscape to the attentive lifeguard, every detail was considered, transporting guests from a grey October Paris to a warm day by the Med.

Chanel’s re-imagining of a catwalk show is a great example of the power of immersive theatre. Rather than digital wizardry, Karl Lagerfeld focused on physical set design, using both scale and attention to detail to wow the audience and reflect the brand. Yes, it must have been expensive. But it’s Chanel – it’s luxury!

If the above experiences seem left-field, Montreal’s C2 event is an example of a conference that’s challenging traditional behaviours and pushing the boundaries. With Cirque du Soleil as a founding partner you’d expect this 7,000-person business event to do things differently.

Talks are punctuated by live music, networking is curated in a specially designed Braindate lounge and ideas sessions see delegates hanging 18ft in the air.

C2 shows that by stimulating the senses you can generate emotion and help people have better conversations and make deeper connections.

As live experiences become ever more central to B2B communications, audiences have greater choice in what they attend and are becoming more demanding. For those of us designing business events this means finding new ways to engage them with content and with one another.

It means finding creative ways to take them deeper and events like those above are the perfect places to draw inspiration from.

interesting December v2

Interesting December


It’s time for the final That’s Interesting of the year! Below we share some fantastic event inspiration to help keep things fresh in the coming weeks. In other news – we’re proud as punch to have been named Challenger Event Agency of the Year at the EVCOM Awards!

Most Interesting:

Interesting Breakfast – The Write Up (10min explore)
We recently hosted one of our Interesting Breakfasts. As well as great experiential content the team gave speed presentations. Check out the varied examples shared in talks on Immersive Experiences, Brain-Friendly Content, The Power of PPT, Stage Design Trends and Intelligent Networking.

Just Plain Interesting:

Adobe’s Incredible ‘Physical’ Event Identity  (2min explore)
Every year Adobe work with an artist to create their Summit identity. In 2018 the identity became an experience in it’s own right. A beautiful structure and a clever brand story.

Square’s Registration Wall – A Steal Worthy Idea (1min read)
We love it when people find ways to re-imagine often overlooked parts of events. Scroll through the article to see how Square injected creativity into registration.

Augmented Reality Without Glasses or Screens (2min explore)
Billed as ‘coming soon’ the Hololamp promises to be a wonderful new way for event audiences to engage with content. Don’t be put off by the dodgy restaurant food, Hololamp opens up really exciting creative opportunities.

Beautiful TED Experience (3min explore)
This isn’t new but gosh it’s pleasing on the eye. Wonderful physical typography and who doesn’t like an illusion chandelier?

Interesting Venues:

Magazine  – opening Summer 2019
Edwardian Leicester Square – opening 2020

And Something for Christmas:

Lego Bugatti

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

C2 networking ideas

Intelligent Networking Ideas for Events

Intelligent Networking Ideas for Events


The second of our Interesting Breakfast topics was Intelligent Networking. Harriette shared a great mix of format and technology ideas, all designed to help your audience make more valuable connections.

Professional Introducer

Galvanize the networking at your event by bringing in someone who’s job it is to start better conversations.

Networking Lounge

Braindate is a networking solution that combines physical design and facilitated connections to create stronger communities at events.


A trend that sees events moving away from the traditional drinks reception, instead inviting attendees to join an exercise class. It’s proven that working out in a group creates a ‘tribe mentality’, encouraging trust and developing long lasting relationships.


Soon to be released, this a speed networking scavenger hunt. Attendees are paired using an algorithm and sent a text message with a location and name. Once in pairs they have a 10minute speed network. When the time’s up everyone is given a new location and person to meet.


This app’s ‘Shake to Connect’ feature gives attendees a chance to find out who is around them and exchange contact details.

Social Wearables

Limbic Media’s ‘Capture the Rainbow’ game uses wearables to encourage networking. Delegates wear a coloured LED disc. The aim of the game is to get as many colours on your disc as possible. To do this attendees must start conversations and tap discs.

Brain Friendly Engagement for Events - Interesting Breakfast Talks

Thanks so much to everyone who came along to Thursday's Interesting Breakfast. As promised, we'll be putting all the content up here. If you'd like more detail on anything you heard or experienced just drop us a line.

Jez kicked things off, sharing five ways that presenters can make their content more brain-friendly. These examples can be used to inspire senior leaders to find new ways to deliver content.

Earn Attention 

Establish the relevance of the topic with an anecdote or startling statistic. Jamie Oliver used a statistic in a powerful way to grab the audience at the start of his TED Talk on Obesity.

Change the Pace & Dynamic 

This can be as simple as breaking up a presentation with a special guest. Intel's CEO did something far more ambitious: a colleague joined him on stage, took a 3D scan of his body which was turned into an avatar and placed into a computer game.

Power of Live  Events

Finding creative ways to harness the immediacy of being face-to-face with an audience can be incredibly engaging. For a recent client presentation on demographics we inserted a worldometer API that shared live population data.

S.T.A.R (Something They'll Always Remember) 

Identify the S.T.A.R moment in the presentation and then find creative ways to land it. Al Gore famously used a scissor lift to dramatise the rise in CO2 emissions - following the line off the chart.

Participation in Live Events 

The previous ideas are all great ways to engage audiences with big ideas, but business events also typically need to land more granular content. Presentations aren't the best way to do this. Jez included two examples of formats that are less about speakers delivering content and more about audiences discovering meaning for themselves.

The first is a Traffic Light Session which sees the audience discussing ideas and indicating their response to it using voting paddles. The second is a Solution Room - a great way to harness the collective intelligence in the room and find practical solutions to people's challenges.

Set Design Trends for Events - Interesting Breakfast

Conor took the helm for the third our Interesting Breakfast talks, sharing four trends in set design.

Raw Materials 

Sweeping corporate backdrops are out, replaced by a vogue for more left-field materials. As businesses choose varied and creative venues we're seeing sets that echo the building's design. Like this nice scaffolding example we came across created for Google.


As events become more multi-dimensional, with the focus shifting from plenary sessions, so sets need to facilitate this. Below is an example of an event where the networking and plenary spaces have merged giving people a choice of how they engage with presentations.

360 Designs for Events

The desire for more intimate settings often leads to 360 solutions. This can of course be a challenge for presenters. The below trefoil set, designed by Live Union, kept the audience close without the need for presenting in the round.

Screen Solutions 

As innovative screens become more accessible, so an increasing number of events are replacing physical sets with interesting screen formats. Relying on fantastic screen content to engage their audience. The below screen design which we found with its beveled edges is a simple clean example.

In Praise of Powerpoint - Interesting Breakfast

Paul used his Interesting Breakfast slot to extol the virtues of PowerPoint. If you think PowerPoint has had its day - think again.

Animations for PPT

Paul started by sharing some of the exciting features found in the latest version of PowerPoint. Features such as Morph Transitions bring a level of movement and transition that was previously the preserve of professional animators.

Using Widescreen in Presentations

People imagine that wide-screen content has to be created in a different programme - Paul showed that in fact PowerPoint is perfect for non-traditional screen formats.

Having stepped through the process for creating wide-screen content using PowerPoint, Paul shared five benefits of going wide:

  1. Gets the audience closer to the action by opening up more landscape room layouts
  2. Encourages brain-friendly content with large powerful graphics
  3. Communicates a modern, tech savvy business
  4. Provides a more immersive experience
  5. Allows space for multiple feeds within a single 'canvas' - graphics / live camera / live data

As more venues install wide screens, the ability to create affordable, visually stunning, graphics will become vital, and PowerPoint provides the ideal solution.

Immersive Event Experiences

Immersive Experiences for Creative Events

The last of our Interesting Breakfast write-ups looks at Sophie and Kat's splendid dive into immersive experiences.

Their talk focused on brands that are merging live and digital experiences, toying with people's senses to achieve deep engagement.



A mirrored infinity room displaying real-time code was installed in San Francisco's financial district to engage people with the brand's big data expertise. The endless digital landscape was experienced by invited clients and the larger public, trippy selfies flooded social media.


An interactive installation at Milan Design Week was created to celebrate the design of the Galaxy S8. Visitors journeyed through mesmerizing digital installations. Using their device they were able to create their own avatar, before seeing it come to life on a series of screens that appeared to float within the space.

Chanel cat walk


If the previous examples took audiences into the future, Karl Lagerfeld's vision for the launch of Chanel's Spring 2019 collection was to take people to the seaside. The exhibition hall at Paris' Le Grand Palais was re-imagined as a beach with sand covering every inch of the floor, a tidal machine creating lapping waves breaking against the shore and a coastline depicted on a panoramic backdrop.

C2 networking ideas


Billed as the world’s most innovative business conference, this Montreal event brings together 6,500 people to challenge conventions. With Cirque de Soleil as a founding partner, the experience is anything but a traditional conference - aerial networking being just one example of radically disrupting how people connect.

These four examples show brands embracing the experience economy; finding new ways to harness the power of live to deliver highly creative face-to-face interactions.

Interesting October

Welcome to the latest ‘That’s Interesting’ featuring the event-worthy discoveries that have been circulating the Live Union offices during October. On 22nd November we’ll be hosting one of our Interesting Breakfasts at the Soho Hotel. If you enjoy this newsletter then you’ll love it! Tickets are available here
Most Interesting:
Chanel’s Stunning Set Design (Quick watch)
Hat’s off to everyone involved in this gorgeous production. Nice threads too.
Just Plain Interesting:
Very cool Tape Art (2min explore)
A whole new world of graphic display. Perfect for your networking space, office or exhibition stand.
Screens Re-imagined (5min explore)
A Live Union report exploring incredible new ways to bring stories to life at events.
Huge Illuminated Flowers (2min explore)
We’ve just ordered a bunch of these epic blooms for an upcoming event.
Bill Gates Releases Mosquitoes into TED audience (2min watch)
The power of a simple prop or stunt to make sure audiences remember your point.
Projection Helmets (1min explore)
Who wouldn’t want to don one of National Geographic’s immersive space helmets?
The KidCat Team (1min explore)
The place to go for feline performers who project a live feed of what they’re looking at through their LED eyes!
Some things to go to:
Videogames – Design / Play / Disrupt at V&A
Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro
Skyline Skating at John Lewis

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