Super Connectors - creating smarter networking at events

With today's event audience valuing connections over content, our new Super Connector series looks at face-to-face events as a rare opportunity to build real-world connections.

The report series will share ideas on the events formats, technologies, facilitation and content delivery that will help turn audiences into super connectors.

In #Issue One: Formats, we've explored five event formats that put networking at the heart of the audience experience

Download your copy of Super Connectors #Issue One: Formats

Reimagining Event Catering

Re-imagining Event Catering


A View from Emily Stafford

Event catering has come a long way from curling sandwiches and instant coffee of days gone by. With events becoming increasingly multi-dimensional, food and drink has become a key component in enhancing the audience experience. It's an opportunity to offer something fun and interactive - creating conversations and sparking conversations between people. Catering is in fact now one of the essential foundations in the considerations and build of an event - becoming something memorable, sharable and entertaining. Here are six ways that illustrate how you can re-imagine your event catering to construct those all-important moments of audience interaction:

1. Bompas & Parr

Bompas & Parr create stimulating and entertaining experiences that guarantee to get people talking. They showcase bright eye-catching foods, such as their famed and flawlessly detailed moulded jellies,  understanding that in order to ‘wow’ delegates, food and drink need to leave the individual with a strong and rousing memory. Bompas & Parr’s catering is something uniquely novel, that captivates and challenges each of the senses. The food architects generated some serious interaction when they developed the world’s first ‘Gin Cloud’, allowing event attendees to walk together within 40 litres of alcoholic mist!

2. Lick Me I’m Delicious

Lick Me I’m Delicious experimental food installations are the epitome of attention-grabbing. Their edible mist orbs, nitrogen ice cream, flavoured bubbles and tipsy fountains, are not only great talking points but are also incredibly sharable during and post event. The machines and contraptions are exciting to use, wonderfully far-fetched and always stimulate discussion regarding how they really work.

3. Thirsty Thoughts

Innovative activations such as Thirsty Thoughts have allowed delegates to use pioneering tech to partake in extraordinary activities such as ‘pouring a pint using their minds’ or using gesture control to enjoy a glass of champagne. There is a competitive and entertaining element to the engagement, with delegates ‘brain power’ shown on an iPad screen. Thirsty Thoughts has allowed for drinks catering to become a spectacle, one that attracts a crowd and easily adds an engaging and interactive element to an evening event.

4. Robot Barmen

Again, like with Thirsty Thoughts, the use of original technology in event catering can really help to spark conversations. Robot barmen for example, provide a real wow factor, with two robotic arms creating cocktails before delegates very eyes. This fun advancement catering technology has allowed for an increased level of activity during events where there could otherwise be no conversational sparking points!

5. Ooho

Due to an amplified environmental consciousness at events, catering has also adopted a component of awareness, especially in relation to food and drink packaging. Ooho is a driving force of innovation, creating sustainable packaging for liquids out of seaweed and plants. They spark great conversations in regard to the environmental challenges of today’s event world, whist also being a fun, quick and amusing way of enjoying water or even a cocktail!

6. Paper Water Bottles

Finally, the brand Paper Water Bottles have also shown an understanding of the importance of a need for sustainability. Instead of single use plastic, bottles are created from pulp and are 65% compostable. The brand believes that people of all ‘generations, backgrounds and locations globally’ recognise the significance of their cause – which in turn generates discussion during events that they appear at.

So, catering will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring a successful event. And similarly to consumer events, a B2B audience now wants and expects the latest innovations in food. This takes skill, planning and attention to ensure you wow your audience but most importantly, its vital not to get too carried away and make sure you actually feed people too!

Read more

5 Innovative Networking Formats

The best event formats for putting networking at the heart of the audience experience, according to Live Union.

Networking and making new contacts is an integral part of any event. So why is it often assigned to a brief slot at the beginning or end, with delegates standing around awkwardly making small talk with strangers?

Live Union has created a think piece called Super Connectors, which explores five formats to integrate networking into the format of events, so it is always at the heart of the audience experience.

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

Interesting April

Interesting April


Welcome to April’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 better presentations to creating bespoke gingerbread buildings.

Most Interesting – ditching plastic at events

No more plastic water bottles at events (2min read)

Glastonbury have announced an end to single use bottles.

Here are three ideas to help your events ditch plastic:

Paper water bottles Hydration stations & our favourite – edible water!

Just plain interesting – event ideas & inspiration

Why & how to slam dunk the first 30secs of a presentation   (5min explore)

Clever and useful ideas on how to start with a bang


How to achieve striking presentation backgrounds    (3min explore)

A post from Prezi but just as applicable to PowerPoint


Vintage technology given a new lease of life    (2min explore)

Fun content engagement using gesture control


Beautiful kinetic sculptures for events    (2min watch)

or all your air fountain needs


Lagerfeld’s incredible last show   (1min explore)

An extravagant winter wonderland


Hip furniture hire   (1min explore)

A choice that extends far beyond the corporate norm.


A venue to know about:


Experiences to go to:


Curiosity Kino

Something to eat:

Maid of Gingerbread


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

Interesting March

Interesting March


Welcome to March’s That’s Interesting. This month we share how simple it can be to introduce mixed reality to your events. Also, research on personalisation and a podcast featuring the producer of the Fyre Festival.

Most Interesting – Mixed Reality in Events:

Get started with mixed reality (5min explore)
If creating your own VR or 360 content seems daunting, the guys at Holoscribe make it simple. Alternatively, if you’d like something entertaining and off the shelf, Codemodeon are a good place to start. This is what happened when they came to visit us at Live Union.

Just Plain Interesting – Personalisation & Audience Value:

Personalisation is fundamental to audience value (4min read)
A substantial study commissioned by Cvent shows just how important personalisation has become. Audiences want you to recommend who they should network with and tailor their journey through your event. This chimes with our Anatomy of a Delegate report.

Airbnb offer venue finding (2min explore)
The purchase of Gaest signals that Airbnb are serious about finding meeting spaces.

Help people see ALL the photos of them at your event (2min explore)
App using facial recognition enables people to access all the photos they appear in.

Financial services event embraces incredible projection mapping (2min watch)
3,500 BNP Paribas employees experienced an awesome Game of Thrones spectacle.

Bubbletecture (2min explore)
Gorgeous inflatable structures.

Something to Listen to:

Interview with Fyre Festival producer (57min listen)
If, like everyone else in the event world, you’ve watched the Netflix documentary, this podcast will be a fascinating listen.

Something to distract you:
Brilliant datavisual showing the truth behind Hollywood biopics (1min explore)

Something to go to:

Spare Parts
This Design Week review promises a highly experiential new exhibition at the Science Gallery.

Wishing you an eventful March!

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

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.