Anatomy of a Delegate

What audiences value from events is changing fast. In this short presentation from our recent Interesting Breakfast Jez shares five areas that are central to designing events for the 2018 delegate.

Beyond the plenary

With audiences placing increased value upon building connections and the opportunity to personalise their own experiences – event networking and breakout spaces need to be re-imagined. 

Take a listen to Sophie Frood, Account Manager at Live Union sharing three solutions to this challenge: 

  • Box Events
  • The Big Debate
  • The Digital Playground

Venues Re-imagined

A post by Kat Poznickova 

As businesses re-imagine their events and embrace more innovative formats, what they want from venues is changing too. Non-traditional spaces are increasingly the order of the day.

More and more we’re seeing the below must haves on venue finding briefs:

Nature, not neon– Natural daylight and changes of scenery are ideal ingredients for making your event more than just another conference or meeting. They inspire deeper connections and meaningful experiences.

Versatility – Flexible venues allow organisers to be more creative when it comes to format design and use of the latest technical innovations.

Local / Authentic– Venues that are important to the local culture and economy help your delegates learn more about the destination in which the event is being. 

Surprising–There’s no better way to prime audiences for a different type of experience than to take them to an unexpected venue. Old factories, empty retail spaces, carparks – the list is almost endless.

Here’s a small taster of some interesting venues you may want to consider: 

Design Museum 

A great contemporary, modern blank canvas space that lends itself to complete transformation. The ideal space for dinners for up to 200 guests and product launches.

Borough Market 

You may not think of the  London’s oldest and most renowned food market as an events venue, however, it offers variety of spaces to hire. The most impressive is Market Hall – a grand space with plenty of natural daylight which can accommodate up to 300 people.

Central Saint Martins 

Located in an exciting area of Kings Cross, Central Saint Martins offers 5000m2 of flexible space from lecture theatres for 400, through to a roof terrace with fabulous views across London to a space for 1000 standing. It has a great potential for holding conferences, awards ceremonies, exhibitions and networking events.

Steel Yard 

Steel Yard is two beautifully restored Victorian railway arches underneath Canon Bridge Station in the heart of the City.

This versatile event venue lends itself well to everything from dinners and receptions, conferences, awards ceremonies to exhibitions and product launches for around 400 guests. The notable selling points are its size, versatility and extensive lighting.


A new exciting space on the 4thand 5thfloors of the Science Museum is opening in early 2019. It will be available for both daytime and evening hire, with capacities of up to 400 for dinners and conferences and 450 for receptions. Among the features of this new space is a panoramic window on Level 5 offering stunning views of the City and plenty of natural daylight.

No Man’s Fort 

If you’re looking for a venue for a leadership retreat, consider No Man’s Fort. It is one of three Solent forts dating back 150 years. It has 22 luxurious rooms and a large atrium with natural daylight for 200 people for dinner or a conference as well as smaller meeting rooms.

At Live Union we’ve an extensive database of venues. If you need any ideas drop us a line. 

Energizing for Engagement

Listen to Harriette Wight, Account Director at Live Union exploring some unexpected ways to build surprise and energy and help people make connections. These included:
Having people create incredible physical infographics, known as data strings.
Thinking differently about name badges.
Turning travel between venues into a networking opportunity by pairing people for pedicabs rides.
And, if all else fails instigating a mass snowball fight.

Interesting June

Welcome to June’s That’s Interesting. A bumper collection of ideas and inspiration from right across the event world. We’ve been taking That’s Interesting on the road – so do get in touch if you’d like us to come and share some event inspiration with your team.

Most interesting:

Formats re-imagined  (15min read)
A new report from Live Union exploring the incredible innovation that’s happening in event formats. We share six exciting and diverse event architectures. Download your copy

Just plain interesting:

Data strings (3min explore)
A clever way to get to know your audience by creating visually stunning, live, real-world infographics. Here’s a nice photo of one

Stunning Ligeo lighting bars (2min explore)
You may well have seen these in retails displays; they’re definitely worth considering for your next event or exhibition design

Six TED talks for event professionals (20min explore)
Where good ideas come from and Build a tower are special favourites of ours

Spherical touchscreen display (5min explore)
Fun and intuitive way to help people navigate your content

C2 Montreal changes the rules (30min listen)
Fascinating insight into a business event that really does things differently

Dom Perignon’s Lumiere Dinner (2min watch)
Really clever use of projection and lighting to create a dinner like no other

Something to go to:

See what can be created with 520 computers and 470 projectors – reason enough to head to Tokyo for your summer holiday!

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


Thanks so much to everyone who came along to Interesting Breakfast at the fabulous 100 Wardour. It was a brilliant opportunity to share the innovations that are exciting us and join conversations about how different businesses are using events.

We thought it would be useful to pull together some of the examples that were shared and give a flavour of the topics for those of you who couldn't make it this time.

The thread that ran through everything was 'experience rich delegates'. The idea that today's business audiences are actively seeking new event experiences and formats, and that what they value is changing fast.

To help spark ideas people were encouraged to get hands-on with AR and Snapchat Spectacles. Everblock helped people think differently about designing physical spaces and ITR showcased some incredible ideas for using LED.

Speed presentations by the Live Union team shared different ways to design events for experience rich delegates:

Anatomy of a 2018 Delegate

Summarised a recent Live Union report getting under the skin of today's audiences. What the 2018 delegate values from a live experience was characterised as: brain-friendly / personalised / connecting / sharable / entertaining. The word 'bleisure' made an unfortunate appearance in this presentation!

Energizing for Engagement

Explored some unexpected ways to build surprise and energy and help people make connections. These included:

Having people create incredible physical infographics, known as data strings.

Thinking differently about name badges.

Turning travel between venues into a networking opportunity by pairing people for pedicabs rides.

And, if all else fails instigating a mass snowball fight.

Next Gen Presentations

From TV to gaming to phone interfaces we're surrounded by visually stunning graphics. So how can you give your event audience an equally rich visual experience?

Think beyond PowerPoint and embrace the opportunity to use any digital screen as a canvass onto which you can blend different layers of content: presentation graphics / live camera / live data / audience voting.

Explore the new opportunities for real time rendering of graphics. This allows you to have animation quality graphics without making the presenting process difficult for your speakers.

To see what's possible with next-gen presentations scroll through this incredible INTEL presentation at CES.

Beyond the Plenary

With audiences putting more value on building connections and the opportunity to map their own experience, the onus is on us to re-imagine networking and breakout spaces. In this session we shared three Live Union solutions to this challenge:

1) Box Events

Specially produced cardboard boxes are used to create agile open-plan spaces. The branded boxes are used for seating and stacked for signage and to divide spaces. They allow us to quickly reformat a space, setting it up for conversational formats such as campfires and fishbowls. They naturally create an informal participative feel.

2) Big Debate

A format that puts discussion at the heart of your event. Designed to help people input to the big topics in your business and sector. The Big Debate can be scaled to different audience sizes and spaces.

3) Digital Playground

A format that makes technology playful, opening minds and engaging even the most extreme technophobes. The Digital Playground sees people getting hands-on with some fun technologies such as Google Tilt Brush and works as a great introduction to discussions about technology within your own sector.

Vital Event Technology

All too often people share event tech that might be useful in the future but isn't ready for today. Here are some that you should consider using right now:

Live translation tends to be a costly and cumbersome undertaking. Technology is changing this. Interactio sends translation directly to a delegate's device, removing the need to give everyone headphones. Microsoft Translator goes a stage further and uses AI to translate both slides and spoken words, removing the need to have translators present. Microsoft's product isn't 100% accurate (you can read our review here) so be mindful of the audience you're using it with.

Klaxoon is a very cool digital collaboration tool for events that uses a great post-it note interface.

Augmented Reality is proving to be incredibly valuable for events, particularly to help delegates tailor the content they choose to consume. We love this example of Samsung using it at a launch event.

Puffer Fish projects content onto a spherical touchscreen, providing a stunning way for people to navigate content - obvious uses for any business with a global story to tell.

Venues to know about

There are three trends in venues right now: natural light, versatility and having an authentic story. Below we share some that fit the bill:

Design Museum - enlivening creative space particularly for dinners and product launches

Borough Market - an incredible authentic story and space for 300 people

Central Saint Martins - a creative space at the heart of a very exciting part of London. Offers a very special roof terrace.

Steel Yard - beautiful railway arches right in the middle of the City.

Illuminate - The Science Museum's, soon to open, light-filled venue.

No Man's Fort - Could be the perfect retreat for your leadership team.

We hope you found plenty of new ideas to engage your experience rich delegates!

Scoring with graphics

A post by James Noake.  

I’ve got World Cup fever.

It isn’t the football. It’s the graphics.

For me the World Cup is a festival of spectacular screen graphics: analysis, player profiles and stats.

Big budget live TV events, such as election nights and World Cups, tend to break new ground for live graphics that dynamically respond to data. Much like an event, these graphics are cued live by directors and graphics ops, often in an outside broadcast unit.

World Cup 2018 promises to be a graphics bonanza. A new generation of graphics servers, including Ventuz and D3, are allowing incredible real-time 3D rendering using powerful Graphics Process Units (GPU’s).

In the past the most powerful graphics systems were the preserve of TV production studios with larger budgets and a safe studio environment to host the fragile servers. However, recent advancements in GPU’s mean that events can feature the same calibre of real time graphics. At Live Union we’ve been harnessing these new opportunities for live data visualisation, 3D models and audience interaction.

For your next event graphics look to TV for inspiration.

Surely the best excuse going for watching football at work!

Format Disruption

In our last report we got under the skin of what the 2018 delegate really values. Now we turn our attention to the incredible innovation that’s happening in event formats.

We’ve chosen six exciting, diverse ‘event architectures’ but the creative potential for generating new formats is almost endless. Hopefully these ideas will be useful stimulus for discovering the right format for your audience.

Download your copy of Re-imagining Formats.

Interesting April

Welcome to April’s That’s Interesting. We’ve been taking That’s Interesting on the road to bring to life the best of these newsletters for various businesses. Do get in touch if you’d like us to come and share some event inspiration with your team.

Most Interesting
TED’s Tech Playground (3min explore)
At Live Union we run a Digital Playground at some of our clients’ events, designed to help make technology more approachable. This is TED’s version of the same concept and includes some lovely playful experiences.

Just plain interesting
Beautiful touchscreen data viz (3min read)
Great David McCandless installation at the Qatar National Library

AOL’s incredible DJ cube (1min explore)
Three stories, five DJs, four screens. Perfect for your next turntable battle

Hip Props (3min explore)
On trend furniture for your next event

How to give a five-minute presentation (1min read)
Typically succinct and insightful suggestion from Seth

B2B events & the women’s movement (4min read)
The CES keynote controversy and how brands are taking the lead in supporting women in business

Why this financial summit had its own roller coaster (2min explore)
At the heart of Capstone Investment’s Volatility Summit was a roller coaster sculpture made out of 3,500 rolls of coins. Check out some of the other photos from ‘Volatility Park

The storytellers who read aloud to Cuban cigar rollers (3min watch)
Historic and inspiring storytelling

Something interesting to go to:
A pint of Science (5min explore)
Science talks in the pub. There’ll be one near you

New angles on LED

photo – U2 Start

A post by Live Union Production Manager James Noake

U2 have always broken new ground in set design. The band’s 1997 Pop Mart tour pioneered the use of LED video walls. Twenty years later their 2017 Joshua Tree tour blew audiences away with an incredible 60-meter-wide by 20-meter-high LED wall, the largest hi-res screen ever used on a touring production. The screen has over 7,500 horizontal lines of resolution and was built from just over 1,000 individual panels.

LED screens have of course become commonplace across the wider event world. An innovation of particular interest to us at Live Union are LED video panels that can be constructed at angles to each other. This gives us the ability to create ever more extreme curves or even right angles.

Keen for the right opportunity to use an LED cube, Live Union were recently asked to design a centrepiece video feature at an event. Technically it was surprising how easy the cube was to  put together. Once up and running it operated much like a widescreen video wall with a multi-screen management system to control graphics across the four faces. The high, 2mm pitch resolution meant content still looked great close up; perfect for an exhibition-type environment.

Anyone familiar with widescreens and custom aspect ratios will appreciate that the biggest challenge is choreographing dynamic content that both justifies additional screen space and keeps the audience engaged. Thinking of screen content in three planes challenged us to identify ways in which the cube could be used to maximum visual impact. This relied on stitching together each face, enabling the viewer to perceive it as a seamless 3D visual experience as opposed to four screens at right angles to each other. Plenty of time was spent researching, storyboarding and designing – the end results looked spectacular!

The creative opportunities for right angle screens are fascinating. We’re exploring new ways to use them to build the audience narrative, for example, an LED entrance archway to welcome delegates with live social media feeds. Or a central cube screen with seating in the round to form a debate or boxing ring style stage. Whatever the challenge we can’t wait for the next project that gives us the chance to use this incredible technology!