The British Franchise Association’s (bfa) annual, flagship event combines a members’ conference and two award ceremonies - Franchisee and Franchisor of The Year - at Birmingham’s ICC. Having worked with the bfa for five years previously, Metro’s brief was to deliver a bigger, brighter and grander show in line with the trade association’s evolution; traditionally driven by a heavy regulatory aspect, the bfa is now broadening its role as advisor and mentor to the sector.
The overall theme of the daytime conference was represented by a lightbulb concept around which Metro created an animated sting, causing it to fragment and regroup. Staging daytime and evening events in the same room also gave Metro the chance to show how the space could be transformed with lighting, staging and design.
Managing the mood of the event provided a number of challenges; typically, Fanchisor of the Year Awards attracts a corporate audience with nominees including MacDonald’s and Costa, while Franchisee of the Year recognises the talent of individuals who are invited to celebrate in a more relaxed way with friends and family.
For the daytime conference, Metro used contemporary, professional colours in the lighting, set and visual content for a sleek and professional feel. The use of layered content and animation created a dynamic backdrop for the speakers including retail entrepreneur Mary Portas. Emphasis was put on the floor-to-ceiling LED presentation wall which was enhanced by adjoining LED plinths on either side of the main stage. Content layering technology allowed content including presentations, stings and animation created by Metro’s team to be amplified and presented in a mixed or staggered way. The brightness and resolution of the LED wall also made a perfect canvas for the evening awards content including in action footage of special guest Chris Hoy and VTs created by Metro to showcase nominees.
When conference delegates re-entered the room in the evening, it had been transformed into a glamourous gala setting. LED lighting strips edging the set came alive to add glamour to the evening stage. The rig had been equipped with moving and colour-changing lights to create drama, pace and impact during the awards. The understated colour scheme for the daytime event had been replaced by richer and more dramatic lighting effects and a dance floor had been created to finish off the night’s DJ-led entertainment.
Bfa’s CEO Pip Wilkins says, “Using technology and design, Metro found a way of creating just the right tone and pace for both the daytime conference and the evening awards. The team has been instrumental in helping us demonstrate our new branding approach at our flagship annual event and has made a significant contribution in helping us bring all aspects of our new identity to life.”