A unique setup and decoration
“A visionary product deserves a visionary presentation” was the idea of BMW according to Sonja Kossian, Account Director VOK DAMS Munich in charge of this project. The idea? To use a Lufthansa Cargo Boeing 777F. A challenging place to hold an event… but also a stunning setting as you can see on the photos, if you can properly transform it while making the most of it. The company worked with Lufthansa Cargo and had to adapt to the very special world of cargo transport, and to follow all its requirements and regulations. An example: the flooring is not plain flooring, so they had to adapt to the pallets used to bring air freight, and personalise the setting to the pallets.
The plane interior was setup in two modes: in event mode, with all the decoration deployed, and in flight mode, which was a challenge: projectors, props, structures… had to be packed and stored in a compact way following the norms of air freight. They also had to comply with the weight and balance regulations of air transport. The connections of the decorations materials needed to be more solid than in a normal event, since they would be moved during the flight. The deformations which take place during a flight were another challenge, as objects can expand once in the air, so margins of space had to be left. A challenge for the VOK DAMS’ planning team and architect, who worked closely with the Lufthansa experts
In each destination, 100 media representatives were invited to experience this theatrical staging of BMW’s trailblazing vision vehicle, the BMW Vision iNEXT and the future of the BMW Group. No member of the team nor guests travelled with the plane. They were greeted in a dedicated welcome area at the airport, and then were transferred to the plane. Once there, they came to a neutral welcome room for a few welcome speeches by Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW, before seeing a short film that gave an idea of the iNEXT philosophy.
Then the screen was lifted and the guests could enter the room beautifully decorated in which they could see the concept car. The tunnel shape of the inside of the plane was fully changed, bathed with technical elements (except a few walls which still showed the typical raw texts which appear on the planes, a way to remind all participants they were indeed in one!). The floor was a LED screen, the walls were either bathed in lights or covered with screens for videos. In the center, the star: the car’s assets were highlighted by a light show.
The group was then split into three smaller groups, for a more personalized experience: some could enjoy a lounge with exhibits which showed parts of the car; others could enjoy an interior design talk next to the car and experience its materials and features. Finally others had interview opportunities. In total the event lasted one hour. As it was a concept car, there was no need to try the car, just to see and understand it (and dream!). In total, 400 journalists attended.
Against the clock
The journalists could not take photos or unveil anything about the car until the end of the four events and the reception of the material about the event from BMW (no spoiler…), and that made the event a challenge in terms of time, as the events took place on consecutive days. They had only eight hours after landing to prepare the scene, including the customs check… and then only four hours after the event to take off again. To make this possible, there were two complete teams: one for Munich and San Francisco and one for New York and Beijing, so make sure the team gets to the city in time for a proper setup. So it was a tough timing… “You need to consider a list of what would happen if there are any delays, and backups for everything… but that was not necessary” says Sonja.
A challenge, but a great way to transmit BMW’s strategic approach and the BMW Vision iNEXT conceptual values, translating them into powerful, emotional, moving imagery.