Exhibition and event design specialists Ignition have delivered a highly-effective outdoor stand for green energy suppliers OVO Energy at the Fully Charged Live 2021 show this month in Farnborough. The event is a spin-off of the Fully Charged TV channel, which exists to ‘educate, encourage and explain’, showing how consumers can effect change by using clean energy sources. The 2021 show included over100 exhibitors of clean energy and electric vehicle-related technologies.
For Ignition, both the client and the show were a perfect synergy with its own passion for sustainability, having won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2020 in recognition of its push against the exhibition industry’s own historic ‘build and burn’ culture.
OVO Energy specialises in 100% renewable electricity, smart home and heat systems, and EV (electric vehicle) innovations. The company aims to be net zero carbon by 2030 and creates technology products to help consumers decarbonise their energy usage. Whilst the audience for Fully Charged Live would mainly be EV enthusiasts – both consumer and B2B – there would also inevitably be EV novices present too, so the brief for the stand was for it to be ‘entertaining and engaging for all, to include games and learning experiences and be akin to a mini Science Museum’.
Ignition delivered a highly-creative response to the pitch, packed with ideation. After a collaborative and energising presentation, the agency was duly selected and took on the challenge of creating and delivering the stand on a tight timeline.
OVO Energy Narratives for the stand:
There were three main narratives the stand needed to communicate:
1. OVO Energy’s full ecosystem of EV products to suit their customers’ needs throughout the EV journey.
2. OVO Energy’s commitment to a Plan Zero and the importance of EVs within their journey towards decarbonisation.
3. OVO Energy’s other cool decarbonising products, which in conjunction with their EV products really make an impact on reducing consumers’ carbon footprint.
The company’s products needed to be highly-visible on the stand too, from its OVO Drive and OVO Drive Anytime EV tariffs to its EV Leasing offer, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial, smart chargers and its partnership with Mini. A Mini Electric vehicle was also to feature on the stand to help demo products, with OVO Energy offering Mini Electric members 5000 free miles.
‘As this was an outdoor event, we knew we could design more than just a marquee’ Chris Gwyther, Group Creative Director of Istoria Group (parent company to Ignition), commented. ‘Time constraints meant that the envelope couldn’t be bespoke, so our ambition instead was to locate a great re-usable structure, given there is less energy expended by a re-usable rather than a re-cyclable framework. We were very happy to specify AIRCLAD for this purpose – a ‘fast architecture’ ribbed superstructure with inflatable ends creating rounded curved sides. This permitted an overall 10m x 5m rectangular internal space with a full-length 10m-long glazed wall to the front, plus rear and sliding doors to ensure good ventilation.’
As the brief was for a stand that was both entertaining and educational, comprised of both games and a learning experience, the designers very much focused on the ‘mini Science Museum’ idea and looked at how this might translate into interaction, discovery and tactility, breaking content down into smaller elements via a colourful, playful info-graphic approach.
‘OVO Energy had a great existing brand identity system with simple iconography, great block colours and impactful headlines’ Chris Gwyther commented, ‘which meant it was very easy to work with.’
The design team adopted shapes from the OVO Energy ‘identity kit’ throughout the stand, including on the glazed façade. The client logo also occupied prominent positions, including being set against an artificial and re-usable living wall, which formed a perfect background and also referenced the living wall in the company’s own HQ. A white logo was used once more against the green rear of the display system in the glazing to the back of the stand, whilst it was applied in green to the inflatable sides of the superstructure, ensuring it was clearly visible from any direction of approach. All logo applications were easily removeable to ensure the integrity of the AIRCLAD structure.
Inside the stand, Ignition created a perimeter grid, leaving a central space open for the Mini Electric, which served as a draw to visitors and could clearly be seen from a distance through the front and rear glazing. The grid itself represents the electricity grid and was constructed from a minimal number of lightweight materials, including a timber frame and thin graphic panels. The grid was arranged in zoned areas, each dedicated to a key area of OVO Energy messaging and was arranged to read well sequentially, either vertically or horizontally. Once the designers had designed the graphic wall layout, OVO Energy’s in-house team determined the location of key visuals and text, which Ignition then art-worked. Two lockable cupboards were also integrated into the grid for staff to secure personal belongings.
The designers suggested a total of fifteen activation ideas within their pitch, knowing there would only be room for three, but ensuring the client had a great choice of ideas to bring its messaging to life. The most visual of these, set against the rear left wall, is the Spinning Wall, a 3 x 3 grid of green cubes featuring key imagery and messages and set on columns inside an angled, cut-out square within the display grid. The second interactive was another engagement tool – a set of doors with questions with the answers revealed by opening – whilst the third was a tech-led ‘test your knowledge’ quiz on an iPad, with entrants added to a prize draw.
Ignition has also produced a post-show sustainability report for OVO Energy to show how their carbon footprint was minimised for this exhibition.
Rhiannon Hayes, Senior Marketing Manager at OVO Energy commented: ‘For OVO, sustainability is really important – it’s a core part of our mission and values – so it was great to find a like-minded agency that specialises in exhibition design who is also passionate about sustainability. It was fantastic having a really creative team on board and reassuring to know that everything that we’ve done today will be carbon offset at the end of the show. Our experience of working with Ignition was great. We didn’t have to worry about a thing, we felt like we were in safe hands throughout the creative and delivery process.’
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Ignition, founded in 2007, is an independently-owned UK business and sustainable practice pioneer. Forming part of creative business group Istoria Group, Ignition was established to provide creatively-led design and project management services to the global exhibitions, events and experiences industries. The company – which also has a US-based office in Indianapolis – works across many sectors, from pharmaceutical, healthcare and beauty to aerospace, construction, engineering and manufacturing, as well as technology, education and FMCG businesses.
Ignition holds a number of globally-recognised ISO standards, most notably as one of the first companies in the world to be certified with the ISO 20121 Sustainable Event Management standard – and the first within the exhibitions industry. Ignition is also certified with ISO 14001 – Environmental Management and ISO 9001 – Quality Management. In 2020, Ignition’s pioneering advances within its industry were rewarded by being given The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development, the only events company ever to achieve this. The company also won Sustainable Organisation of the Year at the IEMA Sustainability Impact Awards 2020.