On 29 January Merlin Events London hosted its first showcase of the year: ‘Events to the Future’ at the Sea Life London Aquarium. The social media integrated event took inspiration from the film Back to the Future; connecting guests to past experiences while exploring future event trends.
The food, entertainment, lighting and production were all designed to take guests on a voyage to the future of events and incorporate classic elements from past decades. Guests were the first to use the recently completed £20,000 bespoke events entrance at the Aquarium, following suggestions from organisers.
Two hundred guests including representatives from Green Ant Events, Veenus Group, Marketing Options International and MELON attended the party. Prior to the event guests were asked to install an application on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to enable involvement in the social media experience. For those that didn’t register there was another opportunity at the event to do so. Guests were given Xylo RFID driven wrist brands, used by the band Coldplay at shows, which flash intermittently to a programmed sequence. The wrist bands worked in time to a video display and music set from the VJ once the lights were dimmed. The Xylo bands also connected guests to their social media account once activated. Content including images and videos from the event could be shared when guests swiped their bands on tablets at the social media station.
To entertain guests a arcade video game was set up in the Pacific Wreck with games including Pac Man and Space Invaders. An Xbox console was also available. Feeding the Fish, who were part of the London 2012 Paralympic Games closing ceremony, performed a light show with pixel poi’s- sophisticated LED batons which can be programmed to reproduce a logo, brand or specialised graphic. Divers in the shark tank dressed in space suits and interacted with guests in The Deep.
Guest enjoyed Babycham and Stairway to Heaven cocktails served in Champagne saucers. Canapés, specially designed by Dish, as well as bowl food were served on trays featuring images of the invitation and various retro images. Eats included savoury filled flying saucers (beef wellington, goat’s cheese and salmon paste), caviar popping candy and wild mushroom bonbons. Bowl food included Battenberg cake of smoked salmon and smoked haddock and scampi in a basket with curly fries.
Suppliers of ‘Events to the Future’ include social media by Excelerated Apps, Xylo wrist bands from the Events Factory, arcade video game and Xbox provided by Sternberg Clarke, VJ set by DJ Steve from En Masse Productions, catering by Dish and theming supplied by Table Dressers.