BAE Systems | Accelerate AirLabs

BAE Systems | Accelerate AirLabs


Agency: M Integrated Solutions

Client: BAE Systems

Event Name: Accelerate AirLabs

Agency Website:

The Brief

BAE Systems AirLabs needed to respond to the sudden change caused by the COVID19 lockdown, to maintain engagement and to continue to deliver their innovation story.

In Q1 2020 M supported AirLabs with the creation of a highly dynamic rich content presentation. A tablet to LED screen interactive designed for a high paced and innovatively lead presentation at Innovators Live – a BAE Systems owned private technology showcase event in London. The event had to be cancelled, but the message and customer engagement became more important than ever. BAE Systems engaged with M to explore alternative methods of engagement.

Innovation is occurring at an exponential rate, and BAE Systems is a leader in its field. BAE Systems has engaged in new techniques and partnered with specialists and other innovators both within and outside of the defence sector, identifying and combining technologies as a truly innovative defence solutions provider.

M were tasked to create the platform for engagement, and to adapt the Innovators Live content to this new medium. To make minimal change, and to build upon the already powerful story.

The Solution and Activation

M worked with BAE Systems to review the original brief, to reconsider the audience, their locations, and their restrictions through lockdown. We were very conscious of ‘zoom fatigue’ and the stigma that carried for professional events, although virtual was the obvious solution, we had to ensure engagement and keep the audience engaged.

M created a ‘branded content session’, essentially a short on-screen episode with the subject matter being Innovation by AirLabs. Our one hour session was scripted to captivate the audience from the moment they joined, and delivered the rich presenter lead content with confidence. We placed the presenter in the heart of the content on M’s in-house M-AX Extended Reality stage and adapted presenter techniques to create true synchronisation between host and screen.

We gave the event an identity and carried this across all communications (save the date, invitation, microsite, landing page, virtual session). The cancelled Innovators Live for the BAE Systems group became Accelerate for AirLabs.

Working in partnership with BAE Systems, we identified and secured high level subject matter experts, including both technologists and the voice of the customer (MOD). We worked with these individuals to prepare their remote part of the session, to script, to test line speeds, to create the best setting for a remote user.

Being a short session, we were able to only book a short time in people’s diaries. As such, attendance figures grew as we took the event virtual, more subject matter experts became available and willing to support and contribute, and we achieved greater high level customer attendance than ever seen in a physical event. These benefits reached BAE Systems presentors too, we were able to include Ben Hudson (CTO) and senior technologist and strategists in the same session together.

The Results

The event reached a higher number of senior MOD officials than we have ever seen at a physical event.

Such activations are key to long term campaigns, not directly related to a single sale or business win.

A key take-out from Accelerate, and from other virtual sessions, is that through 2021 M are now working with BAE Systems to deliver truly hybrid events with the virtual stage now in the heart of physical events and trade shows. This will be evident at DSEI 2021.