BAE Systems – DSEI 2017
- Best Stand 1000sqm and over – GOLD
- Best stand at a Defence or Security Event – SILVER
- Best Use of Technology – SILVER
- Best Storytelling – GOLD
Agency: M-integrated solutions
Client: BAE Systems
Event Name: Defence & Security Equipment International 2017
Agency Website: m-is.com
Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) is the world’s leading defence and security event and BAE Systems took part as a platinum sponsor with the following aims.
Position the brand: use the event primarily as a platform to support efforts to modernise the image of the Company, repositioning it as an innovative technology-led business.
Focus on end benefits: visibly demonstrate how the products, services and technology give customers a competitive edge or military / commercial advantage.
Demonstrate that BAE Systems is modern, dynamic and engaging: ensure the exhibition space and the way we demonstrate our content has a modern, cutting-edge look and feel.
Finally, present BAE’s compelling vision for the future.
M Integrated Solutions, BAE System’s tier-one agency provider for global events, set out to demonstrate the company’s evolution from defence contractor to pioneering solutions supplier. BAE’s presence at defence exhibitions has carefully evolved. Our client still wishes to be known for ships, tanks and planes, but it is vital that we demonstrate the way its products have changed, not showing that it keeps abreast of technology innovation in the defence industry, but that it leads those changes.
Central to the BAE presence at DSEI (Excel London) was a main attraction, in this case a spectacular drone show featuring quadcopters, which demonstrated the way unmanned craft can interact with personnel-based services. This was coordinated with music and narrative and onscreen with actual live demonstrations. The combined technologies, including augmented reality and virtual reality displays, meant that the main attraction became a theatrical device, drawing in an audience who could then learn more about the wider integrated BAE Systems technology offering, the benefits it affords customers.
The drone show took place inside a 270-degree LED screen. 20 Optically guided quadcopters emerged from and returned to an underground hatch during the presentation. This was the wow factor. Additional screens on spider legs also synchronised with the main screen.
Never taking a showroom approach, each and every BAE exhibit was brought to life through interactive storytelling, demonstrating why it is vital, not simply what function it performs. Across everything displayed and demonstrated at the exhibition, this was the approach: show real-world applications which are more compelling and meaningful than simple product specifics.
Each exhibit was animated and amplified; the benefits of each were sold. That’s to say, in their presentation, M explained the reasons ‘why’ more than the simple facts amounting to the ‘what.’
A welcome desk allowed company ambassadors to best direct visitors. Strategically planned signage introduced the overall concept – which was conveyed through every aspect of the display – The Technology of Defence.
Working as an extension of the BAE events team, M created agreed objectives, built a narrative for the show, agreed milestones and budget and delivered on time and to cost. There was a 10-month planning process with every aspect of delivery being approved across the whole BAE Systems business.
M, using only its internal resource and working within a strict security environment, delivered as project managers, coordinators, designers and tech suppliers. Everything from concept to design, digital and graphic was produced by the M team, a specific group of people in M who are tuned into the brand and its core values. M leads BAE in applying the brand through all median.
BAE’s key sectors– land, sea, air and cyber (and electronic systems – were to be presented as a harmonious whole. Those silos were to be broken down and BAE presented as the all-encompassing defence innovation company it now is.
M-is delivered pre-show awareness campaigns from social media support, to advanced information emails and invitations with relevant sales-led assets carefully targeted to specific customer audiences. This delivered a 12% rise in scheduled meetings and additionally proved enough to satisfy even those who may not be attending DSEI. The BAE website received 5,000 more visits than in 2015; the digital newsroom experienced twice as much traffic as in that year; and BAE Systems became the only industry body to achieve Google page one search engine results for DSEI.
At the show all exhibits were displayed so as to bring them to life, as part of BAE’s narrative whole. Substantial hospitality space was used to ensure BAE became a focal point, a meeting place, central to the conversation. This included dwell space, meeting rooms, private dining and a public café. Everything was high end. All areas felt permanent, secure, nothing like typical temporary spaces.
Feedback across the company showed we had made a change and that we were showcasing BAE Systems as a technology company.
BAE sales programmes span decades. Purchases are not made randomly, so there is no obvious sales-style measurement associated with work like this.
M’s success is demonstrated in its ongoing relationship with BAE Systems, having now delivered three DSEIs and three Farnborough Air Shows. (and how M is defining how the global programme is delivered, focussing not only on the build, but the activation).
Following the exhibition, Clarion Events awarded BAE’s presence at DSEI its Best Stand Award.