BAE Systems DSEI Exhibition

BAE Systems DSEI Exhibition


Agency: M-is

Client: BAE Systems

Event Name: DSEI 2019

Agency Website:

The Brief

BAE Systems is a leading global defence company. A technology led, innovation focused, forward leaning organisation defining the future technology of defence.
DSEI has become a primary event on the global exhibition programme, providing the opportunity for a full and in-depth presentation of BAE Systems’ capability and innovation.
The brief included delivering new techniques and experiences for DSEI which could then be deployed across global exhibition programme. The brief also included evolution of BAE Systems vertical sector exhibits (i.e. air, sea, satellite) delivering engaging content in innovative ways to an audience well versed in this sector.
Part of the brief was to acknowledge that M’s concepts are frequently copied so execution of the concepts needed to move the brand thinking on from previous exhibitions while ensuring consistent, recognisable brand messaging.
Finally, the brief demanded communicating BAE as an innovative and cohesive defence company. Showcasing the fact that technology is a core part of BAE Systems offering and should be given equal attention as defence platforms and machinery.

The Solution

The core of the creative idea was to take a holistic approach to the whole event. Asserting BAE Systems presence on arrival, clear signposting/way finding then welcoming the arrival of visitors to the booth which displayed a comprehensive story of BAE’s brand, offering and future thinking.

The creative had to communicate brand values through messaging as well as the physical manifestation of the logo mark. In doing so, M devised a hierarchy to the brand messaging keeping the approach consistent across all exhibited vertical business units:
– Attractor
– Introduction/overview
– Descriptor
– Exhibition / presentation of product and/or service

The stand design embraced an effective and natural exhibition journey, with a central walkway enticing visitors through the headline message of ‘Information Advantage’. This provided M with the opportunity to choreograph all exhibits and presentations allowing BAE Systems ‘ stand staff to walk guests from the company’s key capabilities (air and sea for example) to specific features and products.

A consistent exhibit technique for 30 plus products and apps created a clear and consistent approach across the show floor, all screen media and stand graphics. In doing so, the team devoted significant time working with BAE Systems’ stakeholders around the globe to secure the required assets and supporting messaging.

M took a Dynamic Branding approach which meant synchronising all screens from the main central feature to LED headers around the defined perimeter. This meant that almost without exception, BAE Systems could clearly be identified with eye level and above signage – clearly setting the company apart from other exhibitors.

The Activation

With the customer placed at the very heart of the concept – the activation focused on the customer journey and experience. Therefore, M created content and features to maximise the headline corporate message and the product take-out, features and benefits.

Assets became a device that formed part of the broad BAE Systems experience, each highly productive in their own right and powerful as their part of the journey.

The activation involved 1,846 sq. of floor space and 230 sq.m of double deck hospitality.

The objective of the activation was to deliver a dominant yet open architecture providing exposure to all parts of the business irrespective of approaches to the booth.

The focal point was the 5x5x5 metre cube, with floor to ceiling mirror screens giving an infinity effect. The internal space accommodated an internal media briefing suite. Screen content was developed from FIAS 18 and IDEX 19 providing an evolution of the corporate narrative. The briefing suite included introductions to all defence sectors specific to BAE Systems.

20 bespoke exhibits boasted integrated AV, clear plasma screens, apps with bespoke content and integral lighting.

Large exhibits (land vehicle, air platforms) were given an extra dimension through using four 3m x 2m free standing technology surfaces to reveal a product in detail within an app sequence.

Multiple lighting techniques were integrated seamlessly to enhance exhibits and zones within the booth. Every detail of exhibit, rig, floor and environment had a carefully programme piece of the stand lighting design. Choreographed throughout

Light touch way finding was used both in approach to and within the booth as well as four peripheral sites:
– Dockside ships
– Waterborne demo
– Concourse display
– Media centre

The overall design facilitated real demos, brand and display techniques across the show floor e.g.: Future cockpits; mission planning, cyber security, advanced manufacturing, platforms, and data analytics.

The Results

BAE Systems had a significant presence at the tri-service event, with a 1,846 m2 stand, eight meeting rooms, a large hospitality space for serving lunches, and an informal coffee area. There was attendance from all of BAE Systems’ business units, who were able to host meetings in the hospitality spaces, as well as on the show floor and offsite.
The adaptable stand space, enabled several key functions and presentations to be hosted during the event, including the BAE Systems Reception totalling 400 key guests. In total 896 meetings were held during DSEI. 69% of meetings took place on the first two days of the event, with Wednesday being the busiest day of the show. Furthermore, two media briefings a day were held inside the cube. 48 different countries were met with over the course of the week.

At DSEI, M proved the display techniques, establishing the blueprint, and setting the precedent for the coming 12 month period. At subsequent events (AUSA Washington, Dubai Air Show) we saw fellow exhibitors following our trend, some attempting to copy our integrated use of AV, content, and installation.

Following DSEI, M has received continued praise and industry recognition for the achievements in brand hierarchy, customer journey, and the ability to portray a diverse and large organisation in a consistent and singular brand activation.