Qatar Airways @ ITB 2019
Agency: Cook + Associates
Client: Qatar Airways
Event Name: ITB Berlin 2019
Agency Website: www.cookandassociates.com
ITB Berlin is the world’s leading travel event. In 2018, Cook + Associates had just 5 weeks to design and deliver Qatar Airways’ stand due to an embargo with the current supplier. After a highly successful show, we were re-selected to provide a unique brand experience for 2019.
As the fastest growing global airline with a 5-star travel experience, QA strive to be acknowledged as the best airline in the world. Their ITB presence is all about experiencing their renowned attention to detail and high-class quality ethos. Our 2019 objective was to create a contemporary, luxurious and elegant brand experience, reflecting QA’s progressive and confident brand values, heritage and luxurious award-winning brand.
The brief consisted of a 200sqm double deck and a 50sqm product stand, with both to epitomize QA’s breadth and excellence, promoting brand attributes such as loyalty programmes, crew ethos, sponsorships and subsidiaries, as well as creating a professional meeting and networking environment.
Pivotal to the 2019 experience was the launch of QA’s enhanced Economy Class, presented to attract the attention of world audiences, increasing footfall and stand appeal. Creating a “wow effect that will be talked about and visitors will come to the stand specifically to see”.
The Solution and Activation
Our team of experts hit the ground running to create a luxurious stand and Economy Class Experience. Inspired by Qatar Airways’ ‘Excellence in everything’, we set to design a show-stopping brand experience that felt open and welcoming, inviting guests and encouraging networking.
Everything was carefully selected to reflect the 5-star brand, from the relaxing hospitality area to the top deck executive lounge and VIP space. Every element exuded quality and attention to detail, from simple flower arrangements and tranquil water features to state-of-the-art engaging technology elements. The finished stand provided an ocean of calm from the hectic show environment. Subtle touches such as the choice of textures, materials and lighting design on both stands were inspired by modern Arabic designs and contemporary clean spaces, all drawn from QA’s first and business class lounges.
The main stand showcased QA’s brand with strategic design, reception, hospitality seating lounge and innovative technology placed on the lower deck to draw traffic towards the stand, engaging them with the latest QA offering and branding. The upper deck contained a GCEO lounge, VIP lounge and VIP fully-catered dining area to create a professional business environment for meetings and networking.
The final specification included cutting edge technology, intricate design and a dramatic stand reveal, with our design taking the challenges of the original brief and timescale head on. Our vision of combining drama and style was the inspiration behind making the main exhibit’s features such as the high level 660 tiled, high-res LED crown into an eye capturing element to present their branding, content and key messages. Delegates enjoyed an immersive VR experience with 360-degree videos of the new Economy class offering, as well as a fun green screen element that allowed visitors to be photographed in front of QA’s new destinations for social media promotion.
Qatar Airways’ objective to create a show-stopping presence around the unveiling of their new Economy Class provided us with the opportunity to create a unique solution. The Economy Class Stand was placed directly opposite the main exhibit and was draped in a curtained fabric around the perimeter of the stand until the grand unveiling on the first day. Following a speech by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker, a kabuki drop was triggered, revealing the new economy class experience. Accompanied by a dramatic lighting programme and live music from a string trio, we created an unforgettable atmosphere around the exhibition hall, catching the attention of the world’s media and VIP visitors.
Football stars, Corentin Tolisso and Lothar Matthäus, from Qatar Airlines’ partnership with local German football team, Bayern München, were also both present to add further cachet to the event.
The Economy class exhibit reflected Qatar Airways economy class culture of comfort, convenience and space. Once fully revealed, the economy class seating allowed visitors to interact first-hand with the brand’s new offerings, which was beautifully complemented by a synchronised overhead lighting chase and an interactive presentation.
Our final delivery was the result of a carefully planned process that relied on excellent communication and attention to detail. In just 11 days, our team of project managers and 58 professionals transformed an empty space into a luxurious double deck that created a lasting impression and was quite literally the talk of the show.
The brief was exclusively to promote and highlight Qatar Airways’ new Economy Class and destinations, solidifying their position as the world’s youngest and fastest growing global airline. The innovative nature of the launch event focused top tier international media attention on the world-renowned event, featuring in hundreds of media outlets both online and in print. Over 200 members of the media attended the press conference held by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker.
We wanted to have a dynamic commercial impact, attracting new customers and positioning Qatar Airways as their new airline of choice. ITB Berlin 2019 allowed Qatar Airways to showcase the latest information on new products, services and facilities in the tourism industry to over 160,000 visitors from more than 180 countries. The mass attendance and engagement on both exhibition stands, with the VR experience and plane model design, allowed for a hands-on experience of the new economy class, driving traffic to the stand and enticing visitors to get a feel for the ethos of comfort, space and service that Qatar Airways provides – proving their commitment to offering the very finest experience to all passengers, no matter what class they are travelling in.
The event was widely syndicated across all social media, thanks to the green screen photo opportunity on the main stand and the attendance of major football stars, the Qatar Airways’ message well beyond the show floor.