DB Systems (DB) worked with 2heads, the global experiential agency at MIPCOM, a major event held in Cannes every October for the buying, selling, financing and distribution of entertainment content across all platforms. At MIPCOM, DB provided the AV and IT solutions for end-clients such as BBC Worldwide, Disney-ABC-ESPN Television and ITV Global Entertainment.
When working with an agency, DB always looks to build a solid professional relationship. Working with 2heads is exactly that. In fact, at MIPCOM the relationship went further. Right from the start not only was there a good professional partnership between the teams from DB and 2heads, but it was also a friendly and sociable partnership.
Oliver Richardson, DB’s sales director, comments: "Because the provision of AV & IT is almost always an important element in planning and staging any event, DB very often works on projects from a very early stage. By coming in at this early stage, DB is able to offer clients the benefit of the best possible advice, service and support.
"Ultimately, 2heads partner with us because we are able to deliver the highest level of AV support and rental service. We offer agencies like 2heads bespoke AV services."
DB and 2heads began working together for this year’s MIPCOM in July 2008 when both met with ITV. The ITV stand was a large project and DB worked with 2heads and ITV over the months leading up to the show.
Oliver Richardson added: "Our role was to provide bespoke and high-spec PCs, based on the parameters set by ITV. These PCs had to be capable of running ITV’s content. Also supplied were headphones, touchscreens and plasma screens. The equipment was fitted into the pods designed by 2Heads, which allowed the delegates to view ITV’s content."
While DB has to have an understanding of the end client’s objective (ultimately it’s that objective that everyone involved in a project has to aim towards), DB’s primary role is to ensure that the AV and IT provided works so that the exhibitor can go about its job, whether that’s selling content, or displaying information. At MIPCOM, DB knew that ITV’s objective was to sell programme units. DB simply needed to work to this brief and make it happen technically by ensuring that the AV and IT worked and did what it was designed to do.
DB’s advice to exhibitors on the use of AV & IT is for them to first describe fully what they want to achieve. Most importantly, they shouldn’t hold back on the wish list. As an AV provider, DB will then work out a solution and come up with options. DB uses its expertise and experience to create a solution that will deliver the objectives.
Oliver Richardson added: "If the end client or agency can provide us with an impression, or a brainstorm of ideas, we will go away and design the technical solution. If they want something that won’t work technically, then we’ll tell them and come up with an alternative solution. As a solutions provider it’s up to us to come up with something that works."
DB has worked at some of the largest shows around the world, which means its technicians have considerable experience in dealing with a host of issues and client requirements.
Alastair Reece, who was DB’s senior project manager at MIPCOM, said: "This experience was of great benefit at MIPCOM, where our technicians undertook many ad hoc and unscheduled projects for our end clients. For example, our technicians assisted 2heads in unpacking, setting up and installing 10 workstations for IMG Media.
"2heads was quite comfortable with DB taking this proactive approach, after all 2heads had to deliver for its client and 2heads is our client so we have to deliver for them. Again, it goes back to the partnership relationship between DB and 2heads."
James Simpkins, 2heads’ client services director, added: “We have a great working and social relationship with DB. It’s a company that adopts a similar approach to projects as we do and, very importantly, our clients really like the AV solutions that DB designs and the level of service it provides. DB has become part of the 2heads team."
When exhibitors prepare for a show like MIPCOM, there are many Do’s and Don’t’s regarding the use of AV. Oliver Richardson says: “The big Do, especially for a show like MIPCOM, is to make sure you know as early as possible what playback system is required. Is it DVD? Tape? or Blu-ray? There’s no point in coming up with a fantastic and creative AV and IT solution when you go to a show with a DVD player and the end client arrives with its content on tape.
"In relation to trade shows generally, the current big issue is resolutions. For example, if the client is working with HD we need to provide the appropriate HD screens and playback devices.
"Also, Don’t over-do the AV. You can get some stands where exhibitors have overdone the amount of AV being used and all you remember about them is just that – not the brand and not what they were trying to say to their potential clients.
"Don’t feel in awe of technology. There’s an overwhelming range of AV & IT technology to choose from but only use the technology that is right for that particular exhibition/stand. It’s not the technology you use but how you use that technology. So use technology for the right reasons, not just because it’s the latest thing.
"Do seek the advice of your AV partner. Give your AV supplier every possible idea you may have. We will then provide the right solution for you."