15,000 people,147 student teams, 89 media attendees from 13 countries, seven well-known faces and one major event; Shell’s annual Make the Future Live festival. Held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, the festival brought together students, visitors and media from across Europe and beyond to celebrate bright energy ideas. From interactive installations to the prestigious Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) – a global engineering competition that challenges students to design and build an energy efficient car, the weekend was buzzing with innovation and engineering excellence.
As I only began working at Edelman last year, this year’s festival was my first Make the Future Live and was also the first time I’d worked on an event quite like this. After all the hard work and preparation we’d put in beforehand, I was super excited to see how everything would work – and I have to say it exceeded all expectations!
Leading up to the festival, we were focused on getting all press materials and event docs ready to hit the ground running. This included working with various markets across the globe, setting up interviews with key Shell spokespeople and talent, scheduling guided media tours and planning an on-track ‘Media Challenge’.
On our first day onsite, we were given a private tour by the festival General Manager, which was an incredible opportunity and a perfect way to immerse ourselves in the experience. I was instantly struck by the scale of what we had been working on and the different installations that made up the festival zones. These included huge interactive screens showcasing what our energy future could look like in 2050, a carbon particle game that resembled a challenge from The Crystal Maze and an opportunity for visitors to take their futuristic car drawings off the page and into a digital reality. They were such innovative ways of making energy topics relevant and engaging for visitors and although we’d been discussing what the event would look like for quite some time, to finally see it in person was pretty astounding. The rest of the weekend was topped off by futuristic cars on the track for SEM and celebrity attendees including Black Panther’s Letitia Wright, Alexander Armstrong and Rachel Riley, making it a truly unforgettable experience.
My main role throughout the campaign was managing the markets and their media. This involved co-ordinating 13 countries across the globe and helping to organise 89 media attendees over the course of the four-day festival – so no mean feat! I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the chance to take the lead on part of such a large event at an Account Executive level. Not only was I able to hone my market management skills, I was able to meet an incredible range of media and could tangibly see the impact my work had in making the event a success.
I am so proud to have been part of the Make the Future Live team. As well as building closer connections with our markets across the globe, hosting media and experiencing a huge event celebrating bright energy ideas, I’ve also been able to work with an outstanding team. The Edelman team looked after a wide range of workstreams for the festival, from ideation and content creation with talent to managing content for social channels, it was incredible to see first-hand how my colleagues excelled at each. The invaluable knowledge I’ve gained from the festival will definitely be put into action during my next event at Edelman, and I’m ready for the challenge.
As we are beginning the wrap up reports and finalising results, I can’t help feeling a little sad that it’s over – but I can say, with 100% certainty, that I cannot wait for next year!