The GREAT Festival of Innovation, Hong Kong
Earlier in 2018, we worked alongside our client, the live event and experience agency, innovision, on a project for the Department for International Trade in Hong Kong. The GREAT Festival of Innovation took place across four days in March 2018 and saw over 1,500 people hear from 160 world leading experts. Attendees also enjoyed over 25 showcases of innovative new businesses, ideas and technology.
Our task was to use dynamic and strategic media relations to support the UK’s quest to reinforce its reputation as a leader in innovation, working as part of a communications team from both the UK and Hong Kong.
The Festival celebrated collaboration and support between British and Asian businesses, governments, cultural and educational institutions. Taking place at the Asia Society, the venue was transformed to allow multiple speaker sessions, arts performances and live events to take place all at the same time.
Designed to forge closer trading links between the UK and Asia, through the Government’s GREAT campaign, the Festival ensured there was a provocative debate on what the future will look like and how innovation can rise to those challenges. It was launched by Secretary of State for International Trade, The Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, with speakers from across Asia, including founder and chairman of the Sanpower Group Yuan Yafei. Among its many exhibits were:
• Exclusive screenings of record-breaking British TV exports BBC’s Top Gear and Blue Planet
• An exploration into new robot technologies showing how scaled-down machinery could transform food production by doing away with the need for big farm machinery
• An art installation from Bompas and Parr allowing delegates to experience the London sky line paired with a gin and tonic infused fog.
Future concepts explored at the Festival include companion robots to monitor the vital signs of the elderly; vertical villages with arable farming taking place several storeys into the sky and plants fed using nitrogen converted from car exhaust emissions; new drone delivery systems to reduce congestion on roads; product design taking place via gaming-style virtual reality technology; and how embroidered metals can be used as circuitry in washable fabrics to pioneer medical care.
Working with teams from across a variety of Whitehall departments and areas, as well as exhibitors themselves, we developed and implemented a calendar of story ideas designed to raise awareness of the Festival in UK media, building interest as it approached, and providing a platform for the overall message of the Government’s commitment to help the UK business community work, and trade, with Asia.
Our work generated 116 pieces of coverage in target media over a five-month period with a reach/OTS in excess of 688 million. Of that, 84% of pieces referenced the Festival alongside UK innovation, and was universally positive.
You can learn more about the GREAT Festival of Innovation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYzFDof1nvU