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TEEM: Highlights from the conference’s ILMC debut

The Experience Economy Meeting (TEEM), the world’s only conference dedicated entirely to touring exhibitions and the experience economy, has joined forces with ILMC for 2021. The first TEEM (formerly the Touring Exhibitions Meeting) as part of ILMC took place today (4 March) with some of the world’s leading touring exhibition professionals, including expo producers, promoters, venue bookers and suppliers.

Tickets for ILMC 33 – which include all panels, including TEEM sessions, available to watch back until 5 April 2021 – are still available. Click here for more information.



TEEM concluded with The TEEM x ILMC Flea Market, which gave delegates representing touring exhibitions and producers just three minutes to present their shows to the promoters and venues in the room.

Chaired by Christoph Scholz of Semmel Concerts’ SC Exhibitions and Debbie Donohue of Imagine Exhibitions, the Flea Market featured presentations from Corrado Canonici of World Touring Exhibitions; Amy Bornkamp of IMG Events; Glenn Blackman of Global Touring & Promotion; Teo’s Manon Delaury; Pierre Morand of GAAP Bookings; Zuppar’s Nick Zuppar; Charles Reed of Blooloop; Alex Susanna of Expona; Giorgio Castagnera of Herelab; Semmel Concerts’ Anna Lenhof; and Jole Martinenghi of Contemporanea Progetti.

Exhibitions and attractions presented included King TutPompeii, Travelling Bricks (Lego), Kid Koala, the Walt Disney 100th anniversary exhibition and the Monster, an inflatable playground for adults.


Teem’s second panel of the day, Taking Exhibitions Further, led by Abigail Bysshe, Franklin Institute (US) and Christoph Scholz, Semmel Concerts (DE), explored the post-Covid future of the experience economy.

Serge Grimaux, Fórum Karlín (CZ), said he believes the exhibition world will experience a post-Covid boom: “I think we have an incredible opportunity with a clean slate in front of us. We have a lot of people who have been very hungry for entertainment, live entertainment and edutainment.

“I think that the technology that is now available, and becomes more available every month, can provide an environment that will be incredible for everybody and at the same time, affordable. Because as soon as we get out of this Covid war and the economy will start, affordability will be important, and exhibitions will definitely be a very sought after product.”

While Lāth Carlson, The Museum of the Future (AE), believes that the future of exhibitions lies in immersive experiences: “Our core is in immersive experiences and we’re sticking with that. I think the real power of museums is the experience that you can have physically in the space and socially in the space as well. So that is an absolute core part of what we’re offering our museum.”

“I think the real power of museums is the experience that you can have physically in the space and socially in the space as well”

While Paola Cappitelli, 24 ORE Cultura, pointed out that tech should play an important role in making exhibitions appealing to the younger generations: “We have a new generation [to cater to] so we know that we have to provide them with technology, experiences and multimedia in museums but also have other people who are older coming to the museum so we have to to find a way to appeal to all demographics.”

Arnold van de Water, Factorr (NL), added that it’s important for curators and designers to find new ways of telling the same stories.

“The thing we always keep in mind is storyline. Though technology is more accessible, telling a good story again is still the basis. We see so many dinosaur exhibitions, so many Van Gogh exhibitions and so many of the same topics so curation and content is really the thing we should be focussing on,” he said.

 


The Experience Economy Meeting (TEEM) kicked off with What’s Next in the World for Experience Exhibitions?, led by Christoph Scholz, Semmel Concerts (DE) and Charles Read, Blooloop (UK).

The panel’s central focus was how to enhance the user experience of exhibitions – from design, production and cross-culture standpoints.

Speaking from a designer’s perspective, Tobias Kunz, Studio TK (DE), said: “The perfect exhibition is the right balance of information, emotion and attraction. It has to be a multi-sensorial experience with different layers: the classic museum layer with great objects; a walkable stage where you can bring objects to life and make them talk; an interactive layer with headphone stations for lively presentations; a media layer; and a very important sound and music layer.”

Manon Delaury, Teo (FR), added: “Immersion is becoming super important. When I talk about immersion I mean some sort of environment that really surrounds people, as well as providing a sensory reality. We see more and more experiences that integrate smell, sound, touch and really surrounding people so they can have a proper immersive experience.

“Another key trend, which will emerge is transformative experiences that are truly social. The idea is that once you’ve been through the experience you feel a little bit different. You’ve learned and you’ve grown.”

“The perfect exhibition is the right balance of information, emotion and attraction”

Winston Fisher and Michael Beneville – the pair behind Area15, an immersive art, event and entertainment complex just off the Las Vegas Strip – says the key to their success with the project was putting together the perfect team.

“Execution is critical to success.  The ability to understand how a dream can actually become a reality is so important. It’s not just creativity that brings things to life, it’s a team that has all skill sets. It was important for us to get best-in-class experts and build a team that actually had breadth and depth that could take something radical and different and make it a reality,” they said.

Bart Dohmen, TDAC int. BV (NL), elaborated on that point, adding that the perfect team also needs to be resolute on the identity of an exhibition.

“You can say that your exhibition is something but you need to embed it into your development by having a clear team statement which tells everyone what the identity is. Once you have that, have the guts to make a decision to throw something away if it doesn’t fit the statement. Don’t do anything that could hurt your identity. That sounds very easy but it’s a very delicate and difficult process,” Dohmen said.

“The ability to understand how a dream can actually become a reality is so important”

Coming from a live music point of view, Marc Saunders, the O2 (UK), said that while the venue is best known for its music programming, the exhibition areas add a lot of value to a customer’s experience.

“When people think of the O2, they think instantly of the arena and the events and artists that we host. But the fact is that the O2 has become so much more since it was purchased by AEG from the original Millennium Dome, and reopened in 2007.

“The exhibition space is currently being used for Mamma Mia: The Party but in the past has had various exhibitions, including the British Music Experience, an Elvis exhibition, and the Star Wars Identities exhibition,” he testifies.

Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, department of culture and tourism, Abu Dhabi (UAE), agreed, adding that his market was looking at enhancing the live music fan’s broader experience.

“It’s easy today to bring an event or a touring concert to any destination but it’s very hard to create an experience that encompasses the full journey from end to end. Today, in Abu Dhabi, we are trying to build that unique experience by blending [the capital’s] landscapes with a rich calendar of events around the city and verticals that go from shopping to entertainment to music to culinary,” he said.

 


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ILMC speaker spotlight: Christoph Scholz, Semmel Concerts

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) is now less than a month away and, as more and more chairs and panellists are announced, IQ catches up with some key speakers to hear what they hope to get out of this year’s conference.

First up is Christoph Scholz of SC Exhibitions, a division of German promoter Semmel Concerts and the company behind Los Angeles conference the Experience Economy Meeting (TEEM) – formerly the Touring Exhibitions Meeting.

Scholz will appear alongside Kilimanjaro Live’s Lucy Levitt to co-chair ILMC’s Touring Entertainment: Game For a Show panel – which this year moves to a bigger room to satisfy demand – to discuss why family shows, touring exhibitions and other kinds of immersive, alternative content are piquing the interest of promoters and fans alike.

Joining the chairs are Harlem Globetrotters’ Arnold Bernard, Secret Cinema’s Amy Farrant, Hartshorn-Hook Enterprises/Immersive Everywhere’s Brian Hook, Nicolás Renna from Proactiv and Alex Homfray of Alex Homfray Cultural Destinations.

 


IQ: What do you expect to be the main talking points at your panel?

CS: My co-chair, Lucy Levitt, and I are expecting some exciting guests this year. We will ask Arnold Bernard from Harlem Globetrotters how they have managed to keep such an iconic sports entertainment troupe relevant for so many years.

Amy Farrant, the marketing director of [immersive cinema experience specialist] Secret Cinema, is also joining the panel. Secret Cinema has just signed a deal with Disney and is expanding globally – this will deliver us plenty of talking points. Brian Hook from [theatre experience company] Immersive Everywhere also be there to will tell us everything about the forthcoming Doctor Who Experience in London.

“Our aim is to explore the key developments across touring exhibitions, pop culture and family shows”

You’ve moved up to a bigger room for 2020. How do you expect the session to compare to previous years?

We are hosting a special double-panel event this spring, which provides a great opportunity for our colleagues in the experience and live entertainment fields.

The first will be at ILMC on 5 March in London. Then, on the first weekend of May, we will also have a panel at The Experience Economy Meeting (TEEM) in Los Angeles. The second panel will pick up on the themes discussed in London, creating a fantastic intercontinental partnership of ILMC in London and TEEM Los Angeles.

Our aim with both panels is to explore the key developments and brightest new spectacles across touring exhibitions, pop culture and family shows.

“Touring exhibitions are benefiting from globalisation much in the same way as live touring is”

What are some of the biggest trends you’re seeing coming through in the family/touring/alternative entertainment world?

Looking at the classic staples in this non-traditional touring sector – which includes everything that is not rock, pop or another musical genre – touring exhibitions, family shows and events such as comic conventions are benefiting from globalisation much in the same way as live touring is.

There are more venues, more markets opening up and more opportunities. I am personally fascinated by the likes of The Haus of Gaga in Las Vegas or The Zone: Britney Spears in Los Angeles.

Are we seeing new forms of fan worlds here?

To find out the answer to this question and more, come along to ILMC’s Touring Entertainment panel at 5 p.m. on Thursday 5 March.

 


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