MCH Blog

Essential questions when hiring a film, photography studio or events space

When running a film, photography studio or event space, one can always expect to hear a multitude of questions from one’s clients; naturally these are initially with regards to availability and rates, but what follows often depends on the level of experience of the person with whom you’re talking. There can be numerous and essential details to consider, key questions not to be forgotten and answers not to be assumed.  This of course applies to anyone who’s hiring a space, be they production manager or assistant, photographer, event planner or someone hosting a private function. Some of these may seem pretty obvious, particularly to those who’ve been in the industry a long time, but let’s face it we can all be subject to forgetfulness!
With close to a hundred years of combined location and studio experience, the First Option team have put their heads together to bring you a list of SAQ’s – information sometimes overlooked but in our experience often crucial. Here are our ‘Should Ask Questions’ together with their all important answers…

How early can we start, how late can we finish?
Opening hours vary massively with each and every space, at First Option we’ll be here at whatever time you wish to start and we won’t leave until you’re done. Do remember that virtually all locations have loud music/noise curfews.

Is overtime available?
Some hire spaces have set hours and others are flexible. We will always try to give you whatever hours you need, it’s best to try and book in advance but obviously this isn’t always possible and sometimes you just need to keep going until you’re finished.  Our rates for overtime vary according to how much notice we get, and how anti social the overtime hours are so it is always best to contact us in advance where possible.

 

Can we hire over the weekend?


Again this is site specific, most places will open up at weekends but best not to assume. Our late night events are restricted to the weekends so you can party later into the night, though. Please note that like most venues, First Option has a surcharge for weekend hire.

Can we have props and/or equipment delivered the day before and collected the day after?
Delivery companies don’t tend to work as late as we all do so collecting at the end of your shoot isn’t always possible, likewise early deliveries often cost the earth so most locations will try to help out with deliveries prior to and after your shoot. Always check in advance as these arrangements are generally based on crews working either side of your shoot.

Is our equipment insured if we leave it overnight?
It’s rarely a good idea to make someone else responsible for your kit unless that’s their job. Always have your own insurance to cover what you’re using and always check the security of the building housing your equipment. We are based within a private courtyard with 24 hour security but we still insist that all equipment left in the studio overnight should be covered by the client or rental companies’ own insurance.

Can we use props/equipment in the location?
All venues have their own rules regarding their in-house kit so it’s definitely best to check first. Some people will charge separate hire fees and others provide so much for free that you may find that you hardly need to bring anything at all. First Option is a dry hire space with a difference in that we actually do have tons of props and cooking apparatus that’s all here for clients to use free of charge. Check out our facilities list here.

Is there a fully functional kitchen?


Most locations will have at least one kitchen but these can vary hugely. You might find a seemingly fully fitted kitchen that is in fact a set and is full of tricks. Oven’s, fridges, cupboards and drawers that are all just a facade…great if you’re doing a “here’s one I made earlier” but not so good if you actually need to cook. Always check what you have at your disposal and don’t forget to ask which utensils can and can’t be used. We have two kitchens at First Option and both are fully functional.

Can we hang/attach things from and to walls and ceilings?


The answer to this question is unique to each and every building, you must ask as damage caused is likely to be chargeable. We are lucky to have high beamed roofs which can take a fair amount of weight as long as the beams are protected from sharp clamps. Our Victorian brick walls are precious and cannot be drilled into but with so many adhesives available these days, who needs holes?

What power do you have available and what are the costs?
Generators can be such a nuisance and their use is sometimes discouraged by surrounding businesses or residents due to their noise. As a result you’ll find that a well equipped location will have their own ample power supply so do remember to check this throughly. Nobody wants a generator truck arriving at the point you’ve just discovered the huge in-house power outlets available!  At First Option, it’s rare to need more than our 3 Phase Power (3 x 63’s and 3x32’s) and numerous 13 amp plugs throughout the kitchen, studio and prep kitchen, but if you do we can of course help out. We don’t charge for power usage – yay!

Can we use any outdoor space?

 

Some locations have private outside space that may or may not be available to shoot in, if they don’t then they will usually be able to help with getting local council advice on shooting in the surrounding public areas.
A general starting point is that if your crew is larger than five and any of your lighting equipment is not hand held you will need a permit…We’ve put together a really handy guide to shooting on the streets of East London that you can find here. When shooting with us at First Option, you have the choice of using our private courtyard or venturing up high onto the roof of our neighbours, check out the view here. Both of these spaces can easily be booked with prior permission and carry a separate charge.

Is there on-site parking and does it cost extra?
London parking spaces are like gold dust, perhaps even rarer, so always check your parking options and remember to let your crew/guests know. At First Option, we can arrange secure underground parking or on street parking with permits. Where we park you depends on whether you need access to our loading/unloading entrance for props and/or kit. Spaces are charged at £20 per vehicle per day and should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

What about catering?


First Option are very lucky to have a superb in-house caterer who can offer a selection of Breakfasts, Lunches and Afternoon Tea. Tara will always try to tailor the menu according to your specific requirements so a conversation with her prior to your shoot or event is a good idea; you can find a sample menu here. There are also a huge number of local companies we happily recommend if you’d prefer to go elsewhere. It is always best to check as some places will insist on you using their own caterers or preferred suppliers.

Are tea and coffee included?


First Option provide free tea and coffee and those of you that have been before know that we also have a full time barista on site. Cafe di Rosso is in our courtyard Monday through Friday – we can easily set up a tab for clients on a daily or ‘entire shoot’ basis and get you the best prices in Shoreditch for your caffeine fix.

How late can we play music?
Most venues have licenses that cover them for certain hours of noise and residential areas are mostly based on common sense and courtesy. First Option’s cut-off is generally set as 23:30 although quiet clearing/shooting may continue later with prior permission.

Can we arrange additional security?
Sometimes extra eyes or muscles are needed and most places will either have their own security available or are happy for you to arrange externally. Our own security guards here at Perseverance Works are some of the best in London… Ex Gurkhas if you please. When you consider your kit and/or prop fees, the value of extra security will almost always far outweigh the extra cost.

What do we do with our rubbish, recycling and food waste?
Most hire locations will take care of this within reason. Being based in Perseverance Works means that we have access to an excellent waste system, however if you foresee your shoot or event having excessive waste, it’s best to give prior warning so that locations can make special arrangements.

What happens if we damage the location or any of its equipment or props?
Of course we are all used to general wear and tear of our buildings, but do be aware that damage caused as a direct result of your activities will almost always be chargeable. Most hire agreements will include details covering insurance and public liability requirements so do ensure that the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.

How are we expected to leave the space?


A general rule of thumb is to leave the space as it was found, this doesn’t mean that you’re expected to sweep and mop the floors and take the bins out but heavy furniture and props should be returned to their original place and rubbish should be bagged up. It really comes down to common sense… If you have any doubts there will always be someone around to help. We personally find that working together with our crews at the end of a long event or shoot works best.

How much responsibility do we have to neighbours and members of the public?
A much overlooked but essential part of planning an event or a shoot is to keep everyone around you happy. Working on a large event of any kind can be so all encompassing that we forget the effects that we might be having on others, be that noise or general disruption. When filming in a location or a studio, it’s the responsibility of the location’s manager to know what is and isn’t acceptable, if you’re venturing outside then it’s often a shared responsibility. If you think that your activities may affect others then a letter or email to surrounding buildings letting them know what’s happening is always a good idea.
Work and let work is our mantra.
Plus, let’s not forget that failure to give people fair warning can ultimately result in a shutting down of your shoot or event not to mention the bad Karma!

Please do let us know if you can think of any questions we have forgotten or answers we have failed to provide. This industry always involves huge joint effort and so we’d love any input anyone can give.

Experiential Marketing: The Answer to Your Trade Show Woes?

Nichola Clydesdale, Marketing Director at leading promotional staffing agency Envisage Promotions highlights how bringing trade show marketing alive will have a positive impact on a brand, essential reading for any brand wanting to do more with trade shows and events.

Trade shows and exhibitions can be a golden chance to showcase products and services to a large audience.

But the trade show is under pressure. Or rather the significant investment of money, resources and time that they consume is under pressure. With the economy still stuttering and faltering, every business needs results from every marketing activity.

It is no longer an option to leave a trade show feeling it didn’t quite hit the mark. Now is the time to try something different and it comes in the shape of experiential marketing.

What is experiential marketing?

For want of a better description, it brings your products alive by using promotional staff to connect with potential clients and customers. They showcase your products, demonstrating it, inviting people to sample it and test it.

This interaction is marketing gold, a chance for briefed and experienced promotional staff to reach your audience.

Tangible marketing experiences like this bring several benefits;

#1 Experiential marketing is effective

Based on a report by Event Marketer from 2015, when customers experienced interactive marketing, the likelihood of them buying at the event increases. This connection continued after the event, with 74% people saying the positive impression and interaction would lead to a future purchase.

#2 More sales, more leads, more loyalty

We know that when there is positive interaction and a strong connection between customer and product, the likelihood of brand loyalty increases. In today’s competitive market place, can any brand afford to turn down the possibility of 70% of their customers buying from them regularly?

#3 Improved connection between consumer and product

In terms of influencing the purchasing decision, the research also suggests that a better understanding of the product or service was the main driver, along with seeing and experiencing the product or service in question. Some way behind, however, were additional enticements such as money off deals and discounts.

#4 Sharing brand values

Your brand has a voice and a persona, something that all customers subconsciously connect too. If they like what they see, if they enjoy the experience and the product or service is of interest, experiential marketing becomes the vehicle to extending brand values.

#5 It creates a buzz!

A trade show floor is a busy place, a cacophony of colour, noise and excitement, where everything clashes and meshes together thus standing out is hard to do. Standing out with something amazing, different and fun is even harder. Experiential marketing is the creative tool by which you can showcase who and what you are, piquing interest and grabbing attention.

The only limit to experiential marketing is imagination. With the right promotional team or even performers, you create a buzz around your product, services and brand that will last for some time to come.

Experiential marketing with the right promotional staff

You could, of course, offer more freebies than anyone else or open a coffee bar but if there is no connection or interaction between people and your brand, it is nothing more than a gimmick. Experiential marketing is fun but it doesn’t forget the mantra of successful marketing: people buy from people.

And thus, the importance of hiring promotional staff from an agency that understands the power of experiential marketing for its clients and knows how to deliver, is not to be underestimated.

The Envisage Group is a leading promotional agency providing promotional staff, brand ambassadors and marketing teams for clients in the UK, Europe, America and the Middle East. With a decade of experience behind them, the Envisage Group is enjoying continued growth in this competitive sector.

Exhibiting and the Sustainability Myth

According to a recent article in Exhibition World, it remains difficult to show clients that sustainable exhibition stands can be flashy, beautiful, and draw in leads from admiring show-goers.

This may be true for many designers, but at its heart this statement reflects three fundamental misconceptions about sustainable exhibition stands:

 

  1. They have to be made from cardboard, or better still, organically grown hemp panelling.
  2. They have to be designed by a bearded hipster sipping overpriced skinny lattes.
  3. Sustainable exhibition stands are an expensive one-off gimmick and can’t possibly form the basis of a serious company’s ongoing exhibiting programme.

Perhaps these misconceptions are why so many exhibitors indulge in the shocking waste of resources involved in using ‘build ‘n’ burn’ exhibition stands.

Build ‘n’ burn stands, more commonly known as ‘custom-builds,’ are exhibition stands built from un-resourceful materials – MDF or ply faced panelling, timber, steel, and acrylics, topped off with a paint or stretched PVC covering.

These exhibition stands are screwed and nailed together at the show build-up, without any prior quality checks or test-runs. This demands hazardous power saws, drills, and sanders being used on site, with all the accompanying noise, dust, and fume pollution.

Even worse is that these expensive build ‘n’ burn creations are generally one use only, and end up in a skip after the show. This leaves the exhibiting company to repeat this wasteful process, again and again, at future shows and events.

Of course this wasteful exhibiting directly contradicts the environmental policies of many of the companies who commission build ‘n’ burn exhibition stands.

Whilst some enlightened Marketing Managers do seek alternative exhibiting solutions, they unwittingly fall for one of the biggest tricks in the industry. So many of the modular exhibition solutions which claim to be an alternative to ‘build ‘n’ burn’ are in reality little more than glorified display systems. The companies who market these glorified display systems are not really exhibition companies,  but rather ‘jack of all trades’ who are more comfortable selling you a pavement sign than a proper exhibition stand.

However, there are a small band of exhibition providers whose business models centre on providing stands with the look and feel of custom-builds, but additionally the core-sustainability that a modular and reusable stand building system brings to an exhibiting programme.

“Quadrant2Design is one of this select group of exhibition stand design and build providers who adhere to a truly sustainable model.”

Quadrant2Design is one of this select group of exhibition stand design and build providers who adhere to a truly sustainable model. They are exhibition stand designers whose product, services, and facilities enable exhibitors to choose legitimately sustainable exhibiting over the appalling waste of build ‘n’ burn stands.

These solutions are best described as custom-designed modular – or custom-modular – exhibition stands.

Quadrant2Design’s solution, the Prestige Events System, offers the environmentally aware exhibitor a number of advantages:

  • Transport: Smaller, lighter, less-polluting vehicles can be used to move hardware to and from the event.
  • Speed: Exhibition stands can be built quickly, using less on-site labour and resources.
  • Safety: No power tools are required, nor dust and debris produced, which means significantly reduced health and safety risks.
  • Clean-process: No screws, nails, glues, laminates, solvents or chemicals are needed on-site, reducing rubbish in the aisles.
  • Reusability: Structure and graphics can be easily reconfigured and reused for different stand space, at different shows, allowing these materials a much longer life than build ‘n’ burn exhibition stands.

These stands are a Marketing Manager’s dream – they project a consistent corporate look over all the exhibiting company’s exhibition stands and events, and they make the most of stretched budgets.

As well as having a solution that enables sustainable exhibiting, Quadrant2Design’s business-model is centred on giving clients the power to reuse their exhibition stands again and again.

The company’s Lifetime Free Stand Design policy exemplifies this. Clients can ask Quadrant2Design to reconfigure their stand design to fit new exhibition space – free of charge – at any time, now or in the future.

For efficiency, Quadrant2Design stores the client’s graphics (also for free) and retrieves them for reuse on future projects.

With over 80% of the company’s projects being on their Free2hire™ plan, clients are aware that their exhibition hardware and graphics are being utilised in an efficient and sustainable way.

It is possible to create custom-designed exhibition stands that look great, while meeting the exhibitor’s desire to find responsible and sustainable solutions, despite scepticism from both industry members and exhibitors alike.

Finding sustainable solutions to running a business has become not only a popular focus point in recent years but also an important one – don’t get caught out with a costly and environmentally damaging build ‘n’ burn nightmare.

About Quadrant2Design:- Quadrant2Design design and build exhibition stands exclusively using the Swiss-designed Prestige Events System. Their Freedom2Exhibit® plan increases operational flexibility and minimises the cost of exhibiting, and they pride themselves on creating stands which are modular, sustainable, and eco-friendly. For more information, please contact Alan Jenkins: alan.jenkins@quadrant2design.com

 

Exquisite packaging design for hand-made, small batch gin

Design Activity have created an exquisite packaging design for a new, hand-made, small batch London dry gin – named after the founders’ gorgeous spaniel Jake, and his infectious enthusiasm for all the good things in life.

Jake’s Gin is a family run company, born from a love of Gin, a passion for plants and a fascination with the art of distilling. Their gin is carefully crafted and distilled in small batches at the Chrishall Distillery using a traditional copper still ‘Gladys’ for a truly unique flavour.

Working closely with Edward May, the founder and maker, Design Activity have brought to life his vision of having a modern twist on the classic London dry gin brands.

The packaging design features a tall, elegant bottle, wrapped in images of the unique botanicals used to make the gin, to portray both taste and beauty. The intricate detail of the design reflects the crafted, delicate ingredient balance and expertise that goes into distilling such an exquisite gin.

The branding is reminiscent of classic spirit design whilst an emblem of Jake’s head gives a modern twist, and a nod to the reasoning and personality behind the name.

Jake’s Gin is here to remind us that we should all live life to the full – freely, adventurously and with love.

Best served neat over ice or mixed with premium tonic water, plenty of ice with a garnish of lemon – to truly enjoy the juniper, coriander, citrus and floral notes.

Design Activity have created an attractive and distinctive design for my Jake’s gin brand which I am immensely proud of. They helped manage every step of the process which is exactly what I needed, as creating and launching a brand is very new to me. I’m so pleased with the final result, we really love it. Our bottles look beautiful and hopefully gin lovers will think so too! Edward May, Founder & Maker

The full project can be seen here: https://www.designactivity.co.uk/project/gin-branded-packaging-design/

Our client’s website is: https://jakesgin.com/

Press enquiries: Kate Clayton, kate@designactivity.co.uk
T: 0117 933 9400

www.designactivity.co.uk

Videos to change hearts and minds

Good ideas change everything.

We motivate change. We galvanise communities to stand up for what’s right. We influence the world and make it a better place. We make people shout. We make people cry. Whether we’re supporting people, animals or the planet, ‘good ideas’ – in every sense – are at the heart of what we do.

Working for charities, not-for-profits and ethical businesses of all sizes, UP create targeted, high quality campaign, fundraising and advocacy videos that tell your story, from concept, to storyboard, to production and delivery.

And by including outstanding motion graphics, character animation and CGI, we can help you stand out from the crowd, often at no more expense than regular video.

Take a look at a few of our charity videos

How much does outdoor advertising cost?

When it comes to launching your marketing campaign, the first consideration is impact. The very next is whether you have the budget to get the required impact.

Whether you are an agency, marketer or small business owner, outdoor advertising (OOH) delivers value and results with one fell swoop. But how much does it cost to best utilise the world’s oldest advertising medium?

Cost-effective OOH ad booking

Whatever you call it – outdoor advertising, out-of-home or simply OOH, the principle is the same. OOH is the advertising you come across when outside of your home. As a result, it’s a fairly broad medium. Think roadside billboards, bus shelters, shopping centres and more.

If you’re looking to add outdoor to your marketing campaign, the size, location and length of ad play are some of the things that will affect what you pay.

The easiest and most cost-effective way to purchase OOH space is through an online booking service like Bubble Outdoor. With over 80,000 National ad spaces in every size and place you can think of – Bubble has you covered. But when it comes to choosing where and what, we’ve put some ideas together to give you an
idea about how to budget.

How much does OOH cost?

There are several factors that affect outdoor advertising costs, including location, size, length of play and whether you have your own design ready to go or need some help. Typically, a standard billboard costs £400-£500 for 2 weeks and smaller advertising panels like bus stop shelter advertisements cost £1800-£2220 for 2 weeks.

When we talk about standard billboards, we’re talking traditional paper and paste billboards. But digital is becoming increasingly popular. Largely due to its flexibility and the fact that DOOH can capture attention in a way that drives interaction from your target audience.

Not sure which format is right for you? Here’s a guide to the pros and cons of the different types of outdoor advertising. Meanwhile, below you’ll find a cost comparison of the lot to help you get started!

6 Sheets

6 sheets are one of the most popular sizes and can be found almost anywhere. When you learn what 6 sheets are – you’ll start seeing them everywhere. They are the most numerous size of outdoor advertising in the UK.

When it comes to local messaging, 6 sheets dominate in  the heart of towns and cities, making them the ideal choice.

You can book your own 6 sheet campaign from £234 per two weeks, including print and placement.

Bus Shelters

Did you know there are now over 4000 digital bus shelters across the UK? Just like with Rail and Underground OOH options, you get a captive audience, with panels sold more like online ads!

You can choose the number of plays on a group of screens, to target your audience at prime locations across the country.

Packages of 100,000 plays of your creative start at just £5,000.

Billboard

Billboards, or ‘big posters’ come in two sizes. Choose from 48 sheets (20ft x 10ft) and 96 sheets (40ft by 10ft) to give your brand the space it needs to sing.

These beauties are spread across the country and are ideal for making that big announcement. Most areas, from small towns to big cities will have the billboard space you need to make an impact.

Billboards mean the traditional vinyl poster version of this size. They can also come as backlights or digital in the same size for an extra ‘wow’ factor.

For the 48 sheet, you’re looking at paying from £484 per two weeks, including print and placement.

For the 96 sheets per two weeks, including print and placement, you’d pay from £884.

Backlight Billboards

These premium billboards are lit from behind and printed on a single piece of vinyl. This gives a seamless display with the same mega sizes you can expect from a traditional billboard (48 sheets or 96 sheets). With backlight, you can also find some in portrait sizes, Mega 4’s and Mega 6’s.

If this is the campaign that really needs to make a splash – then this is what you need. Backlight billboards are big, bold, high quality and exactly where you need them – in front of your target audience.

To make the most of this premium format, the price comes down to size.

For 48 sheets you’d pay from £2000 per two weeks, including print and placement. 96 sheets are priced from £4500 per two weeks, including print and placement.

Then portrait Mega 4’s are priced from £2500 per two weeks, including print and placement, while portrait Mega 6’s are from £4000 per two weeks including print and placement.

Large Digital Billboards

When it comes to digital OOH, the billboard is the biggest and best. It’s up to you to choose which size and shape best suits your goals. Your options include Portrait Digital Super 6’s, Landscape Digital 48’s and Digital 96’s.

Digital billboards are fantastic if you want a reactive campaign that you can integrate into live data feeds. You can use this mega-space to display changeable things like the weather, traffic updates or countdowns to sales periods.

The best thing about digital, is you can buy flexibly to suit your target audiences ideal time, like specific mornings, afternoons or evenings, a day, a week or longer.

They’re also extremely affordable, priced from just £80 per day.

Small Digital

The smaller sibling of the digital billboard, you’ll find this size everywhere. With all digital options, you have the unique ability to choose flexible display periods.

Available in golf clubs, malls, post offices, petrol stations and many other places, these premium displays are sometimes called D6’s, and they’re ideal for targeting local audiences.

Even better – these screens are extremely affordable, available from just £100 per two weeks.

Phone Boxes

There are over 20,000 phone box locations across the UK. These traditional gems can be found almost anywhere – whether you’re heading for the seaside or shivering on the high street.

Phone Boxes are great for long-term branding opportunities, as they’re low cost with big impact.

You can book phone box advertising from £143 per two weeks, including print and placement.

Malls and shopping centres

Anyone who has spent any time in malls or shopping centres knows that most shoppers are there with buying in mind and  time on their hands.

If you want to communicate a clear message with a large number of consumers in the mood to buy – this is the place to do it!

You can pick classic printed posters or state-of-the-art digital screens, use mall furniture, Adlifts or banners to get your message across.

Advertising in retail heaven is priced from £234 per 2 weeks, including print and placement.

Buses

What better than the moving messenger board of towns and cities – buses! These big beauties are perfect for branding and area targeting. Although not ideal for location-based or directional campaigns, since you can’t buy buses on individual routes.

What is great about buses, is all the different sizes and spaces you can purchase. From smaller posters on the rear to wraps that cover the whole thing. It’s hard to be missed on bus OOH.

Because there’s so much variation with sizes and bus routes, it’s hard to give an average price for this service (or pinpoint them on the map!) Contact the expert Bubble team for more information.

Taxis

The London taxi has made its way across most major cities now. You can use taxis to reach your ideal audience in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Peterborough, Reading and Sheffield.

Taxis give you great coverage, and there are so many ways to use them to suit your campaign. You can do a full wrap, supersides or digital taxi top – whatever suits!

Because taxi offerings are so varied, it’s hard to narrow down a price for you here. Best to speak to the Bubble team directly if taxi OOH is the one for you.

Underground

The underground is a brilliant way to reach a captive audience on their daily commute. You can choose underground and metro stations in London, Newcastle or Glasgow – as the rapid transit network extends to other cities outside London.

Whether you’re booking a single site or rolling out an area-wide campaign, advertising on the underground gives you that all-important brand recall. We’re creatures of habit after all!

Because underground advertising can be anything you want it to be, it’s hard to give you an average price here. Just contact Bubble – we’re happy to help plan something to suit you.

Rail

As the urban areas get more and more busy (and expensive), even those who are cashed up are heading into the country and commuting. Rail is now the way a significant part of the country get to work, especially in London and the South of the country.

Since the wealthy commuter audience peaks at open and close of business, your ad will get all the target audience attention on the way to and from work. Potentially leaving a bored office worker time to Google on office hours?

For special events you can take over the whole station, or keep it subtle with local ads promoting small businesses. There’s something for everyone. For something to suit you – get in touch with Bubble’s planning service directly for a custom solution.

What you can expect from your OOH campaign

OOH advertising offers a range of formats and targeted locations to capture the attention of your ideal audience.

As digital allows more and more customisation of the locale, savvy marketers can use mobile, wireless, and digital OOH technologies to offer creative and innovative ways to interact and transact with consumers.

When it comes to brand awareness, and targeted, relevant advertising based on where your target market lives, works and plays – OOH is highly targeted.

Any extra costs?

The design of your outdoor advertising is everything. No matter how strategic you’ve been with the location of your ad – your creative should never be forgotten. If your ad isn’t communicating effectively, it’s not working as hard for you as it should be.

The cost of a billboard design should be factored into the budget for your OOH campaign. Crafting a message that connects in format, location and language is the key to effective OOH. It’s worth hiring a designer with extensive experience in creating billboard ads. This can cost from £150-£800.

Bubble offers a design service for £100 +VAT when you book advertising space through our website. Or if you’ve already nailed that high-impact creative – just upload it as a PDF when you place your order.

Ready to place your order? Bubble’s filtered search makes it super easy to get started.

Click here to start searching for your preferred format on the Bubble Marketplace.

What can award winning filmmakers add to your content?

The question should really be “what can’t they add” because the answer would be shorter!  Here at MWS we used to hide our filmmaking light under the proverbial bushel, because we didn’t really see its relevance to them.  It took one of our clients, the (clearly a genius) Sal at Intuit, the QuickBooks people, to tell us after a brief conversation that we were mad not to be shouting about our expertise!

You see, we love narrative because unless you can make an emotional connection with people, you won’t generate the response you want, let alone separate yourself from all the noise out there on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and the rest.  Stories sell, they sell you, they sell your brand, they sell your products or your services.  We have made 4 feature films, been nominated for multiple awards at renowned festivals and won several.  In a nutshell this means:

  • We can tell stories that connect with people.
  • We have enormous production experience.
  • We are dripping with creativity (figuratively, we aren’t like, gooey…).
  • The diligence and knowledge required to make a full-length feature film is applied to every project we do, from a 30 second YouTube add to a 2 minute case study or a 60 second comedy social video.
  • We LOVE making content, it’s our passion and never a chore.
  • We can (warning; corporate marketing jargon alert) “cut through the noise” – if you want to get noticed by your target audience, you need a clever, targeted narrative.
  • We give the highest production values – great images, great sound quality, great lighting, great stories.
  • We have the largest pool of talented people whom we work with day in, day out, on projects from single-shooter talking heads to 40 plus crew features.  From directors and producers, to cam ops and sound experts, to make-up and designers, we can use as little or as much of our expert resources as your project and your budget require us to.
  • We know some of the best actors and presenters in the business and we love working with them, so they will do a great job in your video.

I could go on – I warned you at the start it would be shorter to ask what award-winning filmmakers CAN’T bring to your content.

The long and short of it is we make award winning content and whether it be film, documentary, social media video, eCommerce video, brand awareness or product videos, we apply the same level of passion and expertise to each project.  We thrive on telling stories and getting you results.  Thanks for reading ad pop into the studio or give us a call anytime, we’re very nice.

Vision One achieves top ISO 20252:2012 Market Research accreditation.

Liverpool based strategic insight agency; Vision One, has achieved certification to the latest globally recognised ISO 20252:2012 quality standard, establishing them as one of the leaders in the research and insight industry.

This independent assessment was conducted by QMS International, an international certification body, and demonstrates Vision One’s commitment to high quality research, project management and the development of best working practices.

This ongoing commitment to quality is further demonstrated by another recent data security award for Vision One – the Cyber Essentials accreditation by NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) which is part of GCHQ.

Following a rigorous assessment by QMS, with future on-going auditing confirmed, the company has successfully earned the right to display the coveted ISO 20252:2012 logo to demonstrate its conformance to the standard. Vision One becomes one of around 80(*) companies worldwide to achieve this accreditation.

Tony Lewis, Managing Director said “We’re extremely proud to have achieved this ISO accreditation for Market, Opinion and Social research. As a growing insight specialist, we are not only committed to delivering quality insights and expert consultancy, but also dedicated to ensuring a process for continual improvement throughout the organisation”.

“Every process and procedure we have now adopted, whether it is related to the delivery of our products and services or our own internal procedures, has been carefully developed and scrutinised with QMS UK as part of our accreditation. Regular on-going auditing will mean that our future clients will have confidence in us and will no longer have to take our word for it, now that we have been officially recognised as meeting the highest possible standards in research and insight delivery.”

Mr Mike Davies (QMS Auditor) stated “Vision One Research fully comply with the ISO 20252 requirements and fully deserve the accreditation. The certification assessment was passed with no areas of concern, demonstrating the high standards held both by the Directors and staff involved in the business. The hard work has paid off and now Vision One can show just how good they are”.

If you would like to check the validity of our ISO certification or find out more about the principles we follow please get in touch today, we would be delighted to speak with you.

Geiger Announces Acquisition of EMC Advertising Gifts

UK Distributor GeigerBTC, a subsidiary of Geiger, a multi-generational family owned and operated company in the US, announced it is acquiring London based distributor EMC Advertising Gifts as part of their continued expansion strategy to support clients in the UK and across Europe.

EMC has been in business since 1966 and has gained a reputation as one of the best known promotional merchandise distributors in the UK. GeigerBTC made the acquisition as part of their ongoing strategy to support the needs of global customers in North America, Europe and worldwide.

EMC Managing Director Simon Kay said, “We are delighted to become part of GeigerBTC and the expanding Geiger global network. Our companies share similar cultures and ideals. We look forward to being able to offer our multinational clients the enhanced services that such a union brings.”

EMC Sales Director, Gina Tofallis said, “After 31 years with EMC, I am really looking forward to my next challenge. Simon & I are excited to join the GeigerBTC Team and continue to support our customers with the care and close attention for which we are known.”

“We could not be more pleased that Simon Kay and Gina Tofallis are joining GeigerBTC,” states Geiger President Jo-an Lantz. “EMC has a long tradition of strong relationships with their clients and their culture and approach match perfectly with GeigerBTC.”

Frank Murphy, Managing Director of GeigerBTC adds “EMC is an iconic name in the UK promotional merchandise market and we are extremely proud to be joining forces with Simon and Gina. We look forward to a very successful partnership.”

About Geiger and GeigerBTC

Headquartered in Lewiston, Maine, Geiger is the largest privately owned and managed promotional products distributor in the world. Geiger operates from offices across the US and London, England and is affiliated with over 450 independent sales representatives. Geiger is a socially conscientious company, providing proactive, comprehensive marketing solutions to their clients and is the sole publisher of the Farmers’ Almanac™. GeigerBTC was founded in 1977 and is based at Hayes in Middlesex and has a staff of 70. A full-service brand marketing firm, GeigerBTC offers on-site decorating, distribution, fulfillment, web development and customer corporate programs, and employee store expertise.

How to use Instagram Stories to stand out

Instagram posts starting to seem a little monotonous? Struggling to be seen amid all that competition? It’s just over two years since the launch of Instagram Stories, and judging by the stats, it’s been a huge success. Of the 500 million plus active users on Instagram every day, 400 million of those use Instagram Stories, a number that is growing by the second. Is it part of your digital marketing strategy? Inject new life into your Insta account with our guide on how to use Instagram Stories to stand out…

What is Instagram Stories?
Originally launched as a rival to Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows you to create short photo and video sequences on your Instagram profile page. The ‘story’ can be seen by your followers and non-followers alike, but ‘disappears’ 24 hours after being posted. It’s a great opportunity to add content that is more ‘in the moment’ than your regular posts, and can help your audience get to know you better. You can use it to give an authentic behind-the-scenes look at your business, announce an update, promote a new product, or simply share extra content that you don’t plan to add as a permanent post. And because it sits at the very top of your profile page, it grabs the user’s attention straight away. It’s also a no-brainer for businesses because on average, one in five Stories gets a direct message from users.

How does it work?
The success of Instagram Stories is largely down to the fact that it taps into Instagram’s simple, user-friendly interface. Creating an Instagram Story is easy – just log onto your Instagram feed, tap on your own avatar, take a pic or a short video of your Instagrammable moment, add some text or a sticker and you’re ready to publish your first Instagram Story. You can use existing images and videos from your camera if you prefer, add filters, customise backgrounds and even post GIFs. There are plenty of other fun tools to play around with, such as Boomerang mode which takes a burst of photos, then loops it over and over to create a moving image like this:

or Stop Motion which allows you to add a little animation to your Story by quickly playing a sequence of images to create a video like this one below. There are lots of creative ideas out there, just click here for some more inspiration.

What are the advantages?
There are no two ways about it. If you want to build strong relationships with your audience, increase engagement and get more eyes on what you are offering, then you need to add Instagram Stories to your existing marketing strategy. Here’s how to use Instagram Stories to really stand out from your competitors:

• Instagram Stories appears at the very top of a user’s Instagram homepage, meaning the Stories command attention the second a user logs on, before they even start to scroll through new images on their Instagram feed. The positioning of the Stories means that they’re powerful, captivating and a quick-fire way of boosting engagement rates and increasing traffic to your feed. The shelf life of any given story is just 24 hours, but that doesn’t mean they’re lost forever when that 24 hours is up. Expired stories are automatically saved under Stories Archive in the Instagram app. Stories in the archive are only visible to your followers if you chose to repost them as a Stories Highlight on your profile (see below).

• If you’re going to use Instagram Stories, then you need to add Stories Highlights into the mix too. These are stories that you are especially proud of and which you have selected to live on beyond their typical 24-hour lifespan. Instead of a story being relegated to the archive box, you can choose to display it at as a ‘highlight’ on your Instagram profile page. You can even group similar or related stories together under one highlight reel with a specially designed cover. Stories Highlights sits directly beneath your bio and above your Instagram feed. Each one will play as a stand-alone story when someone taps on it. It gives viewers quick access to the curated content you most want them to see for as long as you want them to see it, and its a powerful way of showcasing your brand and reinforcing your message. Treat it like a movie trailer for your Instagram feed and use it to highlight anything that you are especially proud of or which sums up your brand persona quickly and effectively.

• Hashtags and geotags – tags that mention a specific place or location – are just as important in Instagram Stories as they are in standard Instagram posts. Instagram Stories are searchable by location and hashtag using Instagram stickers, so tagging your Stories correctly means that anyone can see those Stories, not just your own followers. For example, if you’re posting a story from a restaurant in Bath, you can geotag the location ‘Bath’ with a sticker. Your story will then feature in an Instagram story ring at the very top of the Bath Instagram page, alongside other stories using that same geotag, meaning your brand gets seen by a much wider audience. To put it simply, using these two types of stickers correctly has the potential to pull your Instagram Story into the feeds for much larger location Stories (with potentially hundreds of more views).

• Another sticker worth knowing about is the Instagram product sticker. Users can tap on product stickers to learn more about a featured product, and then tap again to be taken directly to the product page to make a purchase. They are easy to add, work brilliantly and are a great way of driving sales to your newest products and converting Instagram engagement into hard sales.

• Want to add links to your Instagram Stories? If your Instagram account has 10,000 followers or more, then you can – just follow this handy step-by-step guide. Don’t forget to add a call to action to your story, such as ‘swipe up to enter our amazing competition!’ if you want to make sure people actually know to click on the link.

• Last but by no means least, Instagram Stories provides the perfect opportunity to share any post on your feed (or someone else’s feed) to your Instagram Stories and have it link directly back to that post. Sharing your own posts to Stories is a great way to drum up more engagement for an individual post, while sharing someone else’s post is simply an easy way of ensuring that your news feed isn’t solely about you. Adding in some fresh content, anything from an inspirational quote from one of your followers to a local event linked to your city or industry, keeps your audience engaged and interested in what you have to say. It’s just another way of fine-tuning your Instagram Stories and maximising engagement…

What about scheduling Insta Stories all at once in advance for the following week? Thanks to a current limitation on the Instagram API, automatic scheduling is not yet available from the likes of Hootsuite and Buffer. However, tools such as Tailwind and free apps like Preview are still extremely helpful. Both work in a similar way, requiring you to upload any images or videos you want to use in advance, create and edit your Story and then schedule a date and time to publish each Insta Story. When it’s time to post, you’ll receive a simple notification from your mobile phone. There are some trailblazers out there, in the form of apps which claim to support automated story posting – Storrito is one, Instasky is another – so if you feel like experimenting, definitely give them a try (and let us know how you get on!).

Finally, what about that all-important performance measurement? There are several paid/premium Instagram analytics tools out there, some of which also provide a performance breakdown for your Insta Stories. But provided you have an Instagram business account, you can use Instagram Insights inside the Instagram app, which is completely free. Remember, Stories don’t have likes, comments and saves like Instagram posts. Instead, they offer their own set of ways to interact, such as taps forward (the number of times a viewer tapped the right side of the screen to skip on to the next story or video in your story) and replies (the number of times a viewer swipes up and responds to a story). What you are looking for here is the same upward trends that apply to your standard Instagram posts – daily reach, for example, will tell you whether or not your audience are interested in watching Stories at all (not every audience will be!) and if they are, how many people are viewing your Stories on a daily basis.

Once you’ve confirmed that Stories is an area worth investing your marketing efforts, look at the impressions and interactions and identify what is working best for you. What concepts or copy do your top Stories share and what is worth experimenting with? An obvious place to start are taps back – usually a good indicator that your audience wants to rewatch your content (as oppose to taps forward or worse still, exits) – followed by replies, probably the most powerful type of interaction. Want to track clicks on links for traffic? Provided your account has over 10,000 followers, then you can, provided you add URLs to your stories (see above). Users watching your story can then simply tap the ‘See More’ CTA on your Story and get redirected to your special offer, blog article or website. At the moment, you can only find this metric in good old Google Analytics – use UTMs to differentiate the URLs you are promoting on Instagram and then you will be able to identify the traffic from each URL. You can then assess how well individual Stories are doing in terms of driving traffic to a channel off Instagram. Remember to give it time to build momentum and don’t change direction too prematurely – give your chosen theme or creative copy a chance to resonate before you decide to try something new.

So that’s our guide on how to use Instagram Stories to stand out from the crowd! Do you use Stories? Have you got any top tips that we’ve missed? Leave a comment on our Facebook or Twitter page and share your ideas with us. Or if you need help with your Instagram account or any other aspect of social media or digital marketing then just visit our website and drop us a line – we’d love to hear from you!

Vox Pop – What people really want for Christmas

Watch our charming vox pop video called ‘Christmas Wishes’. We conduct a good deal of research into Christmas and thought it would be a good idea to share this voice of the customer video.

We hope you enjoy it and believe it will give you a better insight into what people REALLY want for Christmas.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and the very best for the New Year from all the Vision One team.

Event Hosts prove they are specialists in staffing for every occasion

Hosting a corporate event is no easy task. Not only does it require a great deal of planning and preparation, you may also need to hire additional corporate event staff to help ensure the event runs smoothly on the day.

That’s where Event Hosts come in. Whether you need staff for a corporate event, a conference, exhibition or trade show we can provide qualified and knowledgeable hosts/hostesses for any occasion.

Recent events for our Corporate Event Staff:

GEC

Event Hosts supply corporate staff and event hosts to some of the biggest conferences in the country. Earlier this year some of our staff could be seen at the Global engineering congress (GEC) at the Institution of Civil Engineers in Westminster London where we provided 20 hosts and hostesses to ensure the smooth running of this prestigious event. These included ushers, runners and microphone hosts who were all on hand to ensure the event was a standout success. We also supplied registration staff, receptionists and room monitors to the event. Registration is one of the vital requirements at any event and it is a service that we are proud to offer here at Event Hosts.

Pekao Bank

We also recently provided bilingual English / Polish conference hostesses to the Pekao Bank financial conference at The Hotel Andaz, London Liverpool Street. Our hostesses assisted with a range of tasks including meeting & greeting guests, organizational assistance and roaming microphone duties in the question & answer sessions. Our hostesses Agata and Ursula were on hand throughout the event to assist with the translating for both English and Polish delegates and received incredible feedback after the event; “The ladies were fantastic, thanks for your cooperation, we will be more than happy to work with you on our future events.’

The World Chess Championship

This month, Event Hosts were honoured and delighted to provide staff for the World Chess Championship which was held over the course of 3 weeks at the Old College Holborn. The event took place between November 9 — November 28 and saw some of the greatest players in the world pitch their wits against each other. Event Hosts supplied VIP hostesses whose job was to manage the VIP Lounges, VIP Reception and VIP areas, helping to provide a relaxed, informative and welcoming atmosphere whilst ensuring excellent customer service throughout the tournament. We also supplied registration staff, receptionists and sales assistants to the event, after which the team once again received excellent feedback; “Many thanks for your partnership in the project and booking lots of nice event staff for us in such a short time. We enjoyed working with them.”

Get in touch today

If you would like to hire any of our corporate staff for an event, please get in touch, either via phone; 020 893 55587 or email at info@event-hosts.com.

Ad Blockers: do your customers use them?

Originally posted on rfs marketing’s website

Ad blockers. You may not realise it, but your customers may be using them.

I recently used Facebook for a bit of ethnographic research. Totally accidental, but it sure was an eye opener into attitudes about ads.

The conversation went something like:

25 year old: “I can’t believe they’ve taken Peep Show off Netflix.”

Me: “It’s on All 4. The entire box set.”

Them: “No way I’m watching it with ad breaks.”

Me: “You’d rather pay a subscription for no ads?”

Them: “Absolutely.” <—- and lots more agreed.

A small window into the emerging world of ad avoidance, ad blocking and general mistrust of overtly commercial content. Check this chart out from GlobalWebIndex.

ad blocker

When surveying users of online ad-blockers, those aged 21-34 are more likely than the average to be purchasing content without ads in order to avoid seeing the ads. Three quarters are willing to spend money on some type of digital content on a monthly basis. The use of ad blockers is forecast to rise to about 30% of all internet users next year. It’s part of an important trend. There’s not only a huge distrust of ad content, they also find them massively annoying. They want reputable content, authentic storytelling. Be genuine, honest and transparent. What are you doing to ensure your content isn’t swerved by your customers?

How BIM and VR are transforming workplace design and marketing

Indent recently created a new brand identity and website for office fitout company Mobius at Work. In the course of the project we gained valuable insights into how new tools will shape the design and marketing of workplaces.

Designers and property agents generally use plans, photography, video and CGIs to present workplace possibilities to prospective occupiers. 3D walkthroughs such as Matterport are recent additions, particularly in the residential market.

The next step is to use Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Virtual Reality (VR) as tools for designing and marketing workplaces, particularly in refurbished buildings.

BIM

BIM is a powerful design and collaboration tool. It enables the building of accurate digital spaces which contain a huge range of data about all existing and proposed specifications. The power of this tool in the commercial fit-out sector is endless as it provides a detailed 3D, data-rich digital model containing all operations and maintenance information. Once the design has been delivered, the model is available to view online on any device, at any time.

Space planning and interior design

The first step is to survey the workspace in order to create an accurate 3D digital mode. When the digital model has been created, a space planning and interior design team gets to work, drafting an initial layout proposal.

After the initial design has been created, the designers can work with agents and occupiers to tweak and change parts of the layout during virtual reality consultations.

3D VR visualisation

A range of techniques are used to achieve accurate representations of the proposed space, giving all stakeholders the opportunity to perfect the final design. From still visuals to 360-degree panoramic renders and walkthrough videos, a range of ways now exist to show a new workplace in detail.

VR client suite

The latest development in visualisation methods is a space where an occupier can visit and become fully immersed in the virtual world of their new workplace. They can walk through and look around to gain an accurate representation of the look, flow and feel of the space as a whole.

In the VR suite real-time edits to fabrics and finishes can be made, as well as moving and deleting furniture and walls etc. Simultaneously the architectural model and drawing sheets are updated.

Quadrant2Design Set to Offer Engraved Edge-Lit Graphics

Quadrant2Design Set to Offer Engraved Edge-Lit Graphics as a Design Option for Their Prestige Events System

From January 2019, exhibition stand design and build experts Quadrant2Design will be offering their latest innovation, engraved edge-lit graphics, as a special design option. Quadrant2Design exclusively use the Swiss-designed Prestige Events System, a modular and reusable solution to exhibiting, and will be giving all clients the opportunity to add these graphics to their Prestige stand.

Following the success of their recent advancements in exhibition stand design, including the introduction of their bespoke printed floors and backlit rotating headers, Quadrant2Design are maintaining their status as exhibiting pioneers.

Quadrant2Design are delighted to be the first modular stand provider to present engraved edge-lit graphics as a special design option integrated into their offer. Engraved edge-lit graphics are sure to give Prestige stands a bold and eye-catching look, turning heads at any exhibition venue.

Made of acrylic, the graphics are intricately engraved with the aid of a state-of-the-art laser cutter, and work by lighting-up the edges of the graphic. The light then passes through the etching, illuminating the design and making your stand show-stopping.

Engraved edge-lit graphics are a customisable graphic element which can be integrated into your Prestige stand in multiple ways – including as a stand-alone component, or incorporated into the rear of a showcase to act as a backdrop to your product display. The lighting is colour-changing, and can be programmed to satisfy all your vibrant needs.

To see the engraved edge-lit graphics in action, please follow the link: https://vimeo.com/301798972.

From January 2019, you’ll be able to complete your Prestige stand with engraved edge-lit graphics. You can contact Quadrant2Design on 0044 (0)1202 723 500 or email designteam@quadrant2design.com to find out more.