Wembley Stadium is preparing to stage a unique convention of the world’s event production industry over three days in Spring 2012.
Between April 29-May 1, the iconic venue will host the new liveculture expo2012, which the organisers say promises an unrivalled technology showcase and business networking opportunity for live event producers, technicians, technology providers, designers and scenographers.
Now fully operational for events, Wembley Stadium has 9,400 square metres of exhibition space including high quality break-out rooms for seminars, 50 luxurious VIP boxes for meetings and demos, and numerous catering areas to give exhibitors a ‘real world’ environment, with 21st century facilities in which to showcase their services – including fully-rigged sound stages. Wembley’s world class infrastructure now includes a choice of hotels, easy transportation access and parking for 4,000 vehicles.
The driving force behind the liveculture media brand – which also incorporates the liveculture awards2012 gala dinner – is former Total Production International (TPi) editor-in-chief and co-founder Mark Cunningham, who left his long-running position in May. Taking up the role of CEO with the new company, he promises to roll out a portfolio of fresh initiatives – in tandem with colleagues Clive Morton, John Hill and Jay Green – designed to give technology manufacturers and service companies within the live event production sector improved and expanded promotional opportunities.
“It is a privilege to be promoting a genuinely game-changing trade expo which for the first time presents a practical demonstration facility for new audio, lighting, video and scenic technologies – a pitch-side stage in the stadium bowl itself,” said Cunningham (pictured). “It is particularly appropriate that the debut of this show coincides with the 40th anniversary of the first concert ever staged at Wembley Stadium [1972’s The London Rock & Roll Show].”
Great care has been taken over both the design of the concept and the setting of the calendar date. “While we emerge from recession, businesses want a trade show that will not break the budget,” continued Cunningham. “Along with low cost hotel options, liveculture expo2012 will deliver precisely this in a flexible London venue that truly represents the live entertainment industry. Perfectly timed at the end of April – immediately before the live industry embarks on its summer events schedule (and London Olympics) – liveculture expo2012 will bring together Europe’s key decision makers in one iconic location to network, launch new products and discuss current trends and future directions.”
Supporting the exhibition itself will be a programme of collateral events – discussion forums, keynote seminars and liveculture training workshops – leading up to the grand gala dinner for 1,000 industry guests on the second night (April 30) in the Bobby Moore Room. “The liveculture awards2012 will have a historical theme, celebrating 40 years of the most significant live industry achievements with ‘All-Time Greatest’ awards,” said Cunningham.
Handling sales for the events is former co-founder of Live! Magazine, The Live! Show & Awards, Jay Green, who promises space options to suit every strategy and budget. “From an exhibitor perspective, this show can be anything they want it to be,” said Green. “Foremost in our minds was that we needed to keep real estate costs – wherever they want to set up in the stadium – to an absolute minimum.”
Among the package of communication tools will be a customised App, giving real-time information about what’s on where at liveculture expo2012, including GPS location.
“The industry is ready for a fresh approach to real world systems presentations,” concluded Cunningham. “Historically, demonstration environments available at most of the standard trade events have been so removed from the realities of what these products were designed for, that they are rendered virtually meaningless. The inaugural liveculture expo2012 will change all of this.”