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[Case study] How a luxury event defies extreme weather

When it comes to doing an outdoor event in Hong Kong during summer, it seems the weather will not always work in our favour. In the rainy days, when you look outside, you see clouds and rain with no signs of going away, or worse still – cyclones and typhoons. Now that Typhoon Khanun has just left the city with disrupted flights, let’s take a look at how Mercedes-Benz and its event agency Uniplan dealt with the extreme weather between two typhoons in August for its new S Class launch.

Objective:

To launch “The new S-Class” with innovative design that can fully showcase the vehicle. Also to immerse guests into the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and create a one of a kind guest experience through venue, catering, souvenirs to guest engagements.

Challenge:

One of the key challenges for the event was the weather. The event was held in between two of Hong Kong’s largest typhoons of the century – Typhoon Hato which reached a devastating T10 and Typhoon Pakhar. As a result, they had 48 hours to turn the event around from a raw venue into the glowing Mercedes-Benz branded space at Central harbourfront event space.

To overcome this, effective communication was key. Uniplan teams had to work with its partners and clients more closely than ever, ensuring each of the parties were aware of the new schedule and were well communicated. This meant any challenges needed to be brought up immediately and addressed on the spot. Also, communication needed to be clear, concise and coordinated to maximise efficiency.

Strategy and execution:

Having worked on the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Launch in 2015, Uniplan knew the brand wanted nothing short of spectacular for the launch of the “The best or nothing”. The S-Class is Mercedes-Benz’s top of the top model and it needed to associate this model with the most successful people. The event was designed to showcase elegance, luxury and sophistication. The creative elements represented all of this, from the use of visuals and audio to the unveiling performance and live demonstration of leather embossing

The agency designed and created an event that stayed true to the brand, all the while accentuating the beauty and elegance of the S-Class. They built a massive marquee next to the iconic Hong Kong Observation Wheel, viewable from key financial towers in Hong Kong, translating into significant coverage across social media. The highlight of the evening was the unveiling performance, combining one of the world’s top 100 female DJs in the world, with a dance and a musical performance by the China Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Throughout the event, guests had the opportunity to capture memorable moments through the “S” video booth and by sharing it on their social media, generating further exposure. The guest experience ended with gourmet delicacies by Conrad Hotel and a live leather embossing demonstration, where guests’ initials were embossed onto a personalised souvenir.

Results:

With the efforts of all parties, they were able to transform the space in time and delivered a flawless show. Over 800 VIP guests including 100 leading media partners in Hong Kong and Macau attended the unveiling.

“The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Launch at the Hong Kong Observation Wheel was by far one of the most impressive events Mercedes-Benz has ever held in Hong Kong,” says Peter Larko, head of marketing communications and public relations at Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong.

“Even with Typhoon Hato, the team at Uniplan did an amazing job transforming the iconic space into a remarkable Mercedes experience in just under 48 hours. From design concept through to event management, Uniplan was phenomenal and exceeded our expectations.”

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