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Sustainable Brand Activation for the Financial Times

We love working on brand activations and the Financial Times Annual Festival has become a firm favourite in our team’s calendar of commercial events.

The pop-up event, which takes place every September at Kenwood House, is a celebration of ideas, current affairs, literature, food and drinks. We have had the pleasure of designing the décor, styling and florals of their subscribers' area for several years now, and we love working with the team to design something that suits the space and concept of the event that year. In 2021, we helped style the event for the first time since it’s postponements because of the pandemic. The concept for this year's event was The Reawakening: imaging a post pandemic world, and they wanted the event to be a welcome back to attendees and suggestive of fresh starts and new opportunities. All while promoting mindfulness and sustainability.

We created designs which echoed these themes and ensured our environmental impact was kept to a minimum. Sustainability is incredibly important to us, and we always try to ensure our practices are as eco-friendly as possible. With a focus on botanicals, we created a foliage heavy design and handpicked props which allowed for smaller seating clusters and promoted social distancing. We opted for a colour palette of soft neutrals, greens, pinks and blues, and colour matched the branding for the event to ensure everything tied together.

Swing seat floral bench for brand activation

Entrance Arch

We love to create immersive environments and created a huge foliage filled entrance arch, which incorporated fresh seasonal foliage and plants to welcome guests as they entered. The oversized installation set the tone for the space and signified the entrance to a tranquil oasis, and helped to elevate guest experience and create an immersive VIP experience. When designing the installation, we took inspiration from botanical trends and living walls and layered different foliage. We wanted to promote the concept for the event and suggest themes of mindfulness and fresh starts. The botanical theme worked harmoniously with the design and the absence of florals helped ensure the design wasn’t too ostentatious, something that the organisers were keen to avoid. We used seasonal and where possible locally grown foliage to reduce our impact on the environment.

We expanded the size of the arch from previous years and added a central pole. This created a one-way entry system and helped to ensure a seamless guest experience, allowing for social distancing which was important under restrictions at the time.

Bespoke Builds

We have a huge range of props and décor which is available for hire from our sister company, Stories Event Hire. Alongside our catalogue of props we are also able to create bespoke décor. For this years event we designed a bespoke bar surround, which incorporated copies of the financial times newspaper. Placed in the centre of the stretch tent, this created a wonderful focal point. The cream pages of the newspaper were easily recognisable for attendees, and it helped to subtly brand the space.

We styled the surround with a fresh foliage garland and potted plants to tie the design together and create a cohesive look.

Bespoke built bar for pop-up festival event

Photo Opportunity

We understand the importance of photo opportunities and creating share worthy moments. We styled our swing seat bench with foliage and plants, for attendees to use as a backdrop for photos. We added complimentary soft furnishings to the seat and finished the design with branded signage above. The bench was the perfect backdrop for guests to take photos with and share online.

Floral installation on our swing seat bench for brand activation

Seating Inside and Outside

We styled multiple clusters of seating for attendees; we expanded the seated area from previous years and added seating both inside and outside of the stretch tent. We avoided sofas and created smaller single seat clusters, using our chairs and stools, to promote social distancing. However, the restrictions on seating didn't stop us making the space look beautiful. We hand-picked chairs from our existing stock and sourced new items to create a cohesive look in neutral tones with hints of green, pink and blue. We also layered textures in the seating, while using shades and styles that worked harmoniously together. We added some larger tables with stools and chairs for attendees to use as charging points. We finished the seating areas with soft furnishings and accessories to ensure it felt inviting and welcoming to attendees.

We loved working with the FT on the florals, styling and décor hire for this brand activation and subsequent festivals. To find out more about our commercial styling and installation services get in touch with our team, we would love to work with you.


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