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CASE STUDY – Fairfax

TEDxSydney Stand


Cutting-edge creativity for an in-person digital experience...

Date: 2017 & 2018
Guests: 4000+
Location: ICC, Sydney


Let’s get to know the Client and their Event…

Fairfax Media is the leading multi-platform media company in Australia, with more than 11 million Australians engaging with Fairfax content every month. Their leading publication, Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) has been a major sponsor of TEDxSydney for several years.

As major sponsors they are given the opportunity to host a stand within the TEDxSydney Hub, a place where the attendees of the event congregate for breaks during the day. The Hub is a place for people to connect and be inspired. Fairfax Media wanted to ensure they made the most of this opportunity. Their goal was to create a digital experience.


So, what did they want from their Event Management Company?

The Hub was a new concept for TEDxSydney 2017 which was announced fairly last-minute - the Fairfax team needed an experiential concept, fast! The team at Fairfax called This Space at 10am and we were asked to pitch an idea to them in their offices at 2pm that same day.

The challenge was - how are we going to create an experience for early adopters of tech that translates the SMH tag line, “art of thinking”?

They were clear that there was to be no print media on the stand and that it was important to connect the audience to their tag line the art of thinking. And, most importantly, they wanted a brilliant idea, fast.


Why This Space got the gig…

Creative ideas, tech products and thinking on our feet is what our team do best!

Our idea was to design a unique experience using virtual reality (VR) and the Google product, Tilt Brush to bring the headlines of the day to life.

Art + tech – the idea was beautiful.  

The idea was so good in fact, that in 2018 they asked us to do it all again – but with a twist on the virtual reality pod designs


Let’s take a look at what we delivered - the highlights reel…

The art of thinking experience

The stand itself included three pods where visitors would be guided by a Pod Host (a trained environmental artist), on how to create their own content in a digital platform using the day’s headlines.

Two of the pods were set up for visitors to use and one was a demonstration pod where our very own Barry White battled it out against another environmental artist. Their challenge was to create art inspired by the major headlines of that day.

The major headline on Friday, 16 June was the Grenfell Tower burning.

Attracting visitors to the stand and encouraging them to linger

To engage visitors waiting to use the pods and passing by we created a large screen for them to watch what Barry and the artist were creating.

We also learnt during the planning stages that the TEDxSydney organisers were not putting in any furniture for visitors to sit on during the breaks. We used this opportunity to add lots of seating on the stand.

Knowing that the majority of the attendees were early adopters of tech, we assumed they would most likely be on their phones, tweeting and texting all day. So, we installed mobile charging stations for people to use at their leisure. This also encouraged people to hang out and interact with the content on the stand.


The concept was strong, and the exeCution flawless.

Samantha Robertson
Head of Trade Marketing


What little challenges did we face along the way…

Our major challenge was time. We were given the brief the same day we presented our idea and were subsequently appointed on the spot. We then had only three weeks to design and build what was a complex virtual reality environment.

The challenge with the virtual reality environment was that we only had a 10m diameter space to work within and three individual VR pods to set-up. In order to achieve success we had to carefully plot and position the intricate motion sensors in a way that meant they didn’t overlap with each other when in action.


And, the results are…

Following the event, we were told that 90% of TEDxSydney attendees visited the stand and we had the highest rate of engagement and time on the stand recorded compared to any others at the event.

The client was so delighted by this result and the experience that we provided that in 2018 they asked us to replicate it again. This time the budget was reduced so we adapted the original concept to fit and whilst still creating a unique experience for all TEDxSydney attendees