Robert Dunsmore walks us through a study in counting down to success, now enshrined in law… live
“You have five years to reinvent the legal profession…” legal futurologist Richard Susskind told the Law Society’s annual conference in April 2017.
Neither I, nor anyone from BE Vivid, was present to hear Richard in April, but energy created at live events tends to live on; I just googled it.
Nine months earlier, however, we had experienced his son and co-author preview a similar plea during a showcase of their latest book ‘The Future of the Professions’ at London’s Design Museum. Most of our clients qualify as these ‘professions’ and the journey toward their new ‘normal’ tends to launch, much like the speech or this book, with a live event. ALM, organisers of Legal Week CONNECT, are a significant voice in the legal industry and they get this. The ‘five-year apocalypse’ or, in reality, the ways in which we live and work are transforming, so they brought in BE Vivid in to support them in creating a new event.
It was a project with ambition. To go beyond mere reinvention, to re-imagine and re-engineer a new event for the ALM portfolio fit to debate the near future of the legal profession and the disruptive issues and forces facing them.
ALM has a strong operational production unit, but identified the event had to have a new approach and present itself beyond anything they had done before. They turned to us to plug their skill gap, identify the issues and come up with ideas and format.
Reverse engineering. The deconstruction was tackled with a series of workshops to unpick the current knot of industry problems, clarify and re-define them as issues to populate the event streams. It’s a liberating process that will make rapid progress if you get the right expertise in the room to interrogate.
An event as an info-graphic. Early on we took the content threads of our unravelled ‘knot’ and began expressing the streams in an info-graphic form; a road-map to visualise the event as a solution. ALM began to see their event as we scripted a visual and verbal language whilst creating a tonal rationale for colour coding the issues, including identifying the ‘pathways’ in the building.
The BE Vivid and ALM team effectively benefited from a shared experience, which in turn fast-tracked the decision-making process based on the same shared insight and intelligence. The only time the process faltered was on the colour for the talent stream, when we turned to the master painter, Raphael, and borrowed his purple hue – the colour of devotional love in the Renaissance.
From there on, all assets from the brand logo to the website and marketing collateral shared a decisive language and a set of unique semiotics that informed and presented the event with a common DNA.
The consultative approach gave ALM control of their event with clear agreement on the issues, clear agreement on the idea, which in turn gave the team more freedom and the confidence to focus resources on the all-important delivery.
We wanted to turn 5,4,3,2,1 gone into 1,2,3 go…
It’s a bold approach, but it works. A clear creative strategy was created for Legal Week Connect, which ran 29-30 November 2017 at the IET in London and attracted the right alumni, the best quality speakers and a format for delivering an event as a solution with the most ambitious content. It looked great, too!
Robert Dunsmore is creative director at BE Vivid, an agency that specialises in creating powerful brand engagement programmes that have at their heart an extraordinary live event Legal Week Connect: 29–30 November 2017 at The IET, 2 Savoy Place, London, WC2R 0BL