Marketing Awards Case Studies Brand Strategy

How Bray Leino highlighted British interests at Expo 2020 Dubai


By Awards Analyst | writer

December 5, 2022 | 4 min read

Bray Leino Events won at The Drum B2B Awards 2022 in the Best B2B Event category for its work on UK’s six-month events programme Expo 2020 Dubai campaign for the Department of International Trade. Here’s why.

The takeover of the Expo for a UK National Day was part of the overall campaign

The takeover of the Expo for a UK National Day was part of the overall campaign

With Brexit severely impacting the ability of UK businesses to deal internationally, the Department for International Trade saw Expo 2020 Dubai as an opportunity to tout Britain's credentials.

The brief

For the Department for International Trade (DIT), this was an unprecedented opportunity to increase positive perceptions of the UK in this fast-growing region, enable new trading relationships and deepen cultural and economic ties. An opportunity to win trade for the UK, for individual businesses, and for key industries including aerospace, infrastructure education, food & drink, technology, transport, and energy.

To do so, a strategy was required that encompassed a huge number and variety of events.

The idea

To deliver such a wide-ranging brief, DIT and Bray Lenio Events devised a program of events across the entire six months of Expo 2020 Dubai. It hosted over 300 events, delivered live, hybrid and virtually, with many live-streamed to an international audience.

On 10 February 2022, towards the end of the series, the team delivered a complete cultural takeover of the entire Expo campus to celebrate UK National Day – 48 events, including a Commonwealth baton relay parade (involving students, Olympians, and Paralympians), an appearance by the Duke of Cambridge, a full music festival featuring up-and-coming UK talent, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, and a flyby of the Red Arrows.

The results

The DIT says that, collectively, the UK businesses brought into Expo 2020 Dubai have secured export wins to the tune of £188 million. Long-term economic and social benefits for the UK include a $200m deal between Solar Water and the Gideon Group for sustainable water projects in the UAE, the 7th Joint Economic Committee between the UK and the UAE, and a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the UK and UAE on cultural co-operation.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Agency Business 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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