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Freeman reflects on its newly-adapted methods used on Red Hat to improve their digital events offering

Brand experience company Freeman EMEA Agency has developed a unique way to tackle current travel restrictions imposed by Covid-19.

It has created an intuitive, self-navigable interactive experience at Dubai’s leading technology show for client Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions.

As with most businesses over the last year, Red Hat was unable to send representatives to Gitex 2020 which took place in December. Freeman EMEA Agency created a technology-led solution so that Red Hat could continue to benefit from business growth opportunities offered by the event, without Red Hat’s physical attendance.

The agency collaborated with the client to reframe its objectives for its presence from building business connections to focus on strengthening brand awareness. Red Hat’s presence at Gitex was devised around the concept ’Always Open’, reflecting the brand’s vision and ethos while alluding to a future of infinite possibilities. This creative proposition embodies both the brand’s spirit and its products, with an open-door approach and open source code expertise.

To maximise engagement under these new conditions, Freeman EMEA Agency designed a dynamic, motion-sensor interactive experience to showcase Red Hat’s unique approach.

The design takes into account spatial needs to ensure easy navigation throughout both the activities and the event space. The design applied existing technology and social signalling to seamlessly guide the user through a brand-new experience.

Four demo pods at the centre of the unmanned space, each telling its own story of key content, provided a dynamic experience using animations and theatrical use of light and sound. With health and safety considerations front of mind, the pods were situated a safe distance apart, triggered by proximity sensors and self-directed by the attendees via gesture-based technology. Separate meeting pods with their own entrance for privacy and safety allowed those who wished to learn more to meet with Red Hat’s experts virtually.

The hybrid experience was enabled by Gitex’s tech-savvy audience, who embraced this new approach and had high expectations of both the experience and its associated health and safety considerations. Detailed pre-communications built anticipation for this new experience among attendees.

Carley Faircloth, global vice-president and managing director of Freeman EMEA Agency, said of the project: “We know how important it is for our clients to maximise their growth opportunities in this difficult climate. Using our expertise in creative technology and experiential design, we have identified new and adapted methods to represent our clients’ commercial needs. We’re delighted that Red Hat came on this journey with us, setting a new benchmark for the events industry. We specialise in ’Time Re-Designed’, but this is an example of redesigning geography too.”

Leigh Day, vice-president of marketing communications for Red Hat, added: “We’re delighted that we could still benefit from this important event in our event calendar. The solution that we created with Freeman EMEA Agency was brought to life and fully controlled by the user, helping us achieve valuable brand awareness.”

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