Identity is an award-winning full service live and virtual events agency.

Westham, United Kingdom
Founded: 2000
Staff: 100
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RAF virtual event takes flight with Identity

by Michael Gietzen

The RAF's annual Royal International Air Tattoo was successfully repurposed with the help of Identity.

The overarching aim of the Virtual Air Tattoo was to give viewers a flavour of the in-person event that was planned for 2020. This included virtual flying displays, interviews and never seen before footage, alongside added extras to ensure quality audience engagement and entertainment.

The RAF’s Video Game and Esports Association boasts close to ten thousand gamers. Identity worked with this ingrained passion for esports and gaming to develop a unique experience for the two day, free to view live-streamed event.

A best of five, Rocket League esports showcase between RAF esports teams was produced. This 90 minute livestream was backed by Identity's extensive expertise in esports activations, broadcasts and sets. Identity delivered the creative ingenuity and entire production at a purpose-built, broadcast studio in Bristol.

The event was MC’d by professional esports host Freya Spiers and broadcast to a global audience via the RAF VGEA Twitch channel.

“The reach into esports came about because of the COVID-19 crisis,” said RAF Squadron Leader Nige Bell, “The Royal Air Force and Identity were looking at alternative ways to gain an audience share in terms of events, and that naturally went into the virtual events aspect. We looked at esports as an up-and-coming vehicle that individuals have an enthusiasm for, can do in the Air Force and get paid for it.”

To deliver the event, Identity designed and produced a bespoke, RAF branded esports set, as well as 3-camera filming, AV, lighting, and recruited a full cast and crew.

Logistical considerations on traffic flow throughout the studio was planned meticulously, with separate green rooms for cast a crew and multiple sanitisation stations, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everybody involved.

Rebecca McCreath, RAF account director, Identity, said, “The RAF has been working with Identity for over a year and together we have delivered some highly innovative solutions to enhance the events programme. Our close relationship with the RAF has been key.

“By ensuring we have a clear understanding of the objectives and target market we are able to effectively add value through identifying opportunities to uniquely position the RAF. When lockdown occurred we proactively found alternative routes to market and continue to provide virtual solutions that we knew work for both the end-user and the RAF.”

Shéa Bennett, Head of Strategy at Identity, whose son Joshua is a five-time European champion, said: “The RAF’s passion for esports is equal to our own. This was evident in early meetings regarding the Virtual Air Tattoo event and aligned elegantly with our vast experience in virtual events delivery and our expertise in esports.”

Other elements of Identity’s virtual delivery package included behind the scenes footage of a life and career in the RAF, interviews and analysis.