Event Awards 2005: Best Event Activity Marine & Aerospace

GOLD - The Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer

Watermark Event Management needed to turn Richard Branson's vision of a Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer's 'mission control centre' into reality.

The aim was to excite and engage the world's media to generate maximum exposure. Camera-friendly photo-opportunities as well as interactive, live reports and interviews were of great importance. The experience also needed to impress VIPs, local and state dignitaries in addition to the media.

Salina's University Assembly Hall was transformed into an operational mission control centre. A press briefing area backed on to mission control with just a glass wall separating them to make journalists feel part of the action.

All the way from international sockets in the media room to state-of-the art press boxes, Watermark provided every solution for the high-tech media audience. 50 phone lines and wireless were installed throughout.

Dummy screens showing NASA-style graphics were incorporated alongside operational screens. The screens were installed onto stepped platforms, which were visible from the press briefing room creating a dramatic backdrop.

A seven-day, rolling itinerary was in place for the airline's 200 guests.

Watermark was able to implement the itinerary within just three working days while ensuring guests experienced Virgin touches throughout their stay. These included a branded shuttle service between the airport, hotel and mission control, branded clothing, and 24-hour dining at mission control.

A climactic landing celebration drew more than 10,000 people.

Media coverage of Global Flyer had a value exceeding £100m and extended across the globe. Coverage included live feeds from mission control as well as take-off and landing shots downloaded through the press boxes provided.

GOLD Agency: Watermark Event Management Client: Virgin Atlantic Airways Event: The Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer Key Suppliers: K State University, Salina USA; Holiday Inn, Salina USA; Fonix Visual; Glass Services Inc. Salina USA FINALIST Agency: Grass Roots Client: BP International Marine Event: Admiral's Club

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