Category: behind the scenes

With February around the corner and love in the air…we are proud to shout about our Project Manager who openly admits her love for Health & Safety?

Scene2 Senior Project Manager Laura North speaks out….

“I love my job…I love making lists and especially using my highlighter to cross things off it!

Every project has its own list and every list should have Health & Safety as a key focus.  Risk assessment, method statement, installation manuals, materials fire certification, tool lists (including; first aid kit, accident book and sub-contractors safe handling declarations) all need completing for each project and despite having worked in many locations on multiple occasions, most of our projects are bespoke and have never been built before so the RAMS are new too!”

Laura comments that, following recent national events that have hit the red light on Health & Safety, Scene2 have found attention to health & safety in projects is becoming an increasingly crucial part of each job.

“It has obviously always been essential that health & safety is adhered to on all projects and we have always insisted it’s done properly. Increasingly, our clients are seeing it as a necessary component to ensuring a successful campaign and not just red tape for us all to cut through.  For example, in Exhibition Stand design and production, one of our industry sectors, the UK exhibitions industry attracts in excess of 13 million visitors annually which makes public/visitor safety a priority in the execution of any project.  We are experts in producing giant props for exhibitions, which usually means we build very tall things!  Ever changing rules and regulations make due diligence an increasingly important part of our role within a project.”

ALUK - onsite exhibition stand build

Scene2 Director, Susan Walker says “In our experience of working in the big UK venues like NEC & Excel, our clients who make the space bookings and then approach us to design and build their stand, are overwhelmed by the paperwork that they are given to complete.    Where clients have engaged us to design, build and install their stands we can do this at no extra cost.”

Laura goes on to say, “We are proud to offer to take the headache away as part of our service to clients.  Each show’s rules and regulations differ but the headache remains in taking the time to read everything thoroughly to ensure compliance.  Even with my 7 years’ experience, I can take more than a couple of hours to read through the forms, associated notes and guidance documents thoroughly, which to the inexperienced eye, can seem a minefield of information. We have the time and expertise to fill out all the forms and, some may say sadly, I actually enjoy it!”

Laura has given her top tips to consider:

  • Structural Calculations….will be required if a stand is over a certain height and/or in a specific location. This usually has to be done by an external engineer so it’s worth factoring in when setting your production budgets.
  • Dreaded deadlines…..timelines are always short and sometimes impossible. It is good to work with experienced suppliers who have good relations with venues and can usually get quick answers when the clock is ticking.  In our experience when clients want something different or an idea to push the boundaries, quick response and understanding from the venue is important in making things happen.  The best venues are not averse to innovative stand ideas, in fact they love an idea that will raise the profile of the show and their venue but it has to be workable and possible.  An experienced Project Manager, who already has good experience and relations with a venue, is invaluable.  If both sides work together, the best ideas come to life!
  • Experienced Partnerships… before and during stand design/build ensure all H&S regulations are met and compliance is kept to. It may sound scary but ensuring H&S is executed properly saves time and money and is imperative to protect both staff and the general public. Seeking experienced partners who can help guide you through this process will give you confidence when planning future shows.  Luckily some of us find it satisfying submitting that completed form!!

Laura loading truck for you tube experiential event

Laura North has been Project Manager for Scene2 for 7 years and has led the team in successful execution of experiential projects and exhibition stands for clients including World Vision, JWT, Frukt, SP Group, Itsu, Kudox, ALUK, YouTube and Café Pod

Would you like to know what it’s really like to work at Scene2?

Find out with this blog written by our newest Project Manager, Katy Lister. Katy joined Scene2 5 months ago to become the 6th member of the team.

“I have been a member of the Scene2 team for just over 5 months. I know there are plenty of companies out there who say ‘no two days are the same’, but in this role I have really found this to be true!

I spent my first day chasing the order of some chromed geese, and within my first few weeks I was unloading a giant teapot, researching how to make plastic prop chickens and goats for World Vision, and ordering astronaut helmets to be worn with fairy wings and a pink tutu for an experiential photo opportunity.

Giant Teapot unload

The Scene 2 workshop is a weird, wonderful and fast-paced environment and every week we seem to be starting work on a new project. I love that we take ideas from our clients, and build them into a practical reality. My role as Project Manager, is really varied and make the job so stimulating. Being a project manager at Scene2 is really hands-on. As well as account management, we also get involved in the production side of things and will often be painting, washing or sanding something.

Katy cleaning

In 2017, Scene2 had a record number of projects so there was never a dull day. Coming from a theatre background, I have always loved immersive shows where the line between audience and performer are blurred. This is what I love about the experiential stands that Scene 2 build.

There are two main highlights so far in my time at Scene2…

The first was the installation of our Giant Mirrored Cube in Bournemouth, which we built for the Open University #OUReflect, via their agency Reverb. I loved how this project seemed to change with every installation, this time with the seafront and fun of the Bournemouth Pier reflected in the mirrored cube.

Experiential Open university mirror cube for Reverb

The second highlight was a giant 360 booth surrounded by a star-scape. Inside was a camera spinning 360 degrees around the participant’s heads to film the experience. Of course, after it’s installation, the team and I had to have a quick go before leaving!


One of the best things about working at Scene2 is the fun-loving, friendly people. The family-run business often feels like an extended family, which creates a great working atmosphere. Plus, the Scene2 team has skills over and above all the bespoke event production building that they excel at. This is a team that produce eggs from their chickens, honey from their bees, homemade jam and bread and it wouldn’t be unusual for our lunch hour to break out into a full knitting circle! The Scene 2 team just can’t stop creating even in their spare time.

Scene2 is a really great place to work.“

Scene2 team crochet

chicken with cardigan


With the New Year quickly approaching Scene2 are looking forward to working with more exciting brands, receiving new opportunities and forever pushing the boundaries of what is possible for your experiential activation.

Looking back over the past year it has brought a record-breaking number of projects through our doors and with that has been a noticeable shift in the presence of experiential in conventional marketing avenues. As more brands are recognising the power of this non-traditional stream and becoming advocates due to the success of their own activations, we have certainly seen a higher demand for our production abilities.

We’ve had some very exciting projects this year, including; a full 360’ photo capture pod for a phone launch to highlight its awesome camera resolution; a life-sized snow cave made from fiberglassed polystyrene with an internal greenscreen experience placing the individual into a chilling scene of a new movie…..

snow cave - greenscreen video booth

and a set of iconic red umbrella domes that popped up on UK city streets for a special Valentines event. A normal working week is never the same twice for us at Scene2 and this has helped us develop the required strategies to turn crazy concepts and ideas into a reality.

Pandora - Valentines experiential campaign

The big question we are all asking ourselves now, is ‘What might next year bring?’ Hopefully, even bigger and more wildly creative projects that we can be proud to put our name to and wow audiences!

The world of experiential although now established, is still at the beginning of its possibilities and predictions for 2018 suggest that the buzzword for this year is going to continue into the next with VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) popular additions for integrated stands. Perhaps digital innovation will start to become a prominent element to many of our builds as the accessibility to tech makes it an effective way to captivate people’s attention and achieve higher numbers of online participation. It is, however, important to remember the core beauty of Experiential; collective participation of people in one real, physical space. VR, after all, is a very solo experience which isn’t always easy to project to the wider audience watching.

We love taking on the impossible and I hope that the New Year might bring some of the old classics back to the workshop such as giant models of well-known products. Our giant lipstick towered Kings Cross station last year, stunning passersby on their everyday commute…..

Kat Von D - Giant Lipstick

and a recreation of Roald Dahls giant BFG grandfather-clock table featured in the beautiful Lancaster House. Whatever we’re challenged with, I have no doubt that Scene2 will continue to reach and exceed both our client and brand expectations to maximize customer engagement.

Written by Christina Hedges – Project Manager

With theatrical roots in the sparkle of pantomime and a past history working with the Christmas decorations specialists James Glancy Design, Scene2’s Creative Directors Andy Dixon and Susan Walker have over 20 years experience in designing, building and installing eye catching schemes. This includes grottos with a twist, interactive sampling stands and giant bauble displays.

In this blog, Scene2 shares 5 of our favourite experiential Christmas campaigns to serve as inspiration for planning your own.

1. John Lewis – “Buster The Boxer” Christmas TV ad Instore Experiential & VR Installations

John Lewis Christmas 2016 - In-store experiential

2016 saw John Lewis take their famous Christmas campaign to new levels of customer engagement with the use of Virtual Reality and an experiential in-store experience in 12 stores across the UK. Working alongside Pretty Green as their production partner, Scene2 is very proud to be part of this magical campaign.

Scene2’s brief was to recreate the experience of the TV advert using Virtual Reality technology via Oculus Rift.  We built a themed retail space that could be fully merchandised by the John Lewis team. Named “Buster’s Garden”, you could see, experience and interact with all the animals from the TV advert.

John Lewis - Christmas 2016 - In-store experiential

2. Cadburys – “Advent Trucks” Christmas Campaign

cadburys advent trucks

In 2015, Cadbury put £10 million behind its Christmas campaign and created the biggest ever advent calendar. 24 trucks. 24 doors. Opening daily in 24 different locations. Bringing joyful festive surprises to the nation on the countdown to Christmas. #cadvent

3. The Carlsberg Christmas Tree

#IfCarlsbergDid…..In December 2015, our beer of choice Carlsberg owned Christmas with a 27 foot tall Christmas tree erected overnight on London’s South Bank.

But this was no ordinary Christmas tree. This particular Christmas tree was decorated with beer bottle baubles and had a tap for dispensing FREE refreshing Carlsberg. The baubles that adorned the tree also doubled up as beer glasses. This great idea doubled up as sampling and outdoor experiential marketing.

4. Evian – Living Young (post) Christmas Experiential Campaign

The more you play – the more the snow falls. During the January grey days of 2013, Scene2 worked alongside Cake & Havas to banish the back to work blues & get Londoners living young again post-Christmas holidays.

Creating an interactive, kinetic experience with an Evian branded playground, Scene2 built and installed a swing set and seesaw into 2 London locations. A perfect, wintry setting for a Christmas campaign.

Evian playground

5. Covent Garden Christmas Deluxe

Covent Garden claimed their 2007 as the best-ever Christmas experience for visitors, to this iconic London landmark. The vast market space featured handmade decorations adorning the walls of the market building created by film set designers. There were 12 weeks of performance programming including the amazing Heliosphere, StrangeFruit from Australia and the Gay Men’s Choir. There was also a foodie Christmas night market.

Covent Garden Christmas

Feeling inspired?

Whatever your plan is for an Experiential Christmas, Scene2 are the experts.

We’ve created everything from large scale shopping centre decoration schemes, (under the direction of Paul Dart @ James Glancy Design) to retail and window displays in Selfridges, Harrods and flagship stores in Oxford Street, London. Giant scale is always our speciality from festive building wraps to themed sampling stands and bespoke interactive grotto concepts.

christmas - shopping centres

Christmas - Grey Goose Selfridges window

Christmas - HMV windows

Christmas - Winsor Bishop Building Wrap

Experiential Christmas is high on the agenda in 2017 with brands and venues looking to enhance the Christmas feel-good feeling, which will translate into sales without overpowering commercialisation.



With this summer’s festival season upon us, Mel Wakely shares her top 10 festival brand experiences EVER…

So, what makes a successful festival brand experience? Probably the most important thing is to ensure that the experience is enhancing the festival experience in a non-spammy way. Festival-goers are happy to have brands at the event so long as what they bring to the party adds lots of value to their experience.



Agency: Sense Marketing

Production: Scene2

 Reinforcing the Timberland Earthkeepers brand amongst the festival crowds, Scene2 up-cycled a couple of skips and a 45ft shipping container, transforming them into “Sun Terraces & a Power Camp” for festival-goers.

Visitors to the “Timberland’s Earthkeepers Power Camp” queued to jump on either a log-roll or an exercise bike to generate power to the stand.  In turn, boiling kettles and smoothie blenders were activated and visitors were rewarded for their hard work with a refreshing drink on the sun terrace above while an integral retail area gave opportunity to shop.

Timberland Festival Installation Timelapse

This 45ft shipping container was converted into this hugely popular experiential interactive 14m x 5m outdoor space.  Our transformations did not end there.  Dotted around the vast festival campsites were “Timberland’s festival Recycling Sundecks” which stood out as landmark meeting points.  Eye-catching and resourceful these converted skips held eco-credentials to make us feel good about ourselves too.

Experiential Shipping Container - Timberland Music Festival Promotional Stand - Viewing Platform


EE created an activation designed to solve one of the biggest festival headaches for anyone (with a mobile phone): getting internet coverage. The activation took the form of a full size ‘charging bull’ in the company’s brand colours, which acted as both a double-speed wi-fi hotspot and Power Bar charging station. The bold use of distinct brand colours meant the bull could be spotted and located from far away.



 Agency: Frukt

Production: Bearded Kitten


This creative activation really tapped into the fun, dressing-up vibe of family-friendly Camp Bestival. The experience encouraged festival-goers to customise their own Energizer head torch with various futuristic arts and crafts bits and bobs. Once completed, they could have their picture snapped in a rocket frame before exiting through a wormhole tunnel. Crazy, but brilliantly on brand for Camp Bestival’s audience.

This creative activation really tapped into the fun, dressing-up vibe of family-friendly Camp Bestival. The experience encouraged festival-goers to customise their own Energizer head torch with various futuristic arts and crafts bits and bobs. Once completed, they could have their picture snapped in a rocket frame before exiting through a wormhole tunnel. Crazy, but brilliantly on brand for Camp Bestival’s audience. V2


 Client: We Are What We Do

Production: Scene2 Ltd

 Litter is a problem that needs sorting at any festival. This genius idea solves the problem in a theatrical and engaging way that also encourages people to recycle. Winner!



 Client:  Heineken

Agency: WhyNot

In 2015, Heineken brand Strongbow launched a 12-metre high tree pop-up at both Isle of Wight and Parklife music festivals. The unique activation included a bar, seating, a photo booth, face painters and an apple-shaped DJ booth that hosted a number of top acts. The tree was designed to be seen from any part of the festival and even featured a light laser show at night.



Agency: Blend Bureaux Amsterdam

This is another brilliantly executed idea providing a much-needed service for festival-goers… clean clothes.

Wranglers Laundromat offered free laundry services to all Lowlands’ visitors including free fashionable Wrangler overalls to wear whilst their clothes were being washed.



Production Agency: Scene2

 World Vision leads the way in bringing new and exciting ways to connect with their causes and supporters. At Scene2, we are proud to be the 7th year of producing the “Journey of Hope” experiential build and tour logistics.

World Vision

One of the most successful tour dates was Camp Bestival, which created record sign ups for sponsorship and donations.

Family-friendly activity at the mud huts includes drumming workshops, bead making & face painting. Visitors can enter into the huts and see how children live in Sierra Leone and the changes that World Vision can make to their lives

World Vision interior


Production Agency:Ground Control 

This activation from Virgin Trains targeted festival-goers planning to travel to No. 6 Festival in Wales using public transport. The promotion offered them exclusive priority fares on Virgin Trains services – an industry first.

Virgin Trains created an exclusive train for festival goers which ran from Crewe to Bangor featuring live entertainment, face painting and a bar.

virgin festival no6



Last, but certainly not least, is one on my favourite brand activations from BMW MINI.

A PR Stunt from agency Cunning during the launch of the new MINI gave us “Fetish” MINI!

So clever was the idea and fabulous the costume, that the organisers of London Pride, invited MINI to lead the parade, even though the brand was not there in any official sponsorship capacity whatsoever!

mini at London Pride


So far 2017 is proving to be another great year for experiential marketing.

The constant evolution of technology and the massive growth in social media usage has been harnessed brilliantly by experiential events to make them an even stronger way to communicate a brand’s messages.

Scene2 are proud to be part of the team behind three amazing examples of integrating social media and technology into a live experiential event experience:

If Carlsberg did Chocolate…..Experiential PR stunt for Carlsberg with Blackjack – See case study HERE

Kat Von D Beauty Product launch for Kat Von D at Debenhams with 1000 Heads – See case study HERE

Experiential - John Lewis - Busters Garden

John Lewis Christmas 2016 experiential in store tie-in with TV advert with Pretty Green – See case study HERE

Scene2 predict that live experiential events that embrace technology will grow in number as consumers embrace social media including Facebook Live and Periscope. Experiential events will be able to amplify further their reach by tapping into these technologies and reaching people wherever they are.

Below are some of the key trends to watch:

Bringing the Internet To Life

It will become crucial to involve a live internet element at an event in a way that allows attendees to see, touch, feel, and engage with the brand. This might be as simple as taking a selfie at the event and tweeting or posting on Instagram (eg our production for Kat Von D) to actually buying from a live pop up.

The Live Event Will Live Longer Via Social Media

The constant evolution of technology and the massive growth in social media usage has been harnessed brilliantly by experiential events to make them an even stronger way to communicate a brand’s messages.

Live events will just be the start of the campaign. Live event content will be re purposed to be used for social media campaigns where attendees can share “digital” memories with attendees and non-attendees alike to extend the life of the event.

Live Streaming Will Become The Big “Experiential” Thing For 2017

Live streaming services like Facebook Live can add an additional element to and complement the event without taking away from people’s desire to attend. Live streaming tools can help increase engagement and build excitement around the event and any future ones. It would be  a brilliant tool for a road show style event.

People Want To Experience the “Physical” and the “Digital” Experience Simultaneously

Some brands are already doing this  – see John Lewis (link). Consumers want to be fully immersed in the brand experience but increasingly they also want to direct their own experience within the environments that have been constructed for them. Brands will start to think of more and more innovative ways in which attendees could use their smartphones to help them navigate through your event, or how the digital landscape that you want to leverage translates into the physical world of your event’s architecture or music. Or by using tech such as Virtual Reality to bring to life your brands messages.

This is the way we see brands continuing to move forward in 2017 and beyond.

John Lewis Christmas 2016 - In-store experiential

2016 saw John Lewis take their famous Christmas campaign to new levels of customer engagement with the use of Virtual Reality and an experiential in-store experience in 12 stores across the UK. Working alongside Pretty Green as their production partner, Scene2 is very proud to be part of this magical campaign.
Scene2’s brief was to recreate the experience of the TV advert using Virtual Reality technology via Oculus Rift.  “We built a themed retail space that could be fully merchandised by the John Lewis team. Named Buster’s Garden, you could see and experience all the animals from the TV advert.

John Lewis - Christmas 2016 - In-store experiential

It was important to ensure that the technology was built in seamlessly to the set, with TVs into topiary walls and using the trampoline structure to house the VR experience. Unfortunately health and safety said no to the bouncing element!

John Lewis - Christmas 2016 - In-store experiential - overview of build

To further enhance the experience we built 3D printed character masks (a fox and badger), which encased phone operated VR headsets.


Finally, we showed-off our amazing logistical skills with a faultless 12 store install in one night!” – Andy Dixon – Creative Director

The “Buster’s Garden” experience is at John Lewis Oxford Street and other stores around the UK until 23rd December 2016. Check it out!

To find out more about working with Scene2 for your next experiential marketing project, please contact Andy Dixon or the team at Scene2.

john l

Christina Hedges – Production Assistant, gives a behind the scenes, sneaky peak, at Scene2 this week.

Giant props are right up our street, so when we were asked to get involved with set elements for the
opening of the BFG film this weekend, we jumped at the chance.

In the workshop, the giant footprint is underway and looking great.
I learnt what Jesmonite is and does, and how its being used with the footprint.
The grandfather clocks are being modified to create the table legs for the giant’s table.

We are working on the logistics for the baby grand piano and are expecting delivery
within the next few hours. The cost of this was much more than expected as it isn’t
a simple load, and actually rather heavy!
We are excited about the installation this Sunday, with only 1.5 hours to get it all into place it will be all hands on deck.

The #tasteoflondon foodie wonderland has welcomed the Itsu experiential stand to its five day festival of eating, drinking and entertainment in the heart of London.

Scene2 enjoy working with Itsu and are proud to have installed their experiential stand at Regents Park this morning, ready for sampling the delicious Itsu range.

Scene2 Project Manager, Laura North said “Taste of London is the world’s greatest restaurant festival and we are proud to be working once again with our Itsu friends at such a great event. We have installed this fully modular, eye-catching, experiential exhibition stand many times and are proud of how stunning it always looks”

The Itsu stand can be visited at Taste of London from 15th-19th June 2016 at Regent’s Park, London.