The LittleBrown video was pretty sensational stuff: funny, endearing but also cinematic & inspirational.
Building An Un-fore-gettable Experience
Exhibition & Spatial Design
The Open and the AIG Women’s Open are the most prestigious events in the global golfing calendar. Both tournaments are managed by the R&A, who proudly govern the sport of golf worldwide, on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 142 countries. Having been one of an exclusive pool of businesses invited to pitch for the opportunity, Production bureau (Pb) were delighted to win a five-year contract for the interior fit-out of the hospitality experience suites. Under the umbrella brand of Origins, the four suites were collectively known as Origins Hospitality.
As a keen golfer himself, Pb founder and key client liaison with the R&A, Ian Greenfield, expressed his excitement, “I was truly blown away that we had won the contract. We were up against some of the biggest names in the industry and this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity.”
Ian adds, “This marks the start of a five-year relationship for Pb, which rather excitingly means we’ll also be working on the 150th Open. This once in a generation anniversary event celebrates the remarkable journey of golf and its original championship.”
Even after much planning and preparation, the 2020 Open became another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic and had to be cancelled. With restrictions eased, the event was able to take place in 2021.
Pb was responsible for the interior fit-out of the predominantly temporary hospitality areas. David Bye, Director of Exhibitions and Spatial Design, explains, “it was important we helped deliver a first-class experience in a temporary structure. With attention to detail key to delivering an experience that does the provenance and importance of the event justice, the team worked on everything from the first fix to the bars and buffets, down to every last detail.”
The Four Experiences
There were four different hospitality experiences at the 149th Open; Champions, Engravers, Caddies and Scorers. A series of interactive virtual tours and videos were created by Pb to provide fans with the opportunity to see first-hand what they can expect from the range of world-class experiences prior to the event. Visitors could navigate through the four different experiences and discover what to expect from their chosen hospitality suite, from the silver service experience to more casual dining options.
How It Played Out
Covid not only caused chaos with the event being able to go ahead, but restrictions were unclear in the planning stages. Adam Wright, Pb’s Head of Exhibitions Project Management, explains, “The team had to create several floor plans and purchase things like screening and additional furniture to accommodate three different scenarios – 1m social distancing, 2m social distancing and business as usual. And on a practical level, we also grouped the crew into bubbles and separated crew travel and accommodation to keep teams separate for the duration of the build.”
When asked what the most important thing was that Pb had learned from this first Open, Ian Greenfield succinctly summarises “having the right people, having the right people on both sides to deliver the project.”
Sustainability In Exhibition Spaces
Pb’s Commercial Director, Adrian Frantom, explains, “As a company, we recognise that we have a responsibility to play our part in the supply chain in terms of sustainability. We would reuse, repurpose, recycle where possible, at least, and it's not a cost thing. It’s a responsibility thing because we are all taking things from the planet and we’re seeing a real drive for sustainable working practices from our clients.”
All Change for The AIG Women’s Open
Once The Open has seen the winner crowned, there’s little time to rest before preparations for the AIG Women’s Open begin a short distance away at Carnoustie. This short gap between events offered the chance to move things over to their hospitality space on the 18th green. The Women’s Open comes with its own branding requirements, so it was important to ensure colours and branding could be changed easily.
The 18th Hole
Overall, the two projects were immensely successful, and the team enjoyed some glorious weather during the events. Many of the changes made due to Covid will remain in place and will continue to play a part in future events, such as online ticketing and a high space to guest ratio.
Reflecting on the event and working with The R&A, Ian Greenfield was full of praise for the team, “I’m blown away by what we provided on-site and not just the quality of what we provided. The R&A are already talking about expanding the level of work that we’re involved with.”
The project has helped launch Pb onto an international stage and paved the way for many more exciting and celebrated events across not just the sporting calendar but from the world of fashion, music and more.