who is yggdrasil?
Yggdrasil is a multi award winning online gaming company- this year scooping Innovator of the Year at the International Gaming Awards for the third year in a row! The company, based in Malta is one of the most successful and respected online game suppliers. This year for their convention stand (if you can call it that-it was bigger than our first office!) they wanted something amazing. They wanted something that nobody else at ICE Gaming 2019 would even dare think about having. And that kind of thing was right up our street. To compliment their new game Dr Fortuno they wanted a carnival, a unique circus theme – A mixture of the two, inside an exhibition hall.
They also wanted an invitation only after party- an exclusive circus theme area to continue business into the evening. So, a giant online gaming company wanting to create a huge, indoor, slightly darker-veined circus theme – of course we couldn’t wait to dive right in.
With over 33,000 visitors through its doors, and over 8,500 operators from over 150 countries, ICE London is the biggest gaming show in the world. Collaborating with Equinox and Yggdrasil Online Gaming we were itching to bring this monster of a project to life!
Stage One: The BRIEF
Yggdrasil had created an iconic character for their new industry leading game ‘Dr Fortuno’. The character whom the game was named after was a tall, dark, charismatic yet sinister travelling Freakshow performer. The first challenge was to bring him to life to be on the stand with a team of performers inspired by their gaming advert.
The circus theme had to have an old, somewhat strange feel to it – but not be scary. A sinister circus of sorts!
It had to make people notice it and take a different path to see what this completely different structure was. The fun element had to be cleverly tied in to interactive game play, with customers signing up to play games. We had to incorporate three private meeting spaces, a refreshment bar serving food and drinks and a ‘Lions Den’- a board room style space for concept pitches. They wanted entertainers to draw in the crowds and provide the stand with bursts of energy!
We worked alongside the amazing team at Equinox who specialise in objective led exhibition stands to create the world of Yggdrasil. Equinox are the leading UK providers of exhibition design in terms of studio space creation. They build meeting rooms, fit lighting and electric points, lay fitted carpets and carry state of the art technology for client led branding and marketing. Their wealth of knowledge in this area is apparent in their perfectly thought out structures.
STAGE TWO: Props and Decoration
The build on this event was huge! Using treated timber, high-quality printed fabrics, thousands of lights and over 500 hours of build time, the stand itself was built. It was something unique, with nothing anywhere like it in either of the full north or south halls of ICE. With revolving cogs on the front wall, huge swathes of red and white striped curtains, old wooden barrels and custom festival lights signposting the way the visual aesthetics of this project was the centre focus.
A blend of wooden panelling, the black and gold details for the Yygdrasil logo and classic circus styling created that weird carnival style the client desired. The decor continued in the circus tent outside the main ICE hall where a ticket booth stood outside the exclusive after party venue. This was also draped in the circus fabric creating the feeling of a circus tent inside, tall barrels were used as bar tables and a small stage area was erected in the corner for the perfumers to continue adding to the ambience throughout the evening!
Stage Three: Costumes and Performers
Initially the client was unsure as to what performers they wanted, their amazing advert showed Dr Fortuno and his troupe perfuming stunts such as flying trapeze, fire breathing, juggling, acrobats, magic and knife throwing. We offered to replicate as many as we could with the exception of flying trapeze and fire breathing due to venue restrictions.
Yggdrasil requested five performers and asked for a mixture of walkabout and pop up shows multiple times throughout the day rather than one set show time.
Keeping close to their advert they wanted a close up magician and a contortionist wearing strange and quirky circus costumes. They also opted for a snake charmer, stilt walker and strongman to perform alongside Dr Fortuno.
The performers of course needed to match the visual styling of the stand and so we opted for a circus style snake charmer as opposed to classic belly dancer style in keeping with corporate feel. The strongman was classically styled and spent the day challenging guests to ring the bell on the high striker. To add to the quirky feel of the Yggdrasil circus our contortionist took her perspex box with her too for her pop up shows and we styled her look to match the snake charmer. To increase the energy on the stand we opted for a stilt walker who did both standard and bounce stilts allowing him to bounce around the stand and literally hop over some daring guests!
Bringing Dr Fortuno to life involved creating his signature yellow tailcoat, his extra tall top hat and our performer growing a chin strap beard (serious dedication!) – the over sized handlebar moustache proved a little too difficult though and we opted for a top of the range lace backed real hair prosthetic to complete the look.
STAGE four: Transforming the Venue
After months of planning seeing the finalised stand and after party venue was amazing and Yggdrasil were over the moon with the completed result.
All the little details- the aged circus posters plastered on the walls, the orange and black bunting, tables and chairs, the popcorn machine and circus high striker completely finished off the look and the Yggdrasil circus was ready for an audience!
Stage FIVE: Bring in the Guests!
Welcome, To the Land of Yggdrasil! Our performers embraced the very long day sessions on the stand providing huge amounts of energy during their walkabout and pop up sessions throughout the day. Dr Fortuno addressed the ICE attendees over the venue mic encouraging them to “Roll up! Roll up!” and “enter the Yggdrasil carnival!” Huge crowds were drawn to each side of the stand as the contortionist twisted herself into unusual positions and our snake charmer was the biggest photo attraction of the event! The stand was packed all day with guests eating freshly made popcorn and signing up to try the latest Yggdrasil game.
The stand screamed fun to everyone who passed it. Compliments from passers-by, rival firms and anyone associated with the show proved that we had done a great job. After the convention finished for the day the after parties were a roaring success, with gaming competitions and performers taking to the stage. These VIP parties carried on into the early hours and were absolutely jam- packed with guests!
We’re sure Yggdrasil 2019 will be the most talked about exhibition stand at London’s ExCeL for a very long time.
“It’s as if you’ve been inside my mind!”
– Steve Crabtree
Marketing Manager, Equinox / Yggdrasil Online Gaming
Since this event we have added even more to our props package line up including Candy Floss Carts and Carousel Horses.