Penguins, part of DRPG Group, recently delivered Honda Motor Europe’s first live event since the start of the pandemic, with a virtual element to enable a wider audience to take part.
Background and challenges
Penguins has worked with Honda Motor Europe for the past five years, including providing event production for the media launch of the all new, fully electric Honda e in early 2020. Due to the pandemic, Honda had to launch its latest hybrid electric vehicle, the Jazz e:HEV, throughout the lockdown without a centralised live event.
Following these launches, further communications were somewhat limited by the pandemic. Honda wanted to put together a press conference to help share its electric vision and show a glimpse into the future of Honda Motor Europe. The brand wanted to bring together press from around Europe to share the latest information on connectivity and energy solutions and its pledge to accelerate electric plans.
With so much uncertainty around due to the current climate, Honda looked to Penguins to offer a solution to help engage press audiences from around Europe. While heavy restrictions were in place, Penguins built an interactive website through which press were able to ask the Honda development team questions. However, when lifting of travel restrictions began, Honda decided to hold an Electric Vision Driving Event, kick starting its live event offering by combining a live audience with a livestream VT through which a wider selection of press could interact.
Held at the purpose-built European training facility, Honda Academy in Frankfurt, the three-day press event was the third event Penguins has produced there and the first live event since the start of the pandemic in March.
As part of the wider creative communications group, DRPG, Penguins was able to service the event out of the DRPG offices in Cologne. The Penguins team provided all production services for the live element as well as the graphics, tech kit and people needed to livestream the conference out to others who were unable to attend.
Each day, 12 journalists from different European regions, including Germany and Greece, came together for the live element of this Electric Vision press event. Guests were required to adhere to social distancing rules as well as wearing masks throughout the event. The number of journalists able to attend was limited to 12 in order to ensure safety.
Journalists from the other regions, including France, Spain and Italy, who were subject to COVID-19 travel limitations, were able to livestream the conferences through a bespoke portal. The events and broadcasts were run in a variety of languages to appeal to all language needs.
After the conference and Q&A, members of the press were able to test drive the vehicles around a designated route to experience the new models for themselves.
The event was hugely successful and a step in the right direction for the restarting of live events on a global scale.
António Guimarães, Events and Governance Section Manager at Honda Motor Europe Ltd, expressed that he was pleased with the result: “Restarting live events for any company at the moment is a tricky road to navigate and as always with Penguins, the team helped to make it happen utilising their passion for live events and integrating technology to engage an external audience. A big thank you to Penguins for helping us kick-start our live events again”.