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Event Planning: Digitizing the red carpet experience in Africa

Every event gains recognition by the caliber of people that it is associated with. Over time, brands have utilized events for activations and associations through sponsorships. The COVID-19 pandemic enabled us to reimagine every element of event management with the use of modern technology to create unique experiences. Depending on the event, the glitz and glam, as well as the quality of the experience, are integral to what makes the event whole. This brings to light the need for the red carpet experience to be top-notch as this part of the event showcases the strata of individuals that have attended the event. Due to the high media presence at this point of the event, event planners and attendees utilize this platform to make newsworthy statements. This is to increase mentions and awareness. Bringing the elements of technology and newsworthiness to play, we will see how the transformation of the quintessential red carpet has transformed post-pandemic events.

First, digital fashion has become an element in digitizing the red carpet. In 2020, we saw Maya Jama wow the crowd in the first ever 5G powered augmented reality dress on the BAFTAS 2020 red carpet (Leake, 2020). With the use of technology, the MTV Base presenter made a futuristic fashion statement by bringing her seemingly regular ball gown to life in augmented reality. This feat made the event newsworthy and opened the eyes of fashion enthusiasts and event planners to the possibilities that can unfold with the fusion of creativity, innovation, and technology.

Furthermore, the red carpet backdrops have moved from still prints into an interactive experience of a real-world environment. Brands can now animate brand assets to highlight key elements and create unique experiences for attendees. This was executed expertly by Connect Marketing Services in the Balmain and Chivas XV Collaboration-Gold Version in Lagos, Nigeria. Attendees experienced a magazine-like augmented reality backdrop. This was to put emphasis on the celebrity status of the attendees. This was also used at Marketing Core 2022, where the studio attendees could interact with elements of the event’s brand mark.

In conclusion, managing large events can be demanding. Hence, the need to infuse technology for a better experience. The pandemic hastened the adoption of new technology in numerous industries in Africa, and marketing is not left out. Digitising the red carpet brings an oddity to your event. Hence, creating a refreshing experience for an existing idea. It is, however, important that the choice of technology and scale of events be considered in the digitization of the red carpet. This should be done without being oblivious to the possible technical challenges that may be experienced whilst bringing this to life. It further brings to bear the need to engage an expert.


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