WPP Future of Retail

CSM proposed working with a group of graduates to create an immersive, site-specific promenade theatre experience for their delegates based around WPP’s two themes, which were ‘transformation’ and ‘humanising the digital’.

The WPP Future of Retail conference was held on 2nd July 2013 in Central Saint Martins Platform Theatre complex. The brief was for CSM to host and stage a one-day conference event for WPP group delegates and their clients.

WPP’s priority was to stage an event positioned at the cutting edge of the transformation of retail practices - examining where established approaches to retail fit in today’s market place. They wanted to address head-on the fact that the retail landscape is changing and evolving and to consider ways to integrate online and in-store customer experiences. This provided the perfect opportunity to utilise the specific skills of BA and MA Performance Design & Practice by making creative use of simple materials, keeping the user experience accessible and tactile so that it was physically interactive whilst maximising the theatrical potential of the Platform Theatre space and the ‘Street’ space at CSM.

This open, collaborative approach demonstrates CSM’s unique offering in terms of creative input and our ability to host a client event which makes a real an asset of the college’s street and theatre as a versatile event space. A student band was even selected to play in the bar area during the drinks reception which emphasised the ‘art college’ feel of the event.

According to Technology Strategy Advisor Andrew Grant of Satalia, who acted as WPP’s consultant on the project ‘It was really important for us to get that collision between technology and the liberal arts and we really felt we achieved that. We had everything from artificial intelligence and robots added to the rawness and imposing presence that you get from performance art and the artists view of the world.’ Sir Martin Sorrell was interviewed for the opening segment of the day. It was a sellout and feedback from WPP staff and delegates was overwhelmingly positive with plans in progress to host a follow up conference in 2014.


Events and Venue hire

Stefan Sloneczny
Event and Experiences Executive
Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 2974
Email: s.sloneczny@csm.arts.ac.uk