National Grid amplifies impact with first ever hybrid investor conference

Smyle partnered closely with National Grid leadership to position the brand at the centre of the energy transition to a critically important audience of investors, media and consumers. This hybrid experience was held live at the ExCeL London for approximately 200 delegates and online using the Bizzabo platform for 600 participants.

The Challange

To position National Grid at the centre of the energy transition.

The Approach

National Grid has a solid reputation but was concerned that a lot of its innovative UK and US energy transformation work was not sufficiently understood. Our solution was to make the company easier to understand, and bring to life the innovation and ‘sexiness’ of this engineering focused organisation.

For its Investor Day in November 2021 we advised that National Grid run a truly hybrid event. This would involve 100 people attending a physical event at the ExCeL in London and a much larger online international audience. Both audiences were to be catered for in an integrated digital and physical experience. 

Research led us to develop the event theme ‘Doing Right Now’. This conjoins the ideas that the company is ‘doing right’ in the energy transition, and doing it ‘right now’. To demonstrate this, we showcased the unsung experts around the company that are making energy transition happen. We also used storytelling about key initiatives as indicative of what the larger business is all about.

Smyle camera crews captured the event in real time, all footage was fed through Smyle’s gallery and managed by its central studio team. Footage was live streamed to the online audience using the latest Bizzabo platform, with interactive elements for virtual participants built into each session. The live audience rotated between three innovative breakout session experiences, and the virtual audience had an exclusive digital-only rotation with a camera and host onsite curating their experience.

The Result

The success of an investor event is both qualitative (the audience regards the company more positively) and quantitative (the investment community promotes it in research advice and/or invests in the company’s stock). While the direct financial impact is hard to discern, we used audience surveying to understand the impact on the perception of National Grid at the centre of the energy transition, as well as perceptions of quality of content and interaction. The hybrid nature of the occasion allowed audiences in the UK and US to become immersed in National Grid’s strategy and performance.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation launches their first ever digital sustainability summit

This two-day virtual event included broadcasting fireside chats, presentation and panel sessions direct from London's Kennington Film Studios, plus key presenters appearing from multiple locations around the world to thousands watching live on YouTube.

To support Ellen MacArthur's circular economy mission, Smyle's Cycle service captured data to record and capture learnings for sustainable reporting to support future sustainable improvements in project delivery.

The Brief

Capture and report Cycle Baseline sustainability data for the virtual Ellen MacArthur Foundation Summit 2020.

Our Approach

This two-day virtual event involved the live filming and broadcast of content at Kennington Film Studios in London, with key presenters, Ellen MacArthur team and Smyle crew working on-site, under strict biosecurity measures.

Our team recorded Cycle Baseline data for sustainability metrics including crew travel and accommodation, material use, equipment provision, transportation and catering. Within the planning, we also reviewed the venue’s environment policy which covered recycling, reuse, energy usage and travel. 

This data culminated in the creation of a Cycle Baseline Report, providing a benchmark for mapping the full sustainability footprint of the Summit activation, including estimated CO2e (greenhouse gas emissions) for crew travel and transport and stats on the % of the equipment, materials and equipment reused or hired. 

The Summit report also highlighted the vital role of venues in sustainability. In this case the event was powered by 100% renewable energy, and our on-site Smyle team monitored how key venue sustainability policies were implemented. 

Cycle Baseline Reports also capture learnings for future action. In this example, biosecurity measures and public transport restrictions resulted in an unavoidable negative impact, for example, limited public transport options for crew, on sustainability, presenting opportunities for further improvement next time around.

The Result

This example of Cycle Baseline Reporting, highlights how Smyle is promoting the sustainability agenda to strive for future improvement. Going forward, tracking core sustainability metrics will be part of every Smyle project, ensuring this becomes part of our mindset and process across core elements of planning and delivery.

For brands like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, sustainability is already a priority, for their Summit event, our 2020 Cycle baseline report provided a benchmark data set, learnings and recommendations to inform direction and decisions about future events and identify opportunities to raise the bar even higher.

IMEX: BuzzHub

Maintaining attendee engagement ahead of IMEX America 2021.

The Brief

Use Smyle’s knowledge of virtual events to create experiences that are fun, rewarding and continuously evolving. 

The Approach

With the coming return of IMEX America as a physical event in November 2021 we developed the IMEX Buzzhub. This is a branded online community built using Swapcard – an end-to-end event platform with customisable elements powered by artificial intelligence, along with additional add-on technologies like for tailored community experiences.

Everything we did focused on delivering value to event professionals. Speakers, key content and fringe activities and even sponsored elements all added value and kept the audience connected to the IMEX brand. 

The highlights of the campaign were the three ‘Buzz Days’. Each had its own theme (‘Building back better’, ‘Extreme innovation’ and ‘Future focus’) and each was packed with fun presentations, opportunities to interact with speakers and time set aside to ‘just talk’ about areas of mutual interest. In a bid to keep innovating, each Buzz Day had a mix of activities and formats. Participants had choices of what they could do: listen to a thought-leading speaker, ask questions in an intimate Q&A, or join a forum. But it wasn’t all work-focused and enabling authentic human interaction between participants was encouraged. There was even a co-located Buzz Day, where attendees could jump between two entirely different events, and another aimed just at the large German audience – broadcast entirely in German.

The Results

IMEX and Smyle worked in a collaborative way to make the IMEX BuzzHub a success. Over 2,300 professionals registered with 400-800 session views each month. Participant feedback scored an average of 4.5 out of 5 for all content and experiences. The primary goal of the campaign was to keep IMEX front-of-mind and encourage attendance at the November 2021 show in Las Vegas. With 582 BuzzHub participants indicating that the experience positively impacted their likelihood to attend (and lots of content sharing across social channels), we can take at least some of the credit for the 5,000+ that turned up for the main event, which was buzzing with energy. In one final push, Smyle delivered live content from the show floor for BuzzHub virtual participants during the show.

See also

Country House

The Lockhouse,
71 Mead Lane,
Hertford, SG13 7AX

Town House

Albert House,
256-260 Old St,
London, EC1V 9DD


Studio 106, SeeSaw,
86 Princess Street,
Manchester, M1 6NP


Suikersilo-Oost 22,
1165 MS Halfweg,