World Economic Forum’s Gala Dinner

Putting a unique drone activation at the heart of the show’s narrative

The Brief

NEWSUBSTANCE were engaged by the Abu Dhabi office of live communications agency People Creative to devise, design and deliver an exciting, innovative and truly original activation that reinforced the overarching themes of innovation, collaboration and idea sharing in today’s hyper-connected world.

Event Statistics

1000 delgates attended the World Economic Forum’s Summit on Global Agenda Gala Dinner held in Mushrif Central Park, Abu Dhabi – the first large scale event to be hosted at the newly opened park.

— Client

People Creative

— Location

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Created with Sketch.
Created with Sketch.

The Outcome

NEWSUBSTANCE’s creative response was breathtakingly original, developing and advancing the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) by putting them at the heart of the show’s narrative. Encased within bespoke, aerodynamic, geometric shaped cladding, five drones were fitted with an onboard light source creating flying orbs of light each of which represented an ‘idea’. The most challenging aspect of the whole project was the design of the cladding in conjunction with the modification of the drone platforms themselves. NEWSUBSTANCE undertook an extensive period of R&D in order to establish the critical balance between flight optimisation and creative finish. A number of different materials were tested for their flight properties before arriving at a solution that delivered both stable and agile flight capability – and critically the retention of the integral light orb form.

The dedicated pilot team was hand picked and supplied by Resource Group’s unmanned aviation services division, the UK’s leading drone services provider – working with NEWSUBSTANCE to develop both flight capabilities and the choreographed sequence of moves. UK tests and rehearsals were followed by three days of intensive flying on site in Mushrif Central Park, rehearsing with the dancers who were able to interact with their respective drone. Wind conditions remained favourable throughout and come show night NEWSUBSTANCE executed a perfect flight plan, wowing the Summit attendee’s with the world’s first live theatrical drone show.