“Emotion is key in an event. It is born of audacity and creative freedom.” VO is not about to contradict Luc Petit, father of the complete event show in Belgium, who has a habit of rewriting the rule book until - perhaps quite soon - he reaches the moon.
Because any B2B or B2C event can host a major show, the chemistry between VO and Luc Petit was obvious. With full mutual understanding, each respects the other's area of competence. Take Inferno, for example, the opening show commemorating the Bicentenary of Waterloo in 2015.
“VO made it clear at the first briefing: there's no way your show can compete with the reconstruction that follows,” says Luc Petit. “You can't mention Napoleon or the battle... Thanks guys! This challenge has the merit that I was forced to think outside of the box in terms of creativity and was pushed towards being even more imaginative and audacious. It was one of the most complicated events to stage. One year of preparation, one site with instantaneous assembly and disassembly, 450 extras, a host of uncertainties to manage... Madness! But in a one-off event like this, what’s great is the energy being released, because the whole team has to give everything all at once. The key was the fabulous collective energy injected by my teams and those of VO. Human capital was at stake. It's great to know each other well and to work like that, with confidence, each person sure of his or her own role.”
Telling a story together
Indeed, the important thing when organising an event as a partnership is sharing the same aim and complementing each other. Everyone putting their hands in the mud and pulling out jewels. VO and Luc Petit share this dogged determination to see things through to its final conclusion, along with fastidiousness and audacity, the will to be true storytellers who bring magic and alchemy to the materialisation of the story they are telling during an event.
“I am not a creator shut away in a room. I like to be there with the teams at the event,” the artistic director confirms. “My priority is the person, the most magnificent conduit of emotion. Because emotion is key in an event. It is born of audacity and creative freedom. The whole point of a show is to convey a universe. All the technologies that I use in a show serve its purpose, but they don’t need to be visible. I am very selective, and when I adopt a technological innovation, I make sure that it is properly integrated, serving the purpose of the show, to innovate. For example, I recently developed the new light show for the Han cave complex. We were the first to have controlled an underwater lighting unit at an event.”
Breaching the bounds of creativity pays off!
The joint work by VO and Luc Petit has just put the pair in 14th place in the BEA World Top 30 Event Agencies 2018. It’s a wonderful acknowledgement, and there might another hiding behind it! This is because our partner is a candidate for a Best World Event Award, for the complementary work done on the Les Bastions shopping mall show in Tournai. It is an event we are all very proud of as it met the client’s expectations perfectly, with real story-telling full of emotion. With the decision due at the end of 2018, it’s suspense all the way!