Breaking boundaries with Barloworld

Brand experience agency Mann Made Media teamed up with Barloworld to create a visual smorgasbord of mirrored surfaces and a deconstructed cube theme for the company’s annual Global Leadership Conference to shift perspectives in its senior managers.

“Inspire continuous innovation and creative thinking in senior management.” It may seem a broad brief, but coming from an established and respected company like Barloworld for its annual Global Leadership Conference, it got the Mann Made engines revving.
It couldn’t be just another conference, it had to jump out and make these global leaders want to push their personal and business boundaries and extend the company’s competitive advantage.”Most of the people working at Barloworld have been there for their entire careers. There is a real sense of family and team spirit in the business that ironically has very separate business operating units. It was a privilege to see first hand. The culture at Barloworld is alive and kicking,” says Mann Made Media’s managing director, Shayne Mann.Deconstructing the conference’s existing cube logo by breaking it apart and experimenting with its dimensions – as a sign of changing perspectives – was the first step in the process.Neuroscience, genetic algorithms, flocking, the systems theory, emergence, the Fibonacci sequence and optical illusions formed the foundation of the cube. An online teaser campaign explored the six-sided cube and the Fibonacci sequence’s lessons on potential for growth, as well as the link between logistics and the evolving patterns in nature.Registration was completed on a multi-platform mobile app that could be loaded onto delegates’ smart phones and tablets in sticking to the high-tech theme.
Mirrored surfaces, a floating cube over the seating area and a custom-built projection mapping surface that showed off the deconstructed cube were worked into the venue design to make the delegates feel they were at the centre of this futuristic landscape. Innovative videos, presentations and even stick fighters took the exploded cube even further.

Videos illustrating how shark skin was the muse for the design for a new anti-bacterial surfaces for medical applications, how cities have been designed like mangrove swamps to counteract rising sea levels and how oil pipeline routes optimised by mimicking the route-finding behaviour of ants worked into the brief to expand the imagination of the delegates by moving away from formulaic thinking.

Run-of-the-mill Powerpoint presentations were scrapped and reconfigured to fit the theme and stick fighters performed a dance of intersecting planes of light, with shadow pieces to play tricks with perspective.

The tea and lunch break areas also boasted interactive “infinity box” installations that used internal mirrors to reflect kaleidoscopic graphics that created an optical illusion of a box that was bigger on the inside than the outside. It was custom-built and also acted as a remote-controlled photo booth that generated pictures for delegates to take home.

With the thread of the cube woven through the conference from start to finish, the result was an event that delivered a shift in perspective.

“[Last] year Barloworld hosted our most successful global leaders conference to date, thanks to the outstanding professionalism of the Mann Made team. From the pitch process, to pre-event planning to the actual execution, the experience was smooth and seamless. I rate the team very highly and give them a 10/10 for service,” says Barloworld communications and marketing manager, Thirona Maharaj.