By Kait Shea
For a second consecutive year, Twitter held a digital content NewFront to showcase its programming to key media buyers, brands and press. But for the social media titan, this year’s event, held April 30 at Terminal 5 in New York City, felt like a whole new experience. With a focus on video and live-streamed content, the brand this year offered more dynamic announcements, scaled the event to accommodate twice the number of attendees and emphasized the platform’s ability to fuel cultural movements and help drive change.
NewFronts may typically be buttoned-up affairs, but in true Twitter fashion, the brand incorporated vibrant design elements and surprise and delight moments to immerse attendees in the brand and keep them engaged throughout the event. Outside the venue, the marquee was rewrapped in bold Twitter branding. Inside, a long hallway leading to the main event featured wood elements and large-scale imagery from the platform.
As attendees emerged from the hallway and into the central event space, they were met with a 30-foot-wide by 20-foot-tall screen that throughout the event emphasized Twitter’s differentiation point from its video competitors—that Twitter is the only place where you can watch a video and talk about it at the same time. “Watch it. Talk about it.” messaging could also be found throughout the venue.
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Other design elements included brightly colored orbs hanging from the ceiling and an oversized white hashtag installation surrounded by black space. The six-foot-tall structure featured blinking marquee lights and was designed to make attendees feel like the focus of the experience, while also serving as a popular photo backdrop.
“The drumbeat still continues for us to make sure everybody understands and feels the bold, human, electric part of our brand,” says Helen Stoddard, head of global events at Twitter. “With this specific audience, it was a new way for them to touch and feel us. So we wanted to make sure the event itself had experiential moments and touchpoints, and also within the program and content on stage. The room and the design of the venue really lent itself to how you feel when you walk into the Twitter content universe.”
The NewFront was also designed to shed a light on the need for diversity in the tech industry as well as on key cultural movements. To that end, Twitter highlighted programming associated with Black Twitter, a subculture from the platform that many African-Americans use to address social issues, and the brand’s event-based #HereWeAre initiative in which female speakers offer stories representing diversity across race, age, sexual orientation and industry. Renowned African-American producer Will Packers took the stage to speak about Black Twitter, while Twitter cmo Leslie Berland underscored the #HereWeAre initiative.
Design elements included brightly colored hanging orbs and an oversized hashtag installation.
In addition, journalist Liz Plank addressed women’s equality. Before the NewFront, Plank helped drum up …read more