| ‘In the events sphere, I see more and more brands experimenting with experiential retailing; temporary pop-up locations where companies can trial and create brand emersion in a physical space, engaging their customers in a more dynamic way.’
The UK events industry is worth a staggering £42.3 billion (according to Eventbrite), with exhibitions and trade fairs alone accounting for over a quarter of the market.
One individual has carved a notable reputation with global brands, media agencies, influential business players and celebrities, entrusting him with the production of their key events.
As a seasoned veteran in the industry, Dickon Galloway launched Dreamscape Events in 2005, specialising in event conception and production. The company produces over 250+ events a year, boasting an impressive list of distinguished clients including; Walt Disney, Apple, Arcadia Group, Vodafone, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Buzz Feed, eBay, Pepsi, Etsy, Zara, Rolex, Gucci, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, L’Oréal, Estee Lauder, Mercedes, Land Rover, and Heineken amongst many others.
Managing Director, Dickon, and his team have also been responsible for the conception, direction and production of many events held in conjunction with London Fashion Week over the last 12 years.
| ‘If London were a dartboard, Fitzrovia would be the bullseye’
Dickon is widely known to offer his branding expertise as part of a range of services, including devising and producing bespoke event platforms and programs that project maximum brand sensory exposure for his client’s audiences. His consultative and creative skills and services are frequently engaged by a spectrum of global brands. Particularly close to his heart are start-up businesses where he has made a significant impact on their fledging brand integrity, perception and future commercial value.
Along with Dreamscape, First Option Venues (also owned by Dickon), offers the provision of a range of exclusively managed venue locations for Press Shows and Product launch events which are located ostensibly in Fitzrovia.
Dreamscape Events: http://www.dreamscapeevents.com/
First Option Venues: http://www.firstoptionvenues.co.uk/
How were you drawn into the events industry, and what distinguishes you in this field?
I am creatively driven and have always had a deep intrigue in Brand DNA. I am passionate about finding ways to creatively devise strong branding through the medium of events and original platforms that engage and excite audiences who attend.
My business model is built on providing a hands-on approach to client guidance and care which is based on a clear understanding of their core objectives, then devising an event that delivers their vision and goal effectively.
What's the secret to Dreamscape’s success and longevity?
I couldn’t pin it on one particular attribute, but I believe the key components have been a combination of investing time in developing relationships and close ties with a wide range of brand influencers and being able to anticipate a frequently oscillating business environment. Clients appreciate suppliers being informed and proactive in the provision of event services that catch the crest of the wave for their brand event requirements.
I also invest in creating valuable relationships with my venue landlords that are founded on trust, expertise and consistent delivery.
From conception to the big day- what’s the usual timeline of hosting an event?
The process will start from initial contact by a client’s appointed events member of staff where we’ll meet in person at the venue(s) deemed most suitable as a canvas for their event and then go through their brief. We will discuss what the event is for, who it’s for and what they want to achieve. Once I have their goals firmly planted, we start the process of feeding ideas into a theme and visual orientation. We strive to ensure that each event should be a seamless partnership between our clients and us as their suppliers. Flexibility, support, creative expertise and trust are key to our high levels of repeat business and longevity.
We have been presented with and devised solutions for many creative and logistical challenges over the years. I once had to employ a specialist team to crane in a grand piano worth an eye-watering amount into a tight space via a skylight. We once had to remove and reinstate a doorway into one of our venues within 24 hours in order to facilitate access for 2 Formula 1 Ferraris for an event for Royal Dutch Shell. Other notable events involved creating a glass hydraulic catwalk runway across a lake for a major US fashion label.
The quickest turn around I’ve had to fulfil was within 24 hours from brief at a Langham Estate property on Eastcastle Street. It was for a launch into the UK market of American self-publishing platform, Blurb. The team were working right up until 5 minutes before the event started.
Other than corporate events, you have planned private birthdays and other special occasions- what has been your highlight?
There have been many high-profile occasions I’ve conducted over the years but my most memorable event was planning one of the first gay weddings in Knightsbridge, around 10 years before it was passed into UK legislation, for a very high-profile CEO couple. In those days gay marriage was still taboo and I had to sign a life non-disclosure during the planning and thereafter. It was a very special and unique occasion and was a forerunner of what thankfully is now a widely accepted union.
You currently use one of our most prominent buildings, 93 Mortimer Street, what type of events are held in such a large and historic location?
The selling point for 93 Mortimer Street is the picturesque vaulted ceiling in the grand hall- it’s a unique feature a lot of brands can appreciate and incorporate into many kinds of events. I think my favourite was a launch event we produced for eBay of their new concept store in 2016.
One of my all-time favourite events was a pre-British Grand Prix, commissioned by Swiss Watch brand Oris, one of the main sponsors for the Williams Formula 1 Teams held at 36 Great Titchfield Street. As part of the event the William’s Formula 1 Team’s drivers, Mika Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima, competed with journalists and guests on a giant Scalextric track set up at the venue as prelim to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
First Option Venues have primarily been based in Fitzrovia - why this area?
I've always said that if London were a dartboard, Fitzrovia would be the bullseye. Many of my time-strapped clients and their target audiences find going slightly more east or west of London too much hassle, and so Fitzrovia is a huge preference being so central. I hold numerous Fashion and Beauty events and this area is widely known as a key fashion district.
What does the future hold for Dreamscape Events and First Option Venues?
The industries I work with are constantly changing, and I have to ensure I adapt with the times. The current climate is very uncertain, but I use it as motivation to look ahead and plan long-term. The digital world has taken a hold of us at an exponential rate and I see plenty of businesses scrambling to adapt and stay afloat. However, over-reliance in the digital world alone will only achieve so much. We still need that human element where people engage face to face and build relationships with more tangible depth.
In the events sphere, I see more and more brands experimenting with experiential retailing; temporary pop-up locations where companies can trial and create brand emersion in a physical space, offering more than their products/services for customers. Along with the eBay concept store (pictured), I held one of the first launch events for Boohoo a few years back. Although this concept is by no means new, it's still in its infancy ready to flourish, particularly in these challenging climates for the high street. Brands are seeking to create experiences that dynamically engage and excite target audiences in conjunction with their digital presence. To survive and prosper, those of us who sell and provide event vehicles can look forward to many opportunities in this realm for the future.