CASE STUDY:  Avengers: Infinity War Fan Event

Dates: 15-16 April 2018

Venue: Marina Bay Sands

When The Walt Disney Company and Marina Bay Sands combined powers to organise the Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War fan meet in Singapore, there was only one mission – to create a game-changing event that would redefine the red carpet experience on a global scale.

Both parties shared the same goal: to create a truly immersive experience that would keep fans engaged throughout the programme, deviating away from the traditional spectator-style red carpet events. 

The magic was switched on in the wee hours of 16 April 2018, when fans turned up to get coveted tickets for the event that night.  The excitement was palpable as the clock inched towards the red carpet evening when Avengers: Infinity War Super Heroes Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Benedict Cumberbatch (Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange), Karen Gillan (Nebula), together with the film’s director Joe Russo and executive producer Trinh Tran, were given a thunderous welcome by 7,000 fans on property. 

As Asia’s leading entertainment destination, Marina Bay Sands was a clear choice of venue for the Singapore leg of the Avengers: Infinity War world tour. The integrated resort counted on its experience hosting fan events for other Marvel-related films such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to make a difference.

One of the biggest events held on property to date, the Singapore Avengers: Infinity War fan event also saw the integrated use of different venues, technology and facilities within Marina Bay Sands for the very first time.

The result? An immersive entertainment show fit for super heroes – literally.

One-stop solution for events

Right from the get go, Marina Bay Sands worked in close consultation with Disney on the entire concept, design and narrative of the Avengers: Infinity War event from start to finish. 

With its leadership in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) space, Marina Bay Sands offered Disney a customised and integrated solution by relying on existing in-house resources to support the fan meet – from its event space and staff to the technical equipment used for the various elements of the show.

The grand fan event stretched across various locations at the integrated resort, enabling Disney to create opportunities for more fan engagement. In addition to the impressive Avengers-themed stage and special purple carpet at the Event Plaza, Disney also introduced a space within Hall A at Sands Expo for fans who were unable to secure a spot at the main stage.

Using Marina Bay Sands’ large inventory of first-to-market audio visual tech, which includes high quality Meyer speakers and Barco Projectors, Hall A was set up to enable 3,000 fans to catch the action at the main stage via a cinematic, movie-quality live stream. Earlier in the day, the Hall was also transformed into a space for fans to watch screenings of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.

The building design at Sands Expo also allowed the organisers to throw in an additional surprise for fans in Hall A. Offering direct access by car, the expo hall was used as the drop-off point for the Avengers: Infinity Wars stars to arrive at the purple ‘red carpet’ and make a surprise appearance for fans in true Hollywood fashion.

A global entertainment destination

To further the immersive experience, the event programme followed a narrative that was built on the Avengers: Infinity War story arc, which culminated in Singapore being the location for the sixth and final Infinity Stone that the movie’s villain – Thanos – is in search of.

The integrated resort’s own light and water show Spectra played a central role in the evening’s script, with a special edition of the nightly show created just for the event.

To heighten the immersive, show-like experience of the fan event, fans were asked to collectively call out the catchphrase “Avengers Assemble” right before the special edition of Spectra was played to reveal the location of the final Infinity Soul Stone – represented by a 12-metre-high glass prism hidden in the light and water show – at Marina Bay Sands.

Adding to the event’s overall grandeur, Marina Bay Sands concurrently lit up the underbelly of the Sands SkyPark, the rooftop of The Shoppes, as well as the exterior of ArtScience Museum in a bright shade of red with laser projections of the Avengers ‘A’ logo. It was the integrated resort’s first time combining the use of all its on-property light and water assets for a single event.

Scalable venues for concurrent events

The availability of large and small spaces within Marina Bay Sands allowed Disney to conveniently hold several Avengers-related events on 15 & 16 April within a single venue.

While the vastness of Marina Bay Sands’ Event Plaza and the event halls at Sands Expo were perfect for accommodating the 7,000 Avengers fans who showed up for the red carpet event, the integrated resort’s intimate meeting rooms at Sands Expo were also used for smaller, concurrent events that took place over the same period.

This includes a special corporate social responsibility initiative between Marina Bay Sands, Disney and local charity Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore, for an event at Sands Expo Hall A that saw 37 young cancer survivors being sworn in as “honorary avengers” by Robert Downey Jr. himself. 

Sands Expo’s meeting rooms also served as the venue for the official Singapore press conference for the Avengers: Infinity War movie. The same rooms were later transformed to host an exclusive filmmakers’ session with 169 students from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore American School, Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Spectra Secondary School.

Engaging a digital audience

Beyond providing Disney with their venue and event requirements, Marina Bay Sands also leveraged on the expertise of its in-house Visual Media and Social Media teams to plan and execute the visual and digital coverage of the high-profile event.

The integrated resort provided full photo and video coverage of the entire event, using professional photo and video equipment including cranes and drones.

Marina Bay Sands also  designed and set up a live feed from the Event Plaza to Sands Expo Hall A, as well as a Facebook and Twitter ‘live’ video feed on Marina Bay Sands’ official social media accounts – enabling more fans across the globe to be part of the exciting experience in Singapore.

To drive the conversations online, Marina Bay Sands’ Social Media team also worked alongside their counterparts in Disney to churn out a digital-led campaign to publicise the Avengers: Infinity War fan event. From pre-event buzz to actual live red carpet event coverage, the experience reached 1.9 billion people based on organic user-generated content across major social networks.

It was also the first time a Twitter live broadcast was set up, with assistance from Twitter Singapore. The broadcast had over 190,000 viewers watching it live and 100,000 viewers watching it post-event.

The Avengers: Infinity War fan event catapulted Marina Bay Sands into the global spotlight, with the event making the headlines around the world.

The icing on the cake? When Robert Downey Jr. declared: “This has got to be the coolest fan event I’ve ever done.”