The Canadian version of the Grammys – called the JUNOS – goes this weekend in Calgary, and one of the features at the 2016 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards will be a special podium fronted by a digital screen.
Dubbed George – The Digital Podium, the set-up will be used to relay social media updates to the crowd as winners come up to accept awards.
The podium is a rental unit supplied by Toronto’s BIG Digital, which specializes in enabling digital solutions for short-term and pop-up events and brand marketing efforts.
So … George???
“As part of BIG Digital’s branding and identity strategy, we wanted to make the tech is easy and simple to reference,” explains BIG Digital co-founder Mike Girgis, who local signage people will know as the main guy behind the Digital OOH network in Toronto’s subway stations, going back a dozen years. That company, OneStop, was acquired by the OOH firm Pattison.
“Instead of 2×2 or 3×3 language, we decided to name all of our products after famous elephants – from George “The Podium” to Lucy “Video Walls,” Girgis says. “Having customers reference our products by simple names allowed us to maintain that the tech is easy to reference and understand. The naming conventions of our products was so popular, we decided to take it a step further and create personalities and Twitter handles, all starting with George the podium, whose always front and center at all major events, and knew that we could have some fun with it.”
— PodiumGeorge (@BIGPodiumGeorge) March 31, 2016
“It’s all starting with the JUNOS. They loved the idea and agreed to weave this into the marketing and outreach.”
BIG also has a second display at the gala, a digital display tower dubbed Babar.
The gala dinner is run the evening prior to the big broadcast event, and most of the Canadian music awards will be handed out at the Saturday evening dinner. The broadcast event is mainly about live performance at a hockey arena, and only a few awards are announced during Sunday night’s event.