Agency Spotlight: Event Marketing Solutions (EMS)

This article is brought to you in association with Macroart

Agency Spotlight, the latest addition to the Event Industry News site, profiles the top of the pyramid, the design and creativity behind brand activations, experiences, exhibition USPs and the greater live event model. 

Sponsored by print specialist Macroart, these pages will profile agencies of all sizes, looking at how and why they started, with what ambition, key projects, relationships with the supply chain and a whole lot more besides.

If your agency has a fitting story to tell, get in touch: 

Agency: Event Marketing Solutions (EMS)
Formed: 2000
Annual Events: 100+
Staff: 11-50
Offices: 2

Mantra: There is no medium more powerful than face-to-face communication – it has the power to connect people in a way that no other channel can.


Keith Austin launched EMS in Cheshire in 2000 after 15 years of running an agency focussed on providing dealer support programmes for Peugeot and Nissan. During that period Keith became passionate about roadshow trucks and realised with the growth of face to face and experiential marketing, an opportunity existed for a business to specialise. Big brands and agencies were crying out for a specialist supplier that could operate internationally. A business that took the time to understand what they were trying to achieve and could match the quality they expected.

The market was poorly served with old equipment and basic service levels, so Keith went about changing it.

Leadership: Keith Austin

Clarity of vision and years of big brand experience have helped Keith Austin take global roadshow agency, EMS, from start-up to market leader. His unwavering belief in the power of face-to-face marketing has driven the global growth of the agency, enabling EMS to take brands wherever they need to be in the world. Delivering the vision for EMS, Keith also heads up the group’s healthcare division, which specialises in creating innovative mobile healthcare units to meet NHS capacity challenges.

Key services and sectors served:

EMS operates in 50 countries, with offices in the UK, Middle East and US. It is currently the only roadshow agency in the Middle East, providing a gateway to the region for businesses looking to enter its lucrative but at times complicated markets. Specialising in experiential marketing tours, EMS’ clients include blue-chip brands and some of the world’s biggest creative agencies. While EMS has the capability to deliver a roadshow campaign for just about any sector, its expertise lies in the technology, manufacturing, and education spaces. EMS is a full-service roadshow agency, covering the entire campaign process, from design and production, through to management and delivery.

Case Study: Smart Living Tour

In 2017 and 2018, EMS partnered with technology giant, Bosch, and created the Smart Living Tour – a mobile roadshow showcasing their latest smart home products. With the goal to bridge the understanding gap and demonstrate just how smart technology can transform lifestyles, EMS created an immersive smart home and garden experience which utilised the complete range of Bosch’s smart products in a relatable setting. This also marked the first time Bosch had brought its five key divisions together in one distinct campaign.

Consumer feedback demonstrated the sheer success of the campaign, with 99% of visitors reporting a greater understanding of Smart Technology after their visit and 95% more likely to purchase a Bosch product.

Showcasing 120 products, with live demonstrations and effectively trained brand champions on board, the Smart Living Tour travelled the length and breadth of the UK in its quest to educate consumers. Visiting large scale events and festivals, such as the Great British Food Festival and the London Motor Show, the multi-sensory space encouraged visitor interaction at every corner.

Alongside the consumer feedback, the campaign’s key successes included:

– 79 event days over 26 locations
– Meaningful engagements with over 87,000 people
– Over 170,000 product demonstrations
– Budget made to work 44% harder than targeted.

What the future holds:

With face-to-face at its heart, EMS’ goal is to remain at the cutting edge of the expanding experiential market and continue its impressive global growth. It has taken a number of steps in the last 18 months to support this step-up, with investment in a state-of-the-art HQ in Cheshire, as well as a number of key senior appointments. Its HQ ‘The Refinery’ has provided the agency with an industry leading facility to meet the growing demand for roadshow services, while also establishing a state-of-the-art workshop facility to ensure they can respond to short lead times whilst maintaining their industry leading quality standards.

At a time when experiential marketing is on the rise, EMS is primed to deliver new and unique branded experiences for its clients. With one foot ahead of the game, the agency has the flexibility to capitalise on the emerging trends that are driving campaigns, whether that’s electric vehicles, eSports, 5G or Industry 4.0.

More than ever, EMS is focused on pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with a roadshow campaign. It is increasingly working with technology partners in this regard – utilising state-of-the-art technology on its trucks to drive engagement and provide innovative, stand-out experiences for visitors.

While Brexit is anticipated to bring a whole new host of challenges for British companies in particular – EMS is ready to support with this, drawing on its years of global logistics insight. It aims to provide businesses with the help they need to get in front of customers throughout Europe, whatever the situation is come 31st of October.

This Agency Spotlight is sponsored by Macroart

Macroart challenges the assumptions about a ‘typical print company’. With a fair bit of cool kit to turn clients’ visions into reality, Macroart’s enthusiastic, committed and talented team delivers some of the most complex print projects in live events, retail and interiors.

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: