The fresh Group launch innovative virtual festival


Global events agency, The fresh Group have partnered with Sunbelt Rentals UK – the UK division of the global leaders in plant supply, tools and specialist equipment hire for the construction, events and infrastructure markets – to produce SUNFEST, a virtual festival exploring future innovation and sustainability in rental.

Live for 30 days from 20th August, the festival features over 45 of Sunbelt’s suppliers and partners, both in virtual exhibition stands, as well as in “Hot Topic” talks, where a variety of speakers discuss topics such as connected construction sites, the use of hydrogen and social value.

On entering SUNFEST, users are able to navigate their own way around a fully interactive site, comprising 11 exhibition zones, as well as a main stage area housing the hot topic presentations. Being a fully interactive 3D experience allows visitors to either explore freely or choose to go on a guided tour of the festival. This means visitors can create their own journey or choose to have a curated one, just like they would in a real event. Animations and immersive sound bring a sense of reality to the virtual environment.

Dave Harris, Marketing Director at Sunbelt Rentals UK said:


“With the absence of face to face events, trade shows and exhibitions – which are a big part of our business – we wanted to create our own way of interacting with suppliers, partners, customers and clients, and so the idea for SUNFEST was born.

“In the beginning, we were hoping to attract 16 suppliers to exhibit at the event, however it launched with over 45 exhibition stands, and 7 guest speakers on our main stage, so we’re delighted with how our partners have engaged with us, and seen the potential of a virtual festival.

“We challenged them to focus on innovation and sustainability, two areas of our industry that are in increasingly sharp focus. Our vision is to Own the Future of Rental, SUNFEST is designed to help everyone who visits understand what that future could look like.”

Mac Byers, Experiential Designer at fresh, who was responsible for designing the environment and user experience said:

“Due to advancements in browser technology and hardware, generating 3D worlds is now possible on any device, within an easily accessible webpage. This gave us the inspiration to create this fully virtual event.

“The overall event design utilizes a framework to create a cohesive event identity. Inside of this framework, each partner has a unique stand design that aims to show each of their stories off to the fullest. 

“To create this experience, we first created a modern and easily navigable 3D world that took inspiration from, but wasn’t restricted by the limitations of a real event. From this we worked with the client and partners to curate the content to showcase the very best of innovation and sustainability within the rental industry.”

Stuart Whittle, Executive Creative Director at fresh added:

“When the world locked down as a result of Covid-19, and the events industry was heavily impacted, fresh had to move quickly to continue to bring value to our clients, particularly longstanding ones like Sunbelt, who trust us to keep discovering and presenting the latest technology to them to keep their events and activations innovative and engaging.

“We have worked with the brand for a number of years, most recently helping them announce their brand unification to an internal audience at their company conference earlier in the year, so we knew that they would be missing the experience of a live event.

“We presented the idea of a virtual festival to them, and we’ve been delighted with how they have engaged with it and worked with us to create such an amazing end result in SUNFEST.

“We can’t wait to be back producing live events alongside our virtual offering, but going fully virtual for an event does have a range of benefits. It opens the event up to a global audience, has very low environmental impact and allows us to display products and stories that may be too big for a real-world event.”

You can access SUNFEST at until 19th September.

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