Creative events: How Univate tackles Covid restrictions

Thinking outside of the box is the lifeblood of creatives, and to visual experience masterminds Univate, adapting to the changing times with an imaginative, industry-leading service is what defines gold standard industry excellence. Univate, a sister company of Faber Audiovisuals, offers a full service including online experiences and content creation

Jasper Steenkamp, managing director, Univate clarified: “We create visual experiences for events, brands, TV shows and anything in the field of audio-visual installations. We create presentations and experiences and are mostly involved in projects where there are a lot of pixels, specialist shapes and 3D environments at higher resolutions.

“Our clients are asking us to think of cool ways to create content and to make things interactive, working with sensors and special software that we created in-house to create bespoke interactions with the content. We are always making one-off content and we also work with virtual reality and augmented reality for live events and broadcast. It doesn’t matter how complicated the object or environment is, we are always able to create imaginative content.”

The live event industry suffered harder than most when the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged Europe, but Faber Audiovisuals and Univate stepped up to the plate to keep the industry afloat with cutting-edge solutions in the absence of physical events. Steenkamp: “When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we had the whole team available and thought ‘How can we create a concept to enable our clients and partners to continue organising events as close to the real event experience as possible and beyond. Immediately, we started to develop a new way of doing virtual events.”

Together with the professionals of Faber, Univate moved at a breakneck speed to provide a comprehensive service to allow clients to continue to hold events virtually in new and exciting ways through the pandemic and beyond. The company offers a wide selection of services, ranging from a preview tool that allows event organisers to view their event concept virtually from any angle and a virtual audience server to allow remote viewers to be repositioned in an augmented environment or pixel map to create a realistic live event experience for audiences.

Steenkamp: “We have a studio concept and a hybrid concept for all locations, but we have also created a virtual venue which allows clients to enter the event virtually, look around and be welcomed by a host. We developed everything quite quickly and fully invested in virtual technology. In everything we do, we try to come as close as possible to the real live experience. “We are working for four months now to enable our clients to be creative again.

"Our clients still have the need to surprise their audience and still have the wish to create something special even if it’s partly online and that’s what we’re looking for; we want to provide a real event feeling, you are not lost in a green screen studio but you are onstage, looking at the audience, interacting and creating a feeling of experience during the event. Steenkamp closes: “We like to give our clients the ability to be creative again. Some clients come up with super creative ideas that expand on the options we provide. Our concept has proven to be so successful that even Queen Màxima of the Netherlands was welcomed in our studio. Other companies are copying our designs, our workflow and our way of doing virtual events. We think outside of the box and ask our team to develop software that’s based on creative ideas.”

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