Great Names Behind Events

From Weston-super-Mare to the King of event design and production in London
As part of its tenth anniversary celebrations, Executive Traveller chats to Richard Dodgson, Owner and Creative Director at Timebased Events Ltd, an outstanding event design and production agency based in London as we look back at some of the “Great Names Behind Events”.

When Richard Dodgson left home at the seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare to join the National Youth Theatre at age 15, little did he know that he will be “glazing” the world of events with his unique ideas and skills. With a passion for German theatre, he embraced Brecht, Büchner, Heiner Müller and contemporary German writers and directors and studied German
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and Theatre at Manchester University and found himself in Berlin in 1988 where he then spent 18 months working as a professional actor and developing the art of director’s theatre in Germany.

to Richard Dodgson, Owner and Creative Director at Timebased Events Ltd
In 1996, Richard made a commercial decision and founded Timebased Events in 1996 with the initial aim of offering creative performance ideas and shows as the centerpiece of a corporate event. The premise of Timebased is that the only limitation on the events that the company can produce is time. Each event has a beginning and an end.As a result time efficiency and time management are key to creative event delivery. Timebased quickly established itself as an idea led company delivering media worth event stories. Richard also targeted high profile companies to produce smaller events and shows.This resulted in producing the first ever GQ Men of the Year Awards in 1997 for Condé Nast Publications, an event Timebased are still very proud to be producing 17 years later! It has become one of the biggest awards ceremonies in the UK, judged on media coverage.

Over the years Timebased has grown organically and gone from strength to strength creating a vast catalogue of unique and exciting events for a wide variety of brands and organisations including Selfridges, Armani, Guess, Omega, Virgin Media, Ralph Lauren, TalkTalk, Fendi, GM Europe, Westfield, Calvin Klein, Viktor & Rolf and Créme De La Mer. The company is now considered one of the top event agencies in London and Richard is renowned in the industry for his ability to create a sense of theatre, entertainment and engagement in non-theatrical spaces.

By recognising key influential factors that are steering the events industry and resourcing a motivated and experienced team, he has ensured that Timebased has always been fully prepared and operational to take on new challenges. In the last year some of the most high profile events which Timebased designed and produced include a series of 3 consecutive events in India, the first ever Vogue Festival 2012, USA House 2012 on behalf of the United States Olympic Committee, the first ever Jamaica House 2012 in the middle of Olympic fervor at the O2, the unveiling of Figure 101 on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth and the 15th annual GQ Men of the Year Awards.
As Timbased’s portfolio continues to expand and diversify, Richard is committed to looking for new creative challenges. Consequently he is now in the process of setting up a global partner network.This will enable Timebased to increase their capacity to deliver high quality events all over the world for brands and organisations keen to engage with a global audience.

How would you like the world to see Timebased?
Timebased is a London-based corporate event management services for clients all over Europe. Central to the way we work are our core values of being sustainable, responsible, generous, commercial and inspired.
• We are an event management company which values being a close-knit team.
• We deliver corporate events we are proud of and which produce the results expected of us. We are also brave in our event creation and will use our standing in the industry to promote sustainability so as to inspire other event companies with our efforts.
• Timebased strives to build long-term relationships with all our clients. We understand that what each client desires in their event is uniqueness
• We relentlessly pursue breakthrough ideas, styles and locations to make experiences that are at the cutting edge of creative events.
• We do this because we thrive on new ideas and believe that great ideas are developed through great communication.
How did it all start?
When I created Timebased in 1996, I had a vision to create live theatrical events in non-theatrical spaces. We initially worked for other event suppliers, producing the performance elements of their events and rapidly gained a reputation for excellent event delivery. Having worked on some unique shows with top brand names across a variety of industry sectors, we were we able to showcase projects and win new clients swiftly.
Our name is a reflection of our focus on 'time'. The premise of Timebased is that the only limitation on the events that we produce is time. Each event has a beginning and an end. As a result time efficiency and time management are key to creative event delivery.
How do you ensure that every event is unique and successful?
Every event has a fundamental requirement, which is to inspire the audience. Our priority is to ensure that all our events get to the heart of our client's messages and objectives and to communicate these in an engaging way. We like to build long term relationships with clients, acquiring a detailed understanding of their ongoing event requirements and their strategy for achieving their objectives. This helps us ensure the technique we use to communicate their messages is always exciting and appropriate.
Our expertise covers the production of award ceremonies such as the GQ Men of the Year Awards and the D&AD Awards, product launches for brands including Emporio Armani and the Telegraph Media Group, brand experiences for clients including and Grazia, and exclusive parties for Victor & Rolf and Metro. The audiences at these events can range from 10 people to 1 million, so we need to ensure the project management of each event is flawless.
Whether the event is a celebrity dinner party, an international launch event, a fashion show, a street festival or a charity auction, our thorough logistical planning will always ensure every detail is considered and every event is delivered on time and on budget.
• Creative flair and acute attention to detail is evident in every event we design and produce, and with these skills we aim to galvanize the audience.
• Our corporate event planning and management services include:
• Strategic planning
• Concept & content development
• Event design, dressing & styling
• Venue sourcing
• Celebrity booking
• Artist booking and management
• Project management and logistics
• Stage management
• Show scripting
• Technical production: audio-visual, set and staging, lighting
• Risk assessment and health & safety management
• Guest list management
• Crowd and traffic management
• Security

We have a forward-thinking and creative approach to our events and working practice, making certain that all the right systems are put in place to ensure a trouble free and successful project. Enforcing an effective health and safety management policy is critical to this success and something that we take very seriously at all our events.
We are strong believers in sustainability practices and implemented a Sustainable Business Policy in 2009. This policy crosses over all our operational practices and we ask that our suppliers comply with our policy standards. Such an approach helps us provide more innovative event solutions and helps protect the global and local environment. The cost savings incurred by adopting such practices are poured back into the client's event, making budgets stretch further.

What are some of the unique events that you have developed, organized and managed to perfection?
Some of the events we have managed in the luxury sector include:
a) The series of events for Selfridges including the Emporio Armani campaign unveil when Oxford Street had to be closed whilst David Beckham unveiled the new campaign Advert - suspended from this historic building (see photo). The logistic were very challenging (especially due to the rules and regulations) as it’s a historic building) and they had to do all this without rehearsal - so it required a great deal of planning and split second timing.
b) Guess, Ralph Lauren Pony collection fragrance launch and the Viktor and Rolf Flower Bomb launch where they transformed an artists atelier studio;
c) Tag Heur 150th anniversary: Luxury watch brand Tag Heuer sent a Tesla Roadster on a zero-emission 37,000 mile journey around the world to celebrate their 150th Anniversary. Selfridges London was the penultimate stop on this global tour (The car park was transformed into a party venue with silver grey draping, giant chesterfields, etc. Stirling Moss and Rupert Penry-Jones drove the Tesla electric sports car through a paper wall to attend the party, hosted by Formula 1's Jake Humphries. TAG Heuer's signature green and red colours strobed as the car burst through the paper wall with rumbling sound effects and lasers.
d) Vauxhall Corsa launch: Spectacular helicopter reveal of the new Corsa in front of Tower Bridge. The Corsa was then flown along the Thames to be dramatically delivered to the premiere suspended from a helicopter. The aerial reveal was introduced by Grammy Award Winner Sean Paul who then performed a concert to 1000 fans, GM executives and the press.
e) Olympics (both Jamaica and US House, the contrasting venues, events and celebs) and the Omega Olympic clock unveil at Leicester Square.
f) Private events for HNWI’s including the KP Singh (Chairman of DLF Group), who invited friends from all over the globe to jet into his home in Delhi.
The three events on consecutive days were held in three separate locations around Delhi.
The first event was held at K.P. Singh's own residence in the centre of Delhi: black tie dinner for 450 VIP guests, then a Bollywood Birthday Party at DLF Golf Course to celebrate The 75th birthday of Indira Singh. Bespoke structures and marquees were designed and built on a purpose built mound the size of a football pitch to host a spectacular Bollywood themed party for 1000 guests and then there was the book launch of K.P. Singh's autobiography Whatever the Odds: where a crowd of 800 influential and international guests were greeted by Bengal Lancers as a guard of honor on horseback
• Ice & Diamonds Send-Off Ball for Walking with the Wounded.
Battersea Power Station's Boiler House was transformed into a winter wonderland .
Zara Phillips joined the team, along with David Bailey, Rob Brydon, Yasmin Le Bon and Frank Gardner for a polar dinner and charity auction, followed by surprise live performances from the legendary Duran Duran and X Factor star Olly Murs. Raising over £220,000 for British servicemen and women.
• Glamour Women of the Year Awards:
Glamour magazine appointed Timebased in 2003 to produce their first ever Glamour Women of the Year Awards. The event, which celebrates the achievements of high profile inspirational women, is now in its 10th consecutive year.

Each year Timebased design and produce the event in Mayfair's prestigious Berkeley Square Gardens. This year's guest list included appearances from supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cara Delevinge and Jordan Dunne, as well as pop sensations Rita Ora, Kylie Minogue and Jessie J, Joan Collins, Zosia Mamet of GIRLS and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, comedians Rebel Wilson, Miranda Hart and Ronnie Corbett, Team GB's Gold Medal boxer Nicola Adams and TV darling Clare Balding, fashion designers Henry Holland, Christopher Bailey and Mulberry's Emma Hill and and the winner of the 'Woman of the Decade' award Victoria Beckham.

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Executive Traveller 2003