Fast Forwards Festival

A conference to remember

The Brief

Against the odds of a struggling retail industry, Poundland had a great year in 2019 and wanted to shout it from the rooftops at their annual conference.

Alongside the business updates from the board, a review of the fantastic financial year, embracing change and focussing the future strategy, Poundland wanted this to be a big celebration! This was to be a conference with a difference, one that recognised and rewarded the 1300-strong Store Managers and Assistant Managers for all their hard work, enthusiasm and commitment to the company.

The Festival

We worked with the Poundland team to develop a festival-themed event. Our design team produced the Fast Forwards brand ID which informed the creative throughout, setting the tone with vibrant colours and a playful style.

A good festival should be a feast for the senses; an unforgettable experience that stays with you long after you leave and can be recalled many years later with a sight, a smell or a song.

So, our production team transformed Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre (ECL) into a festival site complete with four stages (each with a bespoke set and AV design solution). The open-plan set-up meant there was frenzy of activity catch your eye and pique your interest whichever way you turned. Giant aerial installations, cool signage, chill out areas with a mixture of bean bag seating and hay bales, glitter stations, food stalls and pop up bars were all colourful attractions across the two-day event. We even installed a helter-skelter – a tempting toy in the corner of the room.


The Line Up

Kicking things off on the main stage, an impactful VT opened the festival with an energy matched by the excited audience. Our content team worked with the board to ensure that the messaging was engaging and relatable in tone, the PowerPoint design-style light-hearted, animated and playful to reflective the overall festival theme. Though the key messages were serious, the presenters kept it fun. Creative content included a video parody of Saturday Night Takeaway, their own Horror film, a campfire session plus a Carpool Karaoke rendition of their Leadership Principles. This fresh delivery of the business strategy ended with the board and Regional Managers rallying the audience to join them in a sing-along of the Poundland Anthem – bringing the house down!


The Magpie Stage, The Other Stage and The Truck Stage (a converted Poundland truck), each hosted breakout sessions showing animated content, video, and a product exhibition delivered through headsets to truly immerse delegates in the sessions. As part of the evening entertainment the breakout stages were converted into a silent disco, a mosaic wall and a chill out zone, playing out chilled festival favourites on a large LED screen.

Across the two-day event, stilt-walkers strutted, dance troupes kept the energy high with impromptu performances, buskers roamed the site and Mr. Wilson’s wowed at every opportunity.


Headline Acts

The evening kept the festival spirit alive. Trestle tables and benches were laid out for sharing platters – the chosen festival fodder. Screens played out ‘best of’ festival moments before the headline acts stepped out onto the main stage. Performances from Atomic Kitten and the awesome Classic Rock Show left the audience wanting more.

Which, we’re proud to say, was the overriding sentiment across the two days.

The Review

The Poundland delegates were some of the most engaged, animated and involved audience we have ever come across. The Fast Forwards Festival was a resounding success and we are proud to have worked with the brilliant Poundland team to achieve such fantastic results.