MAY 2016: STEVE KENNEDY: FROM THEATRE TO EXPERIENCE DESIGNER

Blue Flame Senior Designer, Steve Kennedy has theatre in his blood. His life and career have been shaped by his experiences in theatre and have had a profound impact on his creative approach to experiential design and how it brings brands to life for Blue Flame’s clients.

Following a brief exploration as an actor, Steve decided to pair his love for the arts and stage with a career in theatrical design. While working in the theatrical world, Steve started taking on design projects for international marketing and touring projects. Along the way, Steve saw many parallels between theatre and experiential design and found he was seamlessly able to employ the same skill sets and tactics to tell a story, whether it be for a play or a brand.

“My vision is to approach event design with the same sensibility. I filter information much the same way as I would for a stage play. A successful stage set is about interpretation, mood, style and sometimes elevating the mundane to create a memorable experience. Similarly, a successful event design engages the audience with something they have never seen but is now seeing in a completely new way”, says Steve

As Steve’s career continued to build, so did the growth of the experiential marketing industry. This timely trajectory created the perfect opportunity to combine his passions to bring experiential marketing programs to life for such clients as Kimberly Clark, Disney, DirecTV, NBA Jam Session, Whisk, and Dove.

Over 10 years ago, Steve began working with Blue Flame, collaborating to bring experiential marketing programs to life for Blue Flame’s Fortune 500 clients. “Blue Flame fosters Steve’s creativity and taps into the vast experiential knowledge that Steve brings from his time in the theatre” say Co-Founder John Millward.  Whether designing a tradeshow exhibit or live corporate and promotional event, with Steve’s unique background, Blue Flame is able to interpret a client’s wants and needs through the filter of theatrical tactics and discipline.

Steve approaches each client’s brand objectives the same way one would read a script.  In theatre, the designer starts with the script, analyzing the character’s intentions and working with the director to craft the world of the play. The experiential marketing industry utilizes the same tactics, starting with the client’s brand and objectives and designing a platform to bring the products closer to the audience.  “I want to gain insights into the nuances of the brand and the specific products, to understand the client’s audience and their expectations for brand exposure.” says Steve.

The ability to understand and tell the story of a brand is no easy feat. Blue Flame brings brands to life, much like live theatre transforms words on paper into a living, breathing story. Steve and the design team are entrusted with a huge responsibility to understand a brand and effectively represent it in the physical world. By combining years of industry experience and the knowledge of production, technology, materials and logistics, Blue Flame is able to create a physical presence for a brand and bring that brand to life for their consumers.