By Jenny Berg Posted January 25, 2011, 3:25 PM EST
The Sundance Channel has, naturally, always had a presence on the Sundance Film Festival grounds in Park City, Utah. But the company has traditionally stayed behind the scenes, generating content. This year it aimed for a different kind of experience. Dubbed Sundance Channel HQ, the new activation—which opened on Thursday and and will be up and running through Sunday—is intended to engage consumers and recognize sponsors, as well as to provide a working production space.
“The Sundance Channel HQ represents the first-ever consumer experience for the network at the Film Festival and its biggest on-site presence ever,” said Shari Weisenberg, the channel's senior vice president of marketing. “We see it as an opportunity to connect with our audience in a unique and meaningful way.”
Weisenberg tapped the Los Angeles-based Precision Event Group to handle production and design. Occupying three floors of a vacant Park City office building, the activation required an eight-week load-in and “was quite the undertaking,” said Precision event producer Jason Wanderer. “The Sundance Channel wanted this to be a very good reflection of their brand. If they were going to do this, they were going to do it right.”
More than 100 Sundance Channel staffers set up camp in the building's basement area, which will serve as a working production studio throughout the festival's duration. On the ground floor, a cafe area integrates sponsors. Chase Sapphire presents complimentary sandwiches at lunchtime, for example, while Stella Artois doles out goods for the nightly happy hours. In the social media lounge, 12 HP computer stations allow visiting bloggers to generate content throughout the day.
On the second floor, five separate rooms promote the new Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. “The hotel actually shipped us some of the wallpaper it uses in its rooms,” Wanderer said, “so we used that in [the activation].” The areas include a bar, a milk-and-cookie lounge, and a room where guests can get their boots shined, “which is very apropos for walking around Sundance,” Wanderer said.