Interplan International Corp - 2017 Taipei Universiade Opening Ceremony
Name of Organization / Company: Interplan International Corp., Taipei, Taiwan
Category: G01 - G07 - Award for Innovation in Events > G05. Award for Innovation in Government Events
Entry Title: 2017 Taipei Universiade Opening Ceremony
The 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade, attracting 7,639 athletes from 131 countries in 22 disciplines, was the biggest multisport event to ever take place in Taiwan. The US$12million budget, given event’s magnitude was tight.
To erase event’s skepticism among the Taiwanese population, the goal was to create an exciting opening shot which would silence skeptics, win the hearts of the population and excite the athletes.
• 98% of the concept development, direction and production team was local, Taiwanese talent. Not only to have local taste in the content, but so their knowledge developed during the event would remain in Taiwan thereafter. Other competitors were to import an experienced international team leaving no legacy behind. A key argument in our bid; The team came from the dance, technology art, drama, video art and pop music industries. Despite being inexperienced with an event of this magnitude, they worked tirelessly together for this higher goal.
• “For you. For youth.” as slogan of Universiade echoed the mission of the games to provide a platform for “Today’s Stars. Tomorrow’s Leaders”. A youth’s perspective to gaze back at the past, ponder the present, and look into the future made the 3-act storyline. Vibrant Island depicted the creation of Taiwan Island and its rich multiculturalism appealing to tradition, Hybrid Taipei highlighted the urban charm of speed and coolness enthusing the host city, Global Tribe with lightning-speed and interactive connections showcased Taiwan’s hi-tech, music and cultural contributions to world connectivity. With this multiple-story approach we appealed to a broader audience.
• Highlighting Taiwan’s well-known ITC industry, we utilized the largest LED floor display for stadium shows ever (40m*30m=1,200sqm with a resolution of P4.8 pixel) as a stage, fully integrating the digital content from a dozen Taiwan studios with the live performances in a seamless way.
• Search and recruitment of the right local talent for all director positions was difficult. There’s no lack of Taiwanese talent for all areas needed, however finding the right mix of talent and personalities was challenging.
• Planning went through multiple stages, sometimes all happening at once: concept development, consensus-building, breakdown into programs, defining highlights, individually-choreographing, rehearsing hundreds of times, brought together in only a few final dress rehearsals.
• Extremely short dismantling time constrained by the venue’s need to be set up for its use for track-and-field competitions 36 hours after the end, demanded thinking through the engineering very carefully.
• The stage and grass-covering needed to be dismantled every 5 days to keep stadium grass alive. Aside from reducing valuable rehearsal time, it doubled budgeted installation/dismantling costs!
• Cauldron lighting by star baseball-player Chen Chin-Feng, 1st Taiwanese player in the MLB. He hit a home-run fireball on a line rocket, guiding it into the cauldron. The stadium roared!
• Over 2,000 volunteers built-up moving stages, carried banners, danced, etc. rehearsing in Taipei summer’s sweltering heat to exhaustion, but never gave up!
• 55,000 specially-created aborigine pattern give-away bags, filled with goodies, placed on every stadium seat, given to every participating athlete.
• Mayor’s approval rating soared: 63% before, to 80% after the Opening. The highest-to-date in his term!
• “Universiade” was 2017’s highest keyword in Taiwanese Google searches.
• Change of heart in Taiwanese people who embraced the Universiade as shown by:
o Lackluster closing ceremony tickets before the Opening, sold out the day after!
o Competition ticket sales were the highest ever for a Universiade: 87%. (e.g. vs. 52% in Korea 2015).
• “As the games approached, Taipei’s population remained skeptical. The Opening Ceremony changed everything: conveying a powerful message to the world with a perfectly orchestrated performance, silencing all critics. Interplan, you really made a difference.” congratulated Ko Wen-je, Taipei City Mayor.
Chung Yung-Feng, Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government
Michael Tu, Chief Executive Producer
Chen Chin-Cheng, Chief Consultant
Wang Yunyu, Chief Production Director