Hundreds of television buyers from across the globe headed to Liverpool for BBC Studios Showcase 2020, the world’s largest international television market hosted by a single distributor. Taking place on 9 - 11 February, the event brought together producers, talent and BBC executives as well as Britain’s most successful creatives.
For the 14th year running, we supported BBC Studios to showcase its premium programmes, delivering two hotly-anticipated evening events.

Putting premium British content right at the centre of the global stage, the exclusive evening events featured content from programmes such as Doctor Who, A Perfect Planet and The Watch.


Night One kicked off with a stylish drinks reception celebrating Doctor Who. We worked with Acorn Event Structures and Steeldeck to construct a curve-fronted 1000sqm 5-metre-high platform over a section of the arena’s tiered seating and floor. Guests entered the event via the platform and were transported into the futuristic space themed to replicate the interior of the latest reincarnation of the Tardis. The Doctor herself Jodie Whittaker even made an appearance, with the TARDIS materialising in the centre of the bar area thanks to a hydraulic stage lift.

Guests then moved downstairs into an immersive dining space themed on The Watch. The arena floor was completely transformed to create districts from the city of Ankh-Morpork. An abundance of theming & 15 shipping containers created the industrial atmosphere. When dinner for all 1100 guests was wrapped up, guests partied the night away to legendary DJ Mark Ronson. Three large ROE CB3 LED screens were installed around the space to display fictional adverts as well as displaying footage from the TV show and Ronson’s vibrant custom graphics.


Celebrating BBC Studios natural history programme A Perfect Planet, dinner took place on the platform structure with a whopping 30m wide x 7.2m high LED screen immersing guests in the spectacular BBC content. A stunning 4 metre-diameter sphere made of leaves created from recycled window sticker offcuts provided an incredible focal point in the centre of the space.

Taking inspiration from the key themes in the programme – oceans, sunlight, volcanoes and  weather – the team deployed a series of effects to bring the footage to life which included rear-projected rainfall, red smoke mine pyrotechnics and 15m-high flames.

An impactful lighting design perfectly complemented the on-screen content, with striking beams and dynamic effects delivering the wow-factor. For sound, we installed the latest d&b audio system, providing even coverage around the space, ensuring that each guest received the same excellent audio experience regardless of their position in the room.


“This year’s event has once again raised the bar for the Showcase experience. The team at Hawthorn are absolute professionals who are incredibly passionate about what they do. Their skills and expert knowledge ensure that every year we’re able to pull off wonderful technical treats in a live environment.”

Sally Brookes
Head of Global Events at BBC Worldwide