For the 11th year, creative technical event production expert Hawthorn supported BBC Worldwide to showcase its premium programmes to international television buyers. Taking place on 19-22 February, the event saw over 700 television buyers from across the globe descend on ACC Liverpool and Echo Arena to view unmissable British content and hear from some of the world’s top creative talent.


Hawthorn was chosen to work with the in-house production team and their group of trusted suppliers to deliver the uniquely stunning evening events for the world’s biggest television sales market hosted by a single distributor.

Showcasing the very best of BBC talent and creativity, the exclusive evening events deliver world class, never seen before entertainment to an audience of the world’s top TV executives and producers. Led by the BBC Worldwide team, Hawthorn’s Group Creative Director Peter Harding helped to create a stunning production design for the events, delivering a unique and immersive audience experience.  

Briefed to celebrate all that is bold, British and creative, Night 1's brief was to bring shows including Doctor Who, Sherlock, Call the Midwife and Planet Earth II to life with awe-inspiring entertainment. Taking reference from the new BBC Worldwide logo, the evening was themed around the idea of ‘The Spark’, representing the development of an idea and the ignition of a thought. To bring this to life, Hawthorn worked with creative experience experts Black Skull Creative to produce an impactful, theatrical design for the evening, different to anything previously seen at Showcase.

Night 2's brief saw a melding of experience and elegant fine dining. Welcoming 700 dinner guests and launching the much-anticipated upcoming series Blue Planet II, the evening aimed to give clients the opportunity to relax and network in a show-stopping environment.




The team used six 2m, 2.5m and 3m Pufferspheres to recreate the new BBC Worldwide logo above the stage and audience. Kinesys was used to move the spherical projection surfaces, that feature Barco 30k projectors mounted on top, allowing Hawthorn to change the height of the impressive physical sculpture throughout the choreographed show.

Other key technical features used included:

  • Four of Hawthorn’s new d3 4x4pro media servers using VFC cards to play out all content to timecode.
  • A 30m wide x 9m high projection screen, utilising six, triple stacked Christie Boxster 4K30 projectors in a two-projector blend. This delivered a whopping 180,000 lumens and 15,552,000 pixels.
  • A lighting design by renowned Lighting Designer Russell Grubiak including twenty-eight Clay Paky K10 & K20, thirty-six Alpha Spot QWO 800, twenty Sharpy, thirty-six Mythos and thirty Viper Performance
  • A 10m diameter circle drum of LED created using ESD dazzle 3.9mm LED panels.
  • The latest d&b audio system, using a total of 88 boxes, controlled via a Dante network creating a 7.1 surround sound system in the arena. Hawthorn used the new in-house hybrid multicores to transmit digital, analogue and networking data between desks and to amplifiers.


With just fourteen hours to transform the arena floor into a spectacular underwater world for Night 2, Hawthorn used ten Christie Boxster 4K30 projectors to display cleverly choreographed Blue Planet II themed projections onto five sides of a 19.5m wide hexagonal dining space.

A 180-piece choir completed the experience, accompanying a Hans Zimmer composition whilst footage from the new series played out on the 100m wide x 6.5m high projection surface, ensuring guests were truly immersed in the stunning content.


“The team at Hawthorn delivered a truly brilliant production for the Showcase evening events once again this year. We have a long-standing relationship with Hawthorn but this year was extraordinary for the way in which the ambition for both nights was realised, thanks to our incredible suppliers.

"We always assume that everything is possible with them as partners and Showcase 2017 was no exception.”

Jo Morris, Senior Events Producer for BBC Worldwide