CogX is the UK’s largest technology festival and the largest AI festival outside of China. The team wanted to build on the success of their previous two events, while expanding the size and capacity of the technology festival to attract the nationwide recognition it deserves.
Marble were tasked with designing and producing the entire festival, selecting the appropriate areas within Kings Cross to cater for 20,000 attendees (+400% increase on 2018) over three days, and big enough to host 687 speakers (+129% increase on 2018) across multiple stages (temporary or permanent). In addition, reflecting the Global Goals (UN SDGS) throughout the festival was a core part of the brief, and the main focal point for CogX partner Project Everyone.
“I love working with the Marble team, every single one of them has that attitude we need to deal with both the stress and the joy that comes with an event of this size. Together we’ve brought the vision of the festival I’ve had in my head to life. And it’s been amazing, so thank you.”
Tabitha Goldstaub, Co-Founder, CognitionX
CogX kicked off it’s third year at London’s Technology Week in June 2019 at a 67-acre area in Kings Cross (incorporating Coal Drops Yard, Granary Square, Gasholders and more), with over 20,000 attendees and 687 speakers across 12 purpose built stages.
Opened by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the speaker line-up featured international Government Secretaries of State, Ministers and business leaders from HSBC, Accenture, IBM, Alibaba, Google, Unilever, QuantumBlack and more. We partnered with screenwriter Richard Curtis and his company Project Everyone, which seeks to put the power of communications behind the UN Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the Global Goals).
The whole event was all designed by Marble, the only element not designed by us was the event content. This included the purpose built stages, interior design and all site-wide branding (directional, informational, site maps and bespoke branding for both CogX and the sponsors). The asset design comprised of a 120 page festival brochure, lanyards, t-shirts, water bottles and online assets. The technical design for the whole festival included all lighting and sound. Sponsor design included full production for: Google X, Accenture, AIG, 2030Vision, HSBC and QuantumBlack.
The main stage (the Impact Stage) hosted 750 guests over two floors, the Ethics Stage was a bespoke stretch tent structure with a tiered stage, built for purpose and rigged by Marble inside a Victorian gas holder by the canal, seating 500 guests. We took over the new Kings Cross tube tunnel that enters Granary Square and transformed the area with light effects, after poor weather conditions forced us to close the open air canal stage. Three stages were housed in the Tile Yard, a disused tile and meat packing warehouse, we worked with the owner to totally renovate the area in an eight week turnaround. They were built to bring sustainable materials to the forefront while engaging and enticing the audience to explore each new stage.
This was the first time anything like this had been held in central London and the administrative and security pressures was massive. We were also tasked with making sure that the surrounding restaurants and retail outlets were happy with the design and traffic plans.
We worked with 43 suppliers across a wide range of disciplines. Due to the venue restrictions on building and noise, this meant that we had a procession build and delivery had very little space for error. During the event itself, we had 235 staff onsite directly working under Marble’s control, including a production and project management team, technical team, ushers and volunteers.
By far our largest and most challenging project, which in turn made it an incredibly rewarding one! Just take a look at how well it was received:
CogX 2019 highlights
- London’s largest festival of AI & Emerging Technologies
- 67-acre site at Kings Cross
- 20,000 attendees from 98 countries
- 687 speakers
- 12 stages
- 3,400 app powered meetings
- 200 hours of great content
- 1,608 ice-creams consumed at the Global Goals ice cream van
- Media coverage – 600M+ reach to date, 50+ pieces of media coverage
- Social coverage – 7.4M+ reach, 33,400 interactions
“All our sponsors are happy, attendees are having a great time, amazing feedback, so all around we’re really really pleased.”
“They have been absolutely brilliant, they are a lovely bunch. Even when things got a little bit complicated and there was a lot of people talking to them at once, they still managed to keep everything together, deliver and ask us some challenging questions too about what we were doing. They’ve been amazing, Georgie and the team are fantastic.”
“Marble LDN have really been incredible at helping from the initial ideas that I had. I approached them with fairly clear ideas they definitely added to it and made it better. They transformed those thoughts and ideas that are in your head into reality, in a timeframe that I didn’t think would be possible.”
“We couldn’t have done this event without Marble, that’s the bottom line. We really lent on their expertise throughout. Everyone that we’ve worked with has just been extraordinary and gone the extra mile.”