Three years of pandemic, a war, and an event partner’s death won’t stop this conference from showing the entertainment world what it’s got! Taking place in Berlin from June 8-9, 2023, the 6th edition of the “Show Your Show” Creative Forum is a celebration of everywhere that stagecraft and technology intersect—and will pave the way for innovations still to follow.
From its beginnings in Kyiv in 2015, “Show Your Show” (SYS) has become a nexus point between two worlds that, to some of us, may initially seem to be at odds. Both a forum for and a showcase of the latest and most cutting-edge entertainment technologies and innovations, the SYS Creative Forum calls together the arts and sciences—the geniuses who helm great productions and the tech whizzes who equip them to bring bold visions to life onstage—in order to find answers for the pressing issues of our time and industry. In connecting professionals such as engineers, designers, and specialists from all folds of the entertainment sphere, the SYS event offers its attendees a hub in which to connect and learn from each other, identify the common problems that they face, and work collaboratively towards hands-on solutions.
SYS is in some ways the brainchild of many partners, the chiefest among them being the German-based event producer Artyom Badalyan, founder of Art of Artistic GmbH. Through more than 25 years working in the entertainment sector, Artyom and his company have spearheaded unique tours and theatrical productions across Europe and the globe and become frequent collaborators of industry bigwigs like Cirque du Soleil, Dragone, and Disneyland Paris. All this experience has given the producer a keen eye for spotting global trends and shifts happening within the industry. On what inspired the SYS event, Artyom says, “I spent a lot of time visiting different technology fairs, travelling around the world and observing various shows, festivals and events, and studying consumer interest—studying people’s attitudes toward television, YouTube, social media, and much more. From this, I came to the conclusion that the worlds of technology and creativity live and develop in tandem with one another. Thus I decided to create a platform where everyone in our industry could meet […] and establish a dialogue between business, creative, and technical specialists.”
With this goal in mind, Artyom and Art of Artistic would in 2015 lead their team and partners to hold a pilot version of the SYS event. Back then it was a nameless project, consisting of several days split between presentations from companies and creatives, musical and circus performances held throughout Kyiv, and a day-long “creative hackathon,” where attendees split up into mixed groups of organizers and creative and tech experts in order to design two-minute shows that tapped into the visual possibilities of different stages and equipment. “Not only did we start introducing the creative world to the world of technology, but within the brainstorming session, many participants were able to collaborate and create new content,” Artyom reflects.
The success of this first edition has led to the event’s expansion in years since into a full creative forum packed with workshops, conferences, training and casting sessions, discussions, and a full artistic showcase. The event took on the name “Show Your Show” in 2017. Soon SYS could boast a roster of official supporters like Cirque du Soleil, Europa Park, and even Franco Dragone himself, who attended the fifth edition in 2019 and subsequently offered Artyom his business, partnership, and help in planning the next edition. Two years of global quarantine halted their event plans in progress, however. And Franco’s tragic passing in 2022 left Artyom mourning the loss, and SYS itself on shaky conceptual and financial grounding for the sixth edition.
Nonetheless, after a three-year pause, the Show Your Show Creative Forum will return to life this June as a launching pad for both industry-wide problem-solving and even more expansive events in the years to come. This sixth edition of SYS promises to be more relevant than ever. The theme for 2023: “Rethink the Show,” which aims to tackle the current state of the live entertainment industry in a rapidly evolving world by making sense of the new trends that have emerged from the pandemic and how they can be worked into a vision of the sector’s future. Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the SYS event has found a new home as of this edition onward in Berlin, Germany, as well as a new partner: Showtech, the international theatre and event technology trade fair that boasts the title of Europe’s largest stage technology exhibition, held semi-annually. “Collaborating with them will only strengthen our development,” says Artyom. “Together, we want to… look for new solutions within the interactions between creativity and technology.” (P.S. In the three days before the conference itself begins, SYS will also be a key presence at this year’s Showtech exhibition!)
Those who attend the Show Your Show Creative Forum from June 8 to 9 can be part of finding the answers. As Artyom describes, forum participants will be connected with “а circle of experts from various sectors of the live entertainment industry… and discuss a number of important topics, see and hear different cases, figure out problem areas and then together, in a roundtable format, find a solution.” Want to really “show your show” off to the stars? On both days, participants with services and products of their own to share can take advantage of the event’s B2B format by presenting these solutions during the official conference.
Alongside these activities, Art of Artistic GmbH and SYS event partners have also planned out a full roster of expert-led discussions, networking opportunities, and chances for guests to explore some of Berlin’s many artistic offerings. Keynote speakers such as Matthew Jessner of the Dragone Creative Collective, Cirque du Soleil Senior Casting Director Pavel Kotov, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival Society Vice-Chairman Anthony Alderson will also make appearances to inspire guests and offer up some solutions of their own. Best of all—all the concerns raised and new ideas wrought at this year’s Creative Forum will form the story and conceptual backbone for even bigger and better SYS events in 2024 and 2025.
To play your part in building the future of live entertainment, visit https://showyourshow.com/takepart/ for tickets and registration. To learn more about Show Your Show 2023, see the event’s CircusTalk page or visit its official website at https://showyourshow.com/. You can also check out SYS at the Showtech exhibition from June 5 to 7, happening at STATION Berlin; for more information, go to https://showtech.me/en/.
All images in this article belonging to and shared by Artyom Baladyan and Art of Artistic GmbH. Main image shows presentations at SYS 2018 (left) and 2019 (right)....
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