Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Case Study

Introduction

Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards is an annual televised awards show produced by Nickelodeon, a kids brand part of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA). The KCA show features musical and entertainment performances, as well as bucketloads of Nickelodeon’s trademark green slime, while, at the same time, giving young fans the power to vote for their favourite artists and talent across a wide range of categories.

VIMN has signed an agreement with the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) to bring the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and The World of Nickelodeon to the capital city of the United Arab Emirates for the next 5 years. 

The first-ever UAE version of the globally renowned kids event took place in Abu Dhabi the 20th of September and the show will be on air across multiple countries globally. 

Speaking about the agreement, Antonio De La Rosa – Vice President Events and Location Based Entertainment for Viacom International Media Network Southern & Western Europe, Middle East and Africa said “Abu Dhabi is a key city for the Middle East, it’s a city that is growing a lot in terms of entertainment events and we thought it was important to be part of their growth, especially with the Kids’ Choice Awards Abu Dhabi and World of Nickelodeon into the Family Week Abu Dhabi.

The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi is a key partner for us, and we’re happy to have the possibility to sign a 5 years agreement with them. 

This region in general is important for Viacom and we wanted to deepen our strategy even further by bringing live tent pole events here that give our fans the opportunity to experience our brands and properties in real life.”

In addition to the KCA, Nickelodeon organized into the city the World of Nickelodeon, which took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from September 19th to 21st, 3 days full of fun activities, exciting games and amazing prizes.

Objective and Challenges

The awards ceremony, a ticketed event for a live audience of just over 4,000 was filmed for broadcast over Nickelodeon networks worldwide. 

A large scale production, the awards required an outside broadcast area, extensive back of house build, as well as a fully functioning space for rehearsals ready for use a full two days before the ceremony itself. The key challenge was to deliver all this within the busiest month of the year for ADNEC, the build also ran back-to-back with a full venue event. This presented quite the logistical test, particularly as the project was only confirmed three months before the show, with the first site visit in early June and the show on 20th September.

Solution 

Nickelodeon required a 5-day build for the 922sqm back of house tent alone, this housed artists lounges, hair and make-up, wardrobe and catering areas. A 3-day build was also required for the extensive production in the ICC, front-of-house.

In order to alleviate the pressure of a very tight turnaround time, the ADNEC and ADNEC Services teams partnered with the organiser to come up with creative solutions to ensure that the spaces would be ready on time. 

ADNEC allocated additional resource to the previous tenant to speed up their load out process, allowing Nickelodeon access at 3pm as opposed to midnight, freeing up 9 valuable hours of build time.

The ADNEC team also allocated the adjoining space, Hall 11 to be used as a loading bay and preparation area where certain items of staging could be assembled and then easily moved into the ICC once that space was empty.

ADNEC Services, the venue’s in-house events services company were also involved in the meticulous planning stages and ensured the ICC was pre-rigged for Nickelodeon when they were rigging for the previous event.

Beyond operational assistance, ADNEC’s marketing team also supported the event with a comprehensive free-of-charge marketing and promotion package, which promoted ticket sales for both events across their marketing and social media channels as well as on ADNEC’s onsite and external digital screens.

In house caterer Capital Hospitality provided catering for the VIP, media and crew areas as well as food trucks for members of the public.

Richard Godfrey, Executive producer of the show observed how ADNEC’s campus style setup made it very easy for the show organiser, “With crew staying at the Aloft and talent at the Andaz Capital Gate we never even had to leave the area and it was much easier than being spread out over the city.”

Results

The build was completed in time and the show went without a hitch.

Hosted by R&B star, Jason Derulo and YouTube sensation Haifa Beseisso, tickets for the awards night sold out very quickly and generated an enormous buzz both in regional and international press and positive sentiment across popular social networks as well as across the whole region.

De la Rosa also commented on the ADNEC team saying “It was great to work with ADNEC team and the venue has all the facilities we needed to develop such a Global Show. The team is very professional, very flexible and supportive on finding solutions when it was necessary.” 

He went on to say “The venue is great, it’s a new building well equipped for hosting big events. The show went very well, and definitively the venue had an important contribution to this success.”

Khalifa Al Qubaisi, ADNEC Chief Commercial Officer said “Hosting the first ever Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice awards Abu Dhabi was a huge honour for the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and a fantastic opportunity to showcase our facilities on a global stage. I’m proud of the whole team for pulling out all the stops to deliver such a successful event. The venue has had an exceptional year so far with a number of high profile international events and we look forward to an even more successful 2020.”