United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP26
31st October – 13th November (plus Pre-Sessionals, 25th – 30th October)
Engaging with the world whilst showcasing Glasgow on the global stage, COP26 brought together delegates for one shared goal, to tackle climate change, in the most well-attended COP in history, and the largest international summit to ever take place in the UK, broadcast on the world stage, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After 13 days of intense negotiations, COP26 concluded with every Party at COP26 – representing almost 200 countries – agreeing the Glasgow Climate Pact.
To ensure success, COP26 would need to engage with audiences in person and with participants across the world and across time zones, to build a sense of unity and amplify key themes; and every element of event design and delivery would need to support the coming together of this disparate audience of in-person attendees, virtual attendees, and people watching at home.
Identity’s role as sole production partner was to underpin the event with responsibility for creating a unified, inclusive and sustainable design and for flawless delivery on an unprecedented scale.
Identity took ownership of all infrastructure, facilities, overlay, production services and host broadcast/media services and virtual conference offering, working closely with FCDO, Cabinet Office and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to ensure the smooth delivery of this extremely important event.
With just under eight months to deliver, Identity convened a hand-picked and highly skilled team of event experts to plan and produce this event; our team comprising over 4000 event experts and experienced event delivery crew, plus 1000 volunteers.
The scope of our brief encompassed the design of every space at COP, and a key consideration was putting Glasgow on the map, for which we developed a treatment that would work expansively and tie COP26 into the city with a tonal range of events, vibrant and engaging where they needed to be, others calm and reflective, all cohesive and inclusive.
COP26 was vast, taking place across two separate zones, one for delegations, and one for public attendees, comprising the entire SEC campus in Glasgow and a public ticketed zone across the river Clyde at the Glasgow Science Centre. The footprint covered more than two square kilometres and saw the installation of 78,000 square metres of temporary structures – in effect designing and building a town within a town – to support over 30 meeting rooms, lounges, bilateral rooms, secure delegation offices, pavilions, a media centre and press conference rooms, stand uppers and broadcast platforms. All underpinned by exemplary project management, stakeholder engagement, supply chain resilience, and sound budget management for the public purse.
Identity’s delivery of COP26 was a showcase in best practice in sustainability with innovative event solutions to deliver a carbon-neutral conference, demonstrated under significant media scrutiny.
We considered sustainability comprehensively, managing all operations, including those of hundreds of contributors, to secure ISO 20121 sustainable event accreditation for COP26.
We built social value into sustainability considerations, incorporating the local supply chain into event solutions, for a lasting legacy of social and economic value for the region.
The successful delivery of this important event enhanced Glasgow’s reputation as a progressive, global city, inspiring attendees to tackle climate change and protect the planet for future generations, together galvanised and united in Glasgow, a major contender for the title of Europe’s greenest city.
“I would like to take this opportunity to profoundly thank you for your excellent cooperation and enormous support during the preparation and throughout the conference. This conference has been particularly challenging in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. We would like to extend to you our appreciation for the support of the Identity team and their extraordinary efficiency, flexibility and friendly manner.” – Laura López, Director Conference Affairs Services, UN
“The sheer scale and complexity of COP26 should not be underestimated – Identity took on this challenge with enthusiasm and commitment.
Demonstrating utmost professionalism; incredible patience and flexibility as the challenges of COVID evolved and engaging positively and constructively with a complex network of stakeholders, Identity played an invaluable role in the safe, sustainable and successful delivery of COP26 – the largest international summit the UK has ever hosted.
We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the quality of the production incl. the numerous temporary structures; the creative look and feel and the innovative development of the first COP digital platform enhancing participant experience and providing contingency.
The Identity team has set a high bar for future host countries.” – UK Government COP26 Event Team (United Nations Climate Change Conference)