Ring of Stars Experiential Design & Environment
For Aramark Corporation, business is won or lost on the front lines…every day, every time and every place. Chairman, President and CEO Eric Foss puts it simply, “We’re a service company, in the people business, and it’s make or break with every customer interaction.” That’s why Foss adamantly leads the 270,000-member global team with a “Front Line First” mentality.
Venture in to an Aramark service outlet at a sporting event, university or hospital, and it’s clear that the energy has taken hold. Success is after all contagious, and the employee team takes great pride in delivering an unrivaled service experience. To keep it going, celebration and recognition are key…and the company takes extra care to acknowledge the outstanding effort. The top 200 employees are rewarded each year with a trip to the “Ring of Stars”, a superbly produced incentive trip where they are officially inducted into an elite group. (Ring of Stars feature story)
Riding the high of the 2015 Ring of Stars production, Aramark and experiential agency Executive Visions wanted to extend the spirit of the moment, giving employees, shareholders and friends a way to join in.
A vision was conceived for a permanent showcase…a “Hall of Stars” akin to a sports or music Hall of Fame. High above the streets of Philadelphia on the 31st floor of corporate headquarters stands the result. Emerge from the elevator doors and one is quickly immersed into the world of the Aramark brand. Anchoring the room… a beautifully designed and crafted structure…the Ring of Stars Experiential Environment.
In the experiential design and implementation of the project, the EVI team took every factor into account. The proportions are perfectly fitted to the overall environment, and with its curved framework and elegant materials, the structure itself draws you in. Across the room, the exhibit glows under the perfectly aimed beams of museum lighting. Highlighted across the top, five stars align, each reinforcing a key attribute of persons who have earned the coveted “Ring”. A foreground of gold stars floating on a pool of red stems outward from the base wall, extending the dimensionality and adding to the branding effect. The look and feel is reminiscent of the famed Hollywood Walk of Stars.
As you approach, the senses are struck by other design details. It becomes apparent that this isn’t a static display, but rather, a fully interactive, living and breathing one. Two large Planar monitors come into focus, the end point display of a proprietary Aramark media network. Managed remotely by EVI software engineers, the cloud-based network showcases an array of original content. A collection of cinematic short films brings the wall to life, conveying the brand story in stunning 4k digital widescreen. Profiles of each honoree are there as well, with actual footage of each recipient’s induction from the recognition event. One of the monitors features touchscreen technology, allowing visitors to choose content on demand. Over time, the media library will grow, becoming an archives of important and inspirational content.
Sound plays a major role in the exhibit’s effect. Suspended from above, and virtually invisible, a set of Secret Sound, museum-quality parabolic speakers project a focused beam of sound into the exhibit area, minimizing audio spillover into the overall environment. This unique feature delivers unequalled sound quality exactly where it is needed, while leaving other areas of the floor open for conversation and collaboration.
A marvel of technology and design, the overall impression is one of strength, passion and commitment…exactly what the team had envisioned.
The response to the project has been so positive, that EVI worked with Mr. Foss to extend the message into the area outside of his personal office and the Aramark Executive boardroom. The area is a place routinely visited by top Aramark clients. investors and important guests. New three dimensional logos fabricated of metal were installed, communicating the importance of the overall Aramark brand, the front line first theme and the Ring of Stars program. The Ring of Stars logo itself is a photographic montage of recent winners.
The Ring of Stars Experiential Design and Environment is another example of how EVI works with its clients to leverage and extend strategic messaging across a multitude of touch points.
A powerful addition to the overall Ring of Stars initiative, employees have rallied around the new centerpiece, drawing more inspiration to become the next member of the Ring.
Walking away, the exhibit has made a clear and powerful statement… the heart and soul of Aramark lives in the people on the front lines…and under the leadership of Eric Foss…that’s where it will stay.