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BIO

StevenMARTIN

Brasschaat, 10-07-1971

 

Artistic director, show producer, event specialist and all-round creative motivational source of energy

Steven was born in 1971 in Brasschaat close to Antwerp.  Child of soon to divorce parents, he had a difficult child­­hood growing up in close to poverty situations.  Thanks to the hard work and never lasting optimism of his mother, he grew up with a positive and realistic mind state and he got chances to make his start in life better than would be expected from his background.

 

Already at the age of 11, Steven started ‘building’ ghost attractions in the hallway of the house he and his mother lived in… even using lamps and tape-recorded effects to create the ‘ideal’ illusion.  Soon after he started organizing parties for local youth organisations.  At the age of 16 he was an experienced deejay and he continued this activity till his early twenties.

After high school studies of Science and Biotechnology that he successfully ended, a friend in a tram on his way told him about Communication Management as a ‘job’.  Enthusiasm for this world came quickly and Steven entered at the PHICOM (currently Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerp).  During the 4 years he was on Plantijn, he worked 60 hours a week on communication projects, having only 32 hours of classes.  Remaining hours were voluntarily invested in photography studies, graphic design (with 3 years as editor/graphic designer of the School Newspaper), video recording and editing (for several events) and sound editing (creation of jingles).

Step by step he had already entered the universe of event production, although he was not aware at that point that this was a real job.

His final paper and the connected ‘live production’ were called “DREAM: The Festival of the Young Artist”, a benefit social event for the Make-a-Wish Foundation Belgium.  During a one weekend event Steven together with 7 fellow students invented, created, produced and organized an event allowing a large audience to discover different art forms, new hobbies, new talents.  All partners were voluntary and an appearance in “The Dream Factory” a popular TV show at the time even helped them get some famous Belgian artists.

As he got his degree of Communication Management in 1995 at the age of 23, Steven started quite soon working for De Kie Communication, an Antwerp based advertising agency.  After 6 months he got the opportunity in absence of the agency’s event manager to produce the 10th anniversary event of FilmNet (pay TV) and the launch of a new thematic TV station SuperSport.  No less than 700 press, sport and TV prominent guests were at this event, with a complete show, themed buffets, very special invitation, fashion show… all presented by Geert Hoste, at the time a starting comedian, nowadays very well known and successful.

This event leaving a very pleased customer opened soon the doors for Steven to relaunch the event department at the agency.  DE KIE Events revived and started working for the agency’s main accounts like Microsoft, Apple, Neckermann Postorders, Panasonic…

But the main project of DE KIE Events was already since years before, the Belgian promotional roadshow at the Belgian coast for DE LIJN, the local public transport provider.  With the baseline “Zonder Zorgen, Zicht op Zee” which roughly would translate to “No Worries, Just enjoy the Sea View”, a 42 day road show visited all Belgian coast cities, each time for a 3 day entertainment program.  No less than 8 partners joined each year to bring fun animations and live performances to the Belgian coast tourists, always promoting public transportation and the partners.  Fun games were invented and were played with the audience, nice gadgets were distributed and samplings/tastings were managed.

During this roadshow Steven met in his promo team, the mother of his eldest daughter Enid Martin.

The year after a lot changed and the advertising agency seemed to consider the successful events department as ‘Spielerei’ more than a serious communication specialty.  This frustration made Steven look for another employer that was completely focussed on events and events only.  Expecting to first enter a small Antwerp event agency, then growing up to a bigger one, after that moving to a smaller Brussels agency and once again growing towards his final professional goal: ANY PERFORMANCE.  Any Performance was at the time the most professional and largest Belgian event agency, that really proved their baseline “the know how to show” on an everyday bases.

Against all expectations, and in the beginning even hard to believe, the first to respond to Steven’s quest for a new agency, was Any Performance.  After 3 meetings with the managers they felt the connection and Steven joined the team.  It soon would turn out that it were exactly all the non-class hours that he spent at school that got him the job.  Any Performance being a top agency, they were quite ‘weak’ on a technical point of view, with only the partners having this experience.  This edge got Steven the possibilities and opportunity to grow very quickly in the agency and after less than 2 years he was a Group Manager with a team of 4 event officers.  He was 27 at the time and worked all over Europe.

The main partner of Any Performance, ACCOR, decided to refocus the strategy of the agency towards incentives, which resulted in the sub top in the agency leaving all within a 3 month period.  Also for Steven it meant that he would need to refocus his professional future, as he never expected to leave the agency he appreciated so much.  Would this decision not have fallen he most likely would still work there.

Steven started with a colleague from Any Performance the event agency The EVENTERPRISE which got an amazing start ending up in the Belgian top 5 within the first year of existence!  The agency opened a second office in Antwerp, called EVENTERPRISE Vlaanderen and doubled its business results and client database within the next year.  Major international and national accounts found their way to The EVENTERPRISE Group.

The EVENTERPRISE Group was based upon a vision of Event Puzzle Management which is very common nowadays, but which was quite revolutionary at the time.  They had a small but very experience team in-house and always added freelance top experts in the required profiles and fields of activity.  A term and vision Steven launched for the agency and which today is taught in many event production courses.

It was in this period that he decided to focus his attention to the creation of live experiences and show production.  The years of event production made him master the logistic side of the job, it was time to start finding his added value elsewhere.  His passion for show, theatre and the creation of emotional moments made him choose for the artistic side of the event world.

However… like they say all good stories come to an end, and in 2002, Steven had to leave the company after discovering a lot of irregularities he did not agree with.  A hard period, but it also made him meet his ex-wife and mother of his youngest daughter.

His first supplier/partner from his DE KIE Events period, TWINS I Event Producers, picked him up with a mutual benefit proposal, as the owners of the company were very busy producing the musical “Tintin and the Temple of the Sun”, they asked him to take the management of their event agency.  Almost 2 years at TWINS followed until unfortunately and unjustly, the production company TABAS&CO of the musical went bankrupt, due to a bad and unreliable partner in France.  This meant that the small TWINS team suddenly had 2 extra managers, so Steven decided to leave his manager chair to its rightful owners.  In this period the business result of TWINS practically doubled and the team was well trained.  One of his team members took over after he left and is now a leading figure in Belgian event business.

Steven decided to continue in freelance work and started producing creative and show events for different Belgian event agencies, using the name IMAGINEERING.

An important partnership with a Tollegem based event agency A First Impression started, for whom he also re-created the corporate mission statement and philosophy, the term RED which stands for RATIONAL EVENT DEVELOPMENT got created.  It already was the corporate colour for the agency but now also got an important meaning.  This term and the idea behind it, is currently used in Belgian (and even some Dutch) event production courses and HOGESCHOLEN.

During one of these events, the Belgian dealer launch event of the Peugeot 207 with the theme “Intense”, he got an offer he could not refuse.  D-Side Group, a large integrated services agency offered him after the great job done for the Peugeot event, the opportunity to start D-Side Show.  Some major international show events were produced in Athens, Hannover, Marbella, Ancenis…

End 2004 as the economic crisis started to claim its first victims, D-Side Group decided as a precautionary measure not to further invest in D-Side Show at this time.  Steven’s department as well as a lot of other creative services were closed down and Steven turned back to the freelance market this time with the label ArchitectofEMOTION, which is up to today his leading activity.

With AoE Steven came in contact with a lot of new communication agencies, event agencies and event creative producers like TV and theatre.  His focus was over 80% on and around the stage and creative experience concepts.  His knowledge of sound and light, theatre technology and the world of dance, his graphic skills and through self study developed 3d designing skills gave him the possibility to offer one stop shopping solutions for event production companies on one side and to present full concept shows for the artistic world.  Finally after all those years two worlds seemed to merge for him allowing him to fully use his experience and skills to assist thos looking for emotional experiences in their events and communication.

D-Side Show.  Some major international show events were produced in Athens, Hannover, Marbella, Ancenis…  End 2004 as the economic crisis started to claim its first victims, D-Side Group decided as a precautionary measure not to further invest in D-Side Show at this time.  Steven’s department as well as a lot of other creative services were closed down and Steven turned back to the freelance market this time with the label ArchitectofEMOTION, which is up to today his leading activity.

With AoE Steven came in contact with a lot of new communication agencies, event agencies and event creative producers like TV and theatre.  His focus was over 80% on and around the stage and creative experience concepts.  His knowledge of sound and light, theatre technology and the world of dance, his graphic skills and through self study developed 3d designing skills gave him the possibility to offer one stop shopping solutions for event production companies on one side and to present full concept shows for the artistic world.  Finally after all those years two worlds seemed to merge for him allowing him to fully use his experience and skills to assist thos looking for emotional experiences in their events and communication.

ArchitectofEMOTION is a name chosen very specifically as an architect is no artist, even if he is very, even extremely artistic, he will still respect the laws of physics of the planet.  These can not be tampered with as they are the foundations of every movement and energy on this planet.  On the other side they use these laws in the most ‘bent’ creative ways to develop new and surprising possibilities.  What Steven does is identical, but with emotion, one of the most powerful energies for man, differentiating him from the animal kingdom.  There are rules (theatre) that theoretically explain how theatre, emotion… a live experience works.  You need an architect of these theories to bend the possibilities to the maximum.

In this period he worked for different agencies producing very large and also very small events, but always with one main focus: the experience (wither it is in a conference, a dinner show or any other type of event)!

Today, at the age of 45, Steven is pitching a lot on the international market (Singapore, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman United Arab Emirates…), battling against major worldwide players, which obviously is not an easy task.  But positive thinking makes any dream possible! A first series of local references are a fact!

He also represents the Belgian Michael Jackson impersonator Christ’OF and his new live band LEGACY for the French and international European markets in partnership with MOVE 4 Events.

The collaboration with MOVE for Events started in 1996 and never ended since.  The personal friendship and professional experience with Patrick De Coninck allows Steven to use MOVE and the in-house dance squad The GROOVIES as a creative lab, creating a couple of new show concepts annually, like “The Image catchers”, ‘i Nathalie”, “Pro-Jec-Tion”, “Groovy Lights” and several others.

The new LED light dancers squad GROOVY LIGHTS of MOVE and Patrick De Coninck was also creatively co-produced by Steven Martin.

Steven also is the international road manager / sales contact for LEGACY featuring Christ’OF, the by Sony Music entitled n°1 Michael Jackson impersonator in Europe.  Also winner of VTM’s My Name is Michael.  This 18 people (live band with dancers and Christ’OF) project allows audiences all over Europe to relive the MJ live experience.

His dance team consists of top notch professionals winning a major prizes in both national and international dance competitions as well as in the famous TV show concepts like SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and THE ULTIMATE DANCE BATTLE.  He is considered to be an expert on both dance and circus performers worldwide.

In 2014 he was the Artistic Director for the opening and closing cermonies of the 2014 SPECIAL OLYMPICS European Summer Games Antwerp.  After 100 years the official Olympic Flame came back to Belgium with OLYMPIC INTERNATTIONAL COMMITTEE approved Games.  It was a job with a 2 year preproduction period that came to its apotheosis on the 13th and 20th of September 2014.  A huge show that more than from professional appreciation became a unique journey in his life, allowing to help people with an intellectual disability –they called the Specials- integrate in our society: a very important task which receives to little attention from media and large audience!

After the large Special Olympics project, Steven immediately went into the production of show events on the Belgian market and he opened the frontiers towards the Middle East and Asia.  Projects like the EMIR CUP (Opening of Final Game) in Qatar have been developed and are awaiting as we write this document, their feedback.  The Qatar Football Association, co-organiser of the 2022 World Cup already is a known party, as well as the OIC.

Oman opened its doors with a unique special effect show project for the Sultan for the inauguration launch event of AWASR high speed internet connection.  A stage was designed in which video and laser effects seem to leave the screen to become 3D illusions.

2016 brought the MainStage of Tomorrowland a lot closer, with show direction assistance to Chantal Copello.  A nice experience in very difficult show conditions but with an amazing crew and project.  Also he developed an opening show for DreamVille (camping site of Tomorrowland) for Budweiser and VICE US, combining this show with the recording of a commercial with no one less than TIESTO.

Currently working on large projects in the Middle East, opening markets in Asia and producing and supporting events with show experiences throughout Europe and (obviously) mostly within Belgium.

 

(Check out the references and archives to see the events mentioned)

 

PersonalLIFE

Steven is a single and very present dad for his two princesses.  Although the large bio, he always says that he “has never worked a single day in his life, it was all pure enjoyment”, making him a very happy and passionate professional.

As a passionate scuba diver he finds his peace and meditation below sea level.  He loves theatre shows, musicals, circus and dance… basically any form of human art.  He sees inspiration everywhere he looks.

 

Some favourite quotes:

Do or do not, there is no try (Star Wars movies, character Yoda)

 

Creativity is seeing what everyone sees, but thinking what on one else thinks.

 

Life,

is about respect,

everything that goes right

is thanks to respect…

everything that ends up going wrong,

is because of lack of respect.

 

 

PALMARES&BIGGERREFERENCES

Some references, please check www.architectofemotion.com for the full list.

 

“BELIEVE”

Opening Ceremony for 2014 Special Olympics EUROPEAN SUMMER GAMES Antwerp in Palace 12, Brussels Expo (full streaming)

 

“HOPE”

Closing Ceremony for 2014 Special Olympics EUROPEAN SUMMER GAMES Antwerp in Sportpaleis (full streaming)

 

“AWASR THE NEED FOR SPEED”

Launch show for AWASR high speed internet in Muscat, Oman

 

“ELECTRIC WATER”

Tarsheed Awards show for KAHRAMAA Tarsheed in Doha Qatar

 

 “I AM”

Dinner show concept for 1200 guests of Dimension Data

 

“MY VISION”

Theatre show creative support, scenario, acting coaching, stage design and mise-en-scène for Christ’OF in a MOVE production

  

“GULDENSPORENSPLASH”

A large open air show for 10.000 Kortrijk spectators celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of the Golden Spurs, together with Dirk Decloedt.

SILVER BENELUX AWARD

 

“12.000 DIAMONDS”

A large show for 12000 nurses of Familiehulp to celebrate their 65th anniversary.

 

“A HUMAN ADVENTURE”

Inauguration show of NESPRESSO Avenches Production Center, in Avenches, Switzerland, together with Luc Petit

 

“MAN: POWER”

Toyota Material Handing Europe, product launch open air aquatic show in Athens, Greece.

 

“TONERO”

Toyota Material Handing Europe, product launch open air aquatic show in Marbella, Spain.

 

“KEIZER KAREL: EURO OF NEURO” (CHARLES V: EURO OR NEURO?)

Celebration for 500 years Carolus Quintus, Ghent, Belgium

 

“UNITED COLORS”

Celebration show for 60 years Wit Gele Kruis Limburg, Hasselt

 

“WISHING ON A STAR”

Celebration show for 75 years Wit Gele Kruis federation, Lint

 

And many more…

 

PersonalRECOMMENDATIONS

 

Please find attached also the recommendations list from the LinkedIn page or visit online at: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=8931749&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

For all further inquiries do not hesitate to contact us at +32 (0)479 550235 or steven@architectofemotion.com.

 

Showreel and most recent information on: www.architectofemotion.com

 

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