HBO transform Belfast's International Convention Centre for the European Premiere of Game of Thrones.
Filming for this blockbuster series began in 2010 across Northern Ireland. As tribute to Northern Ireland for hosting the cast over many years, and due to our flexible event space, ICC Belfast seemed like the perfect choice to host the eighth and final series of HBO global blockbuster, Game of Thrones.
The ICC Belfast team worked with Northern Ireland Screen and HBO over a 12-month period to bring this event to life. The premiere took place during a busy week for the venue, which also played host to the Microbiology Society's Annual Conference only a few days prior. In the space of a day, our 1,805m2 Hall 1 went from holding exhibition and poster boards to having dragons hung for a post-screening party that Belfast will never forget. With a tight turnaround, our team got straight to work; with a 4.30pm finish on the Thursday and a 7pm fit-up for the premiere, it was all hands on deck to refresh and ready the building.
700 VIP guests
Main Auditorium, Hall 1 & Hall 2
The Main Auditorium - The First Screening
Our specialist event production team created a state-of-the-art cinematic experience in the main auditorium to showcase the final series! By offering a dedicated in-house technical production team, helped HBO deliver the world's most technically advanced production. With surround sound cinema PA systems, the installation of cinema grade projectors and high-definition LED screens this visually enhanced the epic event which oozed, drama, action and suspense.
Hall 1 - The After Party
Hall 1 represented a blank canvas for HBO to create a vision, deliver an experience and mark the most memorable ending to the blockbuster show.
The build in Hall 1 was nothing but spectacular. Our team were privileged to work with one of the top event designers in the world; Billy Butchkavitz and his team, who are normally busy working on the Emmy and Golden Globe parties in Los Angeles but on this day, they brought their pizazz to Belfast.
On a visit to Belfast, Billy took inspiration for the premiere from the woodwork features that we have on display at ICC Belfast. From this, HBO have been working with National Museums of Northern Ireland to commission an 11ft throne to be made of willow in Cultra along with a third dragon, to match the existing two on display at Ulster Museum. These pieces of work have been donated to the museum as a legacy to the show being filmed in Northern Ireland along with the intricate costumes made from paper that were shipped over in advance of the event.
A large element of Billy’s work is on the lighting used in a room to create texture and atmosphere. We built a bespoke set and backdrop for the event. We stripped away the black drapes from the walls, reduced the length of the hall by 35 feet, and added a beige backdrop which was the perfect setting to host the iconic wicker throne on a raised platform for optimum impact.
Combined with fantastic lighting, the overall look and feel enhanced the ambience in the room. Our lighting experts placed a host of LED wash lamps and spot lamps to deliver the required soft white colour wash on the walls, supplementing this with Gobo projections to create a desired rustic texture on the walls. This dramatic and immersive feel to the room was perfectly finished by pin-spotting tables which held exact costume replicas made from paper! Guests could sit, socialise and admire the beautiful bespoke paper-made costumes.
After a five-hour shift of hanging dragons, we were straight into the design of the party. With three photo booths and an Urban Decay ‘touch up’ station, guests were treated to an event like no other.
Our catering partner Hospitality Belfast greeted the guests with a special pour of Johnny White Walker before treating them to a menu of street-food-inspired true Belfast food. If there is ever one thing you can trust to be right in Belfast, it’s the food; sourcing all local produce, we take huge pride in our food at ICC Belfast and when guests comment ‘better than NYC’ we know we’ve done a good job!
Hall 2 - The Press Room
In Hall 2 our events team created a star spectacular red carpet area and decking for the media. This was created as an exclusive section to the overall event to accommodate the press and the cast of the show who were here for the evening.
Making the best use of space...
HBO utilised Belfast's International Convention Centre to its advantage. Working alongside our event specialists their vision was brought to life. No two rooms were the same, they were transformed to fit the purpose, the vision and leave an everlasting impression amongst the notorious cast and fans of Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones Premiere photography credits - Gabor Ekecs.
Thanks to your entire crew for going above and beyond in bringing this vision to life: the guests were blown away!