Steven Martin

“We have the most beautiful job in the world… we can realize dreams together with talented performers to touch the audience’s soul!

I am a dancer that never learned to dance, not frustrated but inspired, positively jealous. In my mind I see beautiful things… I am privileged, surrounding me are highly talented people that can help me bring those dreams to life.”

Steven Martin

 

 

 

 

Steven MARTIN     I     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 43, Steven is pitching a lot on the international market (Singapore, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, 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”, “Lights”, “Rubber”, “Double You” 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.

As creative consultant Steven works regularly together with the Events and Communication team of Medialaan.  Within this mission he also supported the Red Nose Day 2015 with artistic performances during the volunteer day / live show of this fundraising event.

In 2016 Steven had his first experience joining the amazing world of Tomorrowland with a show production for Budweiser and TIESTO at DreamVille, and assistance to Chantal Copello of Soul15 for the show direction on Main Stage Tomorrowland.  An amazing experience within a very well organized and professional team, inspiring him even after all those years of event experience.

In this period Steven notices how the label AoE is to corporate and events targeted and especially internationally not strong enough as a competitive brand.  The Cintamani Stone sees daylight in September 2016 as the brand for show production, stage design and all related theatre arts and technologies.  ArchitectofEMOTION continues as the Belgian event label with as first clients the Belgian event agencies where he supports with brainstorming, creative ideas, concept development and emo-marketing animations/shows/acts.

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.

 

ADADEMIC LIFE

Steven wants to share his experience and vision on specific topics like emo-marketing, live-experiences and event puzzle marketing.  He teaches on regular basis guest colleges at HPA (Hogeschool Provincie Antwerpen), KDG Antwerp (Karel De Grote Hogeschool), Thomas More Mechelen, SYNTRA.  He is also booked as key note speaker and trainer on creativity, mission driven emo-marketing and public speaker training.  Also tailor made trainings with a specific briefing are being developed and coached by him on specific demand.

 

PROFESSIONAL APPROACH

Steven wants to be the foundation of the team, inspiring them with the basic idea, the storyline.  He will have clear visions on the visual universe, in graphics, video, staging, light, effects… he will have a very clear idea on the way to bring the show to life on both technology and logistics and will work very close with all creators of the team: decor builders, stylist, costume designers, video designers…

Steven wants to inspire, motivate and even energize the people of the creative and productional team and then allow them the freedom to come back with interpretations, other/better ideas based upon his vision.  He benefits from the knowledge of his experts to the max granting them this freedom.  He wil however always stay in the driver’s seat and have the final word on the show.  His ultimate teamwork vision is a romantic one: he wants all the team after the show to be standing in front of the stage, tap each other on the shoulders and then say out loud “WE made a great show, didn’t we?”.

 

SOCIAL RESPONSABILITY

Once a year Steven dedicates himself to a social cause for which he will grant assistance within his field of expertise.  Like this he worked some years ago for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he joined the creative team of the Special Olympics, was arstictically supporting the 2015 RED NOSE DAY by Medialaan.

Within the legal status of  ‘artist’ granted by the Belgian government, he still creates shows for cultural organizations.

 

PERSONAL LIFE

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.

He breathes technology and innovation, both online and offline, but his heartbeats are creativity, phantasy and emotion.

He dreams of one day living in Canada or the US, is passionate about scuba diving and his dream destination is Bora Bora.

Traveling is a passion however the 76 destinations he visited were mostly for event/show production.

 

FAVORITE 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.

You are only as strong as your team.

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 & BIGGER REFERENCES 

For all corporate references and media, please check www.architectofemotion.com.

 2016 – Tomorrowland The Elixir Of Life  (ID&T, Tomorrowland, Soul15)     I     Most amazing electronic dance music festival     I     Assistant to the artistic directors Christophe Van Den Branden and Chantal Copello and stage manager, acting coach for  the performers on main stage

2016 – Budweiser infected by TIESTO and Tomorrowland (ID&T, DreamVille, Tomorrowland for Budweiser, AB-Inbev, ABI, VICE, Pulse FIlms)     I     Inaugurational show, based upon concept by communication agency     I     Project coordinator and artistic director show moment Budweiser OTR at DreamVille

2016 – The Need for Speed (The Planners, Trifoil, AWASR)     I     Creative director and show producer

2016 – The Night of the Wolves (BBDO United Kingdom, Eristoff)      I     Show runner and assistance in screen software production

2015 – “RED NOSE DAY” (Medialaan)     I     Social media benefit for children/youth with psychological worries, Belgium     I    Creative assistance and talent research

“BELIEVE”, Opening Ceremony for 2014 Special Olympics EUROPEAN SUMMER GAMES Antwerp in Palace 12, Brussels Expo

“HOPE”, Closing Ceremony for 2014 Special Olympics EUROPEAN SUMMER GAMES Antwerp in Sportpaleis

 

2015 – I AM (New World, Dimension Data)     I     Artistic director and show producer

2015 – Tarsheed Awards (The Planners, Kahrama-Tarsheed)     I      Stage design, show director andshow producer

2015 – MOVE Studio’s (MOVE Dance Center)     I     Creative support, show running, audiovisual software and stage design

2014 – Special Olympics EUROPEAN SUMMER GAMES Antwerp 2014     I     Artistic director for the opening and closing ceremony

2014 – United Colors (Cum Laude Events, Wit Gele Kruis Limburg)     I     Show director and show producer

2015 – Circus versus Circus (MOVE Dance Center)     I     Creative support, show running, audiovisual software and stage design

2014 – HI(T)STORY (MOVE Dance Center)     I     Creative support, show running, audiovisual software and stage design

2013 – Wishing On A Star (Cum Laude Events, Wit Gele Kruis)     I     Artistic director and show producer

2013 – 25 (MOVE Dance Center)     I     Creative support, show running, audiovisual software and stage design

2013 – My Vision (MOVE Dance Center, Legacy featuring Christ’OF)     I     Creative support, show running, audiovisual software and stage design

2013 – Excellence (A First Impression, Peugeot)     I     Artistic director and show producer

2013 – Musical Memories (MOVE Dance Center)     I     Creative support, show running, audiovisual software and stage design

2012 – A Human Adventure (Demonstrate, Nespresso)     I     Artistic production for Luc Petit

2010 – 12.000 Diamonds (Cum Laude Events, Familiehulp)     I     Artistic director and show producer

2010 – Rebel, Rebel (D-Side Group, Citroën)     I     Artistic director and show producer

2009 – Le Grand Vert (D-Side Group, Deloitte)     I     Artistic director and show producer

2009 – Tout ce que vous imaginez est réel (D-Side Group, Citroën)     I     Artistic director and show producer

2008 – An Eye On The Future (Cum Laude Events, Luxottica)     I     Show director

2006 – Step By Step (Praga Khan)     I     Creative support in brainstorming phase

2006 – Intense (D-Side Group, Peugeot)     I     Artistic director and show producer

2004 – Guldensporensplash (The EVENTERPRISE, SPE)      I     Artistic direction together with Dirk Decloedt and show producer

2002 – Carolus Quintus: Euro or Neuro (The EVENTERPRISE, DDMC, SPE)     I     Artistic production for Luc Petit

 

“AWASR THE NEED FOR SPEED”, Launch show for high speed internet in Muscat, Oman

“ELECTRIC WATER”, Tarsheed Awards show for KAHRAMAA Tarsheed in Doha Qatar

“MOVE STUDIO’S”, dance school recital show based upon new movies, for MOVE Dance Center, Aalst, Belgium

 “I AM”, Dinner show concept for 1200 guests of Dimension Data 

“CIRCUS VERSUS CIRKUS”, dance school recital show, confronting the new Cirque du Soleil kind of circus with the Bouglione circus, for MOVE Dance Center, Aalst, Belgium

“MY VISION”, Theatre show creative support, scenario, acting coaching, stage design and mise-en-scène for Michael Jackson impersonator Christ’OF in a MOVE production

“MUSICAL MEMORIES”, dance school recital show based upon an abandoned musical theatre, for MOVE Dance Center, Aalst, Belgium

“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

“25 YEARS DAG ALLEMAAL”, show direction for the celebration event of one of Flanders most popular magazines for 12000 spectators, Antwerp.

“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…

 

 

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