Case study: Creating event creativity and summary through a compelling hand made visual storytelling at the FC Barcelona event: “Barça Femení Plural”

The Event 

FC Barcelona celebrated International Women’s Day by organizing an event: “Barça: Femení, Plural”, on March 8th, 2019 in their Camp Nou Auditorium. The purpose of the event was to honor women in sport and give visibility to Barça female sports players. Thus, the event’s main objectives were to:

  1. Highlight the current struggle for gender equality in the sports world
  2. Recognize past and present Barça female athletes
  3. Feminize FC Barcelona’s brand

Our Role

Throughout the event, Alexandra Etel (visual storyteller and innovation architect) created real-time visual storytelling that used illustrations to summarize the words of speakers at the event in a clear, concise, and visually engaging manner in three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English.

The first speakers whose words we visualized were Josep Maria Bartomeu (President of FC Barcelona) and Maria Teixidor, Secretary of the FC Barcelona Board of Directors and president of the Edelmira Calvetó Group. Their welcoming remarks highlighted that there is a current and pressing need to give more visibility to women in sport, show their challenges, and learn how to help them.

Visual Storytelling with: On left, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Maria Teixidor welcoming and on right, Barça Game Style key take outs

The Round Tables

The next two sections were round tables. First was the panel named “One Style, Various Paths”, was formed by three people. One was Guillermo Amor, Director of institutional relations, head of men’s youth football, and a former football player for FC Barcelona. Accompanying him were female FC Barcelona football players Sandra Paños and Alexia Putellas. As shown on the first visual storytelling board, their discussion highlighted that it is important to always keep moving through the game, regardless of the challenges and setbacks one faces.

The second round table was titled “The Taste of Amateur Success.” It included Anna Bové, FC Barcelona athlete, Daniela Blanco, FC Barcelona ice skater, Camila Maldonado, captain of Barça women’s volleyball team, Florencia Samaja, Barça women’s field hockey team player, and Sheila Dixon, FC Barcelona women’s basketball player. The most impactful part of this section, as reflected at the visual storytelling summary shown below, was that women living a life of sports face a difficult choice between prioritizing their sports careers and starting a family.  

Women in sport testimonials and Barça Foundation Research presentation
Related to women in sport main challenges, the second part of the visual summary shows the key points presented by Mària Vallès, general director of the FC Barcelona Foundation. She presented “The Foundation Report: Athletes: Discrimination, Barriers, and Elections”. This report covered the Barça Foundation’s research regarding the main barriers towards and discrimination against women in sports. Three specific areas of research included:
  1. Choice (for example, choosing between sports and family)
  2. Discrimination
  3. Barriers

Female Branding

As a part of the “Brand in Feminine” chapter, two powerful women gave inspiring talks. First, “Brave Brands” was presented by Gemma Cernuda, an expert in women’s branding and communication. In her presentation, Cernuda focused on brand attitude and a call to action, stating that, “brands should be brave and courageous to invest money in women.”

Visual Storytelling summarizing Gemma Cernuda Presentation

Then, Arancha Ruiz, a personal branding, talent, and headhunting consultant presented “Women Who Brand.” Ruiz focused on women’s personal brand. Showing a more group-focused attituded, her main message revolved around her statement that, “women need to talk about “us” more than “me”.” She also highlighted that only 1% of women in sports receive sponsorships. 

Visual Storytelling sumarizing Arancha Ruiz inspiring speech

Between round tables was the presentation of the Edelmira Calvetó Award, given to Encarna Hernández by Maria Planas. 

Corporate Branding Discussions

Next up was the round table “Leading by Example, Clear Goals” with Julieta Verrier, Director of Marketing, Brand Management, Corporate at Stanley Black & Decker and Jaweria Ali, Gillette Brand Director. Both companies were sponsors for the events, and their representatives communicated that they as brands needed and wanted to create a positive impact on society by focusing more on people than gender. To fulfill these needs and be more inclusive brands, Gillette and Stanley Black & Decker announced that they are sponsoring women in sports.

Visual Storytelling Summarizing Stanley and Gillette Brand managers interventions

After the round table was “Egalitarian Communication: The Challenge of Interpersonal Relationships,” by Estrella Montolio, Doctor of Spanish Language and Professor of Spanish Language at the University of Barcelona. Montolio provided valuable recommendations about how to change the language in the business environment in order to be more inclusive to all.  She stressed that if women feel interrupted by men, they should raise their hands very high and stand up for themselves. In addition, Montolio encouraged women to create a network, stand up for each other, and help all of their voices be heard. As women in business, we are working to implement those tips!
Graphic recording in progress: “BARÇA: FEMENÍ, PLURAL” – AUDITORI 1899
Visual Storytelling with Estrella Montolio presentation and Final Remarks by Maria Teixidor

Closing Speeches

Maria Teixidor, Secretary of the FC Barcelona Board of Directors and president of the Edelmira Calvetó Group gave the final remarks of the “Barça: Femení, Plural” event. Her words reiterated the importance and need to focus on a diverse sports center.

As it did at the HTAi event we attended in January, the live visual storytellings helped to capture the spirit of the event and engage the audience! The complete recording of this event can be found at Barça TV channel and event official photos at this link.

Event Communication

Prior to the event “Barça: Femení, Plural” we designed the artwork for the event’s communication. In order to have a consistent event branding and to match the look and feel of the live visual storytelling, we created hand-made illustrations to be used for all of the event’s promotion. This included event invitations, the website event program, the event app, printed programs, and the event day’s press release.

Final Remarks

It was an absolute pleasure working and teaming with this incredible organization and be apart of the FC Barcelona event, Barça: Femení, Plural! We truly want to thank Mrs. Maria Teixidor and her team for their confidence in our creative services and for their exquisite attention. It was such an unforgettable experience!

Alexandra Etel with Maria Teixidor, Arancha Ruiz , Estrella Montolio and Gemma Cernuda