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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Built to amaze: Cityneon Holdings blows away audiences worldwide with stunning exhibitions

The agency brings your favourite characters to life through extraordinary immersive experiences.

Cityneon Holdings is punching far above its weight when it comes to crafting high-impact experiences which leave customers breathless with excitement. When it comes to producing exhibitions that amaze audiences worldwide, the homegrown full service ideas agency is the trusted partner of household names such as Disney, Marvel, Universal, Hasbro and now Lionsgate.

“A very small company like us in Cityneon to be able to work with multi-billion dollars market capitalization company who value and guard their brands jealously, on a global basis, truly put Cityneon in a different footpath compared to any of our traditional and new competitors, locally in Singapore, and globally internationally,” says Ron Tan, executive chairman & group CEO of Cityneon.

Built to amaze
Since the company acquired Victory Hill Exhibitions in 2015, its Intellectual Property (IP) department has grown by leaps and bounds. Cityneon now has exclusive rights for the exhibition production over Hasbro’s Transformers Autobot Alliances, Universal’s Jurassic World – The Exhibition, and Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games The Exhibition.

“Cityneon is in a much better position today as it was 3 years back. We have a good partner in Lionsgate, and we share similar contacts in the industry that we can cross referenced. Our track records help too. I am really glad we are starting this new relationship with Lionsgate,” Tan says. “We are in discussion with other franchises, and are blessed to have built up a relatively sound reputation in the world – especially in our industry. The process to close this deal is relatively smooth,” he notes.

Cityneon now owns seven permanent and traveling exhibition sets, and will commission up to three new sets by end of 2018, compared to just a single set in 2015. The company has brought its exhibitions to 14 cities worldwide. “This is no easy feat for a small company like Cityneon. Our market capitalization is merely about $300m, relatively small in global scale but to have a company in Singapore to be able to have successful global partnerships with international large studios such as Disney, Marvel, Universal, Hasbro and now Lionsgate, is something that we truly feel blessed about,” Tan explains.
The group’s newest exhibition features the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise. The exhibition celebrates Katniss’ epic journey like never before. It explores the art, science, pageantry, and history of the world of Panem and features more than 1,000 authentic costumes and props, immersive themed environments and set recreations that highlight the technological wizardry and amazing artistry that brought this world to life.

Forging new paths
“This deal is another recognition of Cityneon’s reputation, track records, and confidence that partners such as Lionsgate has in us. This is by no means a frivolous recognition and I do not take such confidence lightly,” says Tan.

With the successful opening of Jurassic World – The Exhibition in Paris, the group has now started constructing the second exhibition set for this franchise, and is in talks for a third and fourth exhibition set. As two more Jurassic World movies will be launched in 2018 and 2021, Tan is optimistic that this will augur well for the Group’s investments into this IP this year and beyond.

Cityneon is setting its sights on the World Expo 2020 which will be held in Dubai and will bring together exhibitors from over 180 nations globally. “We are aligning our ‘traditional’ businesses with the IP businesses – to complement each other strengths, especially in the area of creative & design. We want the company to move from the contractor/ construction mind-set in our industry – to that of creative & design led,” Tan explains.

Cityneon’s efforts have been well-recognised indeed. Last year, the company bagged awards both for its traditional business and its IP experiences. “These awards represent the hard work of each and every one of our 400 employees in the company. This year’s award for Best Listed Company in our category/ industry is yet another recognition of the continued hard work put in by all in the company, the confidence and trusts our industry partners, clients, and suppliers have in us. We are blessed and honored to receive this award and will continue to strive to be best in class in the years ahead,” Tan adds.

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