Movico keeps the Classic Express on the road - Movico

Movico keeps the Classic Express on the road

Published on 24 January 2020

The Classic Express has been touring the country for twelve years. In this mobile concert hall – the only one in the world – built in a huge extendable trailer, many children are introduced to classical music for the first time. The Classic Express is usually literally on the school’s doorstep. As soon as the children enter via the small stairs, they enter a world of soft sounds, colourful video images and pleasant light. They put on comfortable socks and nestle in the beanbags. Young prize winners of the Princess Christina Competition are nearby and take the children on an interactive journey into their musical story. With around 300 concerts a year, the Classic Express is still in full swing. A success story, but this would not have been possible without one major player: our cooperation partner Movico keeps the Classic Express on the road.

The Classic Express is one of the few Dutch projects and seems to be an odd one, but as a marketing tool it fits in perfectly with Movico’s philosophy: organising a promotional tour to promote a brand or product, by reaching out to the target group. So when Jochem van Eeghen – the director of the Princess Christina Competition at the time – approached Movico with the joyful idea of a mobile concert hall, he immediately embraced it.

”I remember a briefing here with all the suppliers,” says Stefan Aspers, Commercial Director of Movico. “There were about 15 of them, very many. For each specialism, an expert sat at the table, such as a lighting designer, an acoustic designer and the supplier of the technology.”. We are responsible for the technical implementation, so we want to know exactly who to call in case of a malfunction on site, for example.” Movico not only takes care of the technical maintenance of the Classic Express, but also, for example, thinks about the appearance of the mobile concert hall and arranges for everything to run smoothly on location.

Britt van der Velde, as project manager, is responsible for planning and communication with the operators, the drivers who drive the Classic Express to the schools and prepare it for the concerts there. “We check whether the location that a school has in mind is suitable, or whether we should move to a parking lot nearby. I then make sure our operator is aware of all the information, that he knows where he needs to be and who he can reach in case of uncertainties on location”.

The Classic Express is Movico’s longest-running structural service. “It is a unique project within all the marketing, road shows and sports events we do,” says Britt. “That’s exactly what makes it fun.

In conversations with new customers, the Classic Express is often cited, also because it has been on the road for so long”. Everyone who joins Movico will attend a concert in the Classic Express. And then everyone comes back enthusiastically. “It’s actually just like with the kids you often see in the footage,” says Britt. “They say: I don’t like classical music very much and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do there, but then they come out super excited. That’s actually the same with colleagues. You only really get a good idea of the Classic Express when you’ve been there and have experienced how such a concert goes.” Stefan: “When we talk about mobile marketing, about road shows as we call it here, the Classic Express has been a good concept for 12 years. Children take off their shoes, they sit comfortably in those cushions, they literally shut themselves off from the world around them.

The young musicians take them along in the story. That’s so powerful. They’re all wrapped up in that bubble. It’s interactive, I always think that’s a very important part of conveying information – it only lingers if you have to play a part in it yourself.”

The Classic Express is designed in such a clever way that only one person, the operator, is needed to operate it and set it up properly. “The challenge of the Classic Express is primarily in technology,” Stefan agrees, “to ensure that it always works. Our promise is also: anytime, anyplace. That’s what we’re trying to achieve all the time. In other projects, the challenge lies in logistics, for example.” Like that time Movico’s trucks had to withstand the Andes. “We went to South America for the first time for the Dakar Rally. While studying the route we discovered that we crossed the Andes twice, making an ascent of four kilometres. At the Giro d’Italia or the Tour de France in Europe we didn’t exceed the two kilometer mark, so this was challenging.”

Stefan undertook two actions: he phoned DAF to find out how the difference in altitude affected their trucks, and he inquired about the consequences of altitude for the human body at the Dutch mountaineering and mountaineering association. “Eventually, two things coincided: make sure you make that transfer over the mountain passes at a low, but continuous speed, and tell your people to keep a close eye on each other and drink regularly. Also hope you don’t get a blowout at a serious height, because that’s quite inconvenient.”

The Classic Express will soon be freshened up at Movico’s premises with new stickers and a fresh coat of lacquer. The mobile concert hall will not come to a standstill any time soon.

“The story of the Classic Express can be told for years to come,” says Stefan. “The underlying story of Jochem van Eeghen was that music lessons were hardly ever given in primary schools anymore and that there was a declining number of music schools in the province. The growth of young talent needs to be stimulated somewhere. Just project this in the time we live in now: it is still topical and relevant.”

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