An Antwerp resident contributes to the fan experience at the weekends of Formula 1: “The Spa is the most beautiful circuit in the world, it must be great” (Antwerp)

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The entrepreneur in Antwerp started his own company in 2017 with a management of 555 (three times). With 555 Marc he advises and ensures the development of live experiences at events. Behind him is a team of about 20 employees who have to take care of development. From designing studios and stages to directing the entire production process during live performances. “When I had the opportunity in 2016 – through my previous company – to work as a promoter at the Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, it all started for me in motorsport.”

the shift

With a successful presentation, Mark had the opportunity to do a fan experience at Spa-Francorchamps. This initiative had a huge impact on the F1 establishment because it was so innovative. We already had several DJs playing on the fan zone stage and combined with the right selection of videos, the management was impressed with how positively all of the fans reacted to this. On Sunday we planned a movie on all screens with a spa history, superimposed on a sentimental song. Formula 1 management – just new – came to watch and right after that I was allowed to prepare for the opening show for the Austin Grand Prix in the USA.”

Since it was acquired by Liberty Media in 2017, thanks to a total commitment to social media and Netflix, the sport has thrived around the world. Netflix series drive to survive It drew more than four million viewers per minute during the first two days of season four, which debuted in March. Max Verstappen’s influence can also be considered remarkable for our country. In Belgium, it was immediately the second most-watched show after its release.

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“It makes it more interesting for us. Liberty Media sees a Formula 1 weekend as a picnic with family and friends. Those five moments when a Formula 1 car hits the track should be the culmination of a weekend full of fun and entertainment. Fortunately, They were aware of this immediately after the acquisition, as former Formula One president Bernie Ecclestone didn’t really think about the audience he should attract in five or ten years. For him, only sponsors and VIPs mattered. But ordinary people are usually there from early morning Until five in the afternoon and they often pay a lot of money for it. Then you have to give them something in return.”

Everyone is VIP

And so Mark now ensures that every GP is an experiment. “The goal is to make it that way. You will always have a fan waiting with the refrigerator and camping chair until the cars pass. But it has become so much more than that in the meantime.” There are great plans for the spa. Henri PFR, Sander van Doorn, Armin van Buuren and Oliver Heldens will be presenting in the fan zone, along with a few other international VIPs, and for catering, we have worked with The Butcher’s Store from Antwerp and other famous Belgian chefs since this year . There will also be a restaurant where people can eat. So they are not just fried snacks that you have to satisfy your hunger.”

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Fan Village is open every morning from 10am to 10pm. This also means that there will be live music and constant DJs to keep fans entertained. In addition, the F1 trials are still there. “You can still sit in the simulator yourself and change a tire like in a stop. That doesn’t change.”

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The organization is also greening this year. “In terms of commuting, additional trains will be placed to and from the track using largely electric shuttle buses. There is also a large free parking lot for bicycles. Furthermore, waste water is collected in and around the circuit and treated on site for reuse and waste recycling will also be monitored by Closer. More than ever, the Grand Prix of Spa-Francorchamps has been put in the spotlight as a Belgian pride, but also as a regional product. Something we also hope will please Formula 1 bosses.”

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