Committed entrepreneur, exceptional creative spirit and enthusiastic Norman ambassador, Basile Bohard continues to invent, to embark on both atypical and visionary projects. The leader of the neodigital group decided to create, in the heart of his city, Bernay, the first seminar and event venue in the region. With a surface area of more than 400 m2, the Villa des Conquérants integrates premium workspaces for entrepreneurs with a passion for creativity and ambition. Meeting with an innovative spirit, passionate about new experiences.
How was born the neodigital group, which carries the project of La Villa des Conquérants?
Basile Bohard: When I created neodigital 11 years ago with my brother and my partner, it was a transmedia audiovisual production company. We produced concepts for series, fiction, documentaries or TV shows. This is what made us known to the general public on channels such as France Télévisions or Canal +, etc. Today, neodigital is a group that builds and exploits the concepts of immersive places that I invent. Around these creative licenses, we develop imaginary and extraordinary worlds aimed at immersing our visitors in another space and another time, inviting them to question themselves, to marvel and to initiate their own inner journey.
Tell me more, you went from an audiovisual production company to an explanatory communication agency to end up creating immersive experiences: why?
Basile Bohard: The common thread has always been to allow our audiences to learn through entertainment and emotion, to make possible another way of looking at the world and to encourage everyone to develop their own thinking in complete freedom. . We did it in documentaries, for TV channels, then for our clients as an explanatory communication agency and we continue to do so with the creation of our own immersive places. It is ultimately the logical sequence of things. The red thread is still there, it is the means that have evolved and the increasingly important place of artistic creation and immersive technologies in the projects.
“The whole challenge of my work is to create places, universes and stories that exist through the meaning or questioning they bring.”
What are these values of which you speak and which seem to carry all your projects?
Basile Bohard: I sincerely believe that pleasure, art and wonder are powerful drivers in learning and developing one’s creativity. Allowing everyone to create, to dream, to build, to share, to imagine other possibilities in an astonishing and highly creative environment seems to me to be a meaningful challenge for the future! The whole point of my artistic work is to create places, universes and stories that exist through the meaning or questioning they bring. From the beginning, our values have revolved around the development of creativity, freedom, free will, this desire to succeed in changing the perception of the world a little, in any case to enrich it with experiences that allow ask questions and arouse curiosity.
In recent years, you have embarked on very different projects (creation of an entrepreneur club, an immersive roadshow to help job seekers, the bus des technologies®, creative immersive exhibitions, etc.). Where does this energy come from, this desire to innovate constantly?
Basile Bohard : I am fundamentally an entrepreneur and creative at heart. What I have discovered throughout my experiences is that the excitement of creating, of giving life to my ideas, to stories, universes or even characters is very important to me. But more importantly, it is the sharing, with others, of a vision, that of allowing everyone to listen, to see, to live then to question themselves, to inform themselves, then to doubt, so that everyone can realize that with their beautiful ideas, they can still change the world. Events are in black and white, it’s up to us to give them color. We all have a role (and a responsibility) to be able to change things, each at their own level. And my role is to create and give everyone the opportunity to do so too…
“La Villa des Conquérants is there to allow entrepreneurs and employees to have an inspiring framework, based on strong values, to never be afraid to be ambitious”
And how did the Villa of the Conquerors come about?
The Villa des Conquérants comes at a time when Bernay and its territory are undergoing an astonishing economic metamorphosis with the rise of historical companies (Arkema, Biolog-Id, neodigital, Protecop…etc) and the arrival of new companies (Aero aura, urban connect, Aeneas, Happy Home…etc). This dynamic is revealed very widely in the circle of entrepreneurs, a collective that I created with several other talented business leaders. With more than 130 members, we are one of the most dynamic collectives in Normandy. We carry values of sharing and exchange, which really interested the economic actors of the territory. Given this craze, it is important not to stop on the way…and to go further!
With the Cercle des entrepreneur.e.s, we have succeeded in bringing together local business leaders around a strong dynamic. The idea is now to attract French companies and their employees to come and hold their seminars and corporate events in our magnificent region! The ambition is for Bernay to become the destination for corporate events in the same way as Deauville, Trouville or Cabourg! For this purpose, a place was missing, we created it! La Villa des conquérants is a house where you can live, think and give life to your projects, a house that nurtures trust between team members so that you are never afraid to be ambitious!
The Villa des Conquérants is a modern, design and poetic seminar venue. How was it thought out?
Basile Bohard: The Villa des conquérants is a seminar center that I created to encourage the creativity of employees, develop team cohesion and share experiences. Whether it is the design, the programming of the place, the layout of the spaces, the services and the incentive activities, everything has been thought to allow the collaborators and the entrepreneurs to be the most creative while living memorable moments. They can come for trainings, seminars, team meetings, business dinners or custom events, and enjoy : 11 premium meeting rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, relaxation areas and a magnificent wooded terrace. All these chic and elegant spaces allow employees to work differently in the country (fiber internet connection, connected 4k television, video / audio conference system, Dolby Atmos sound system, printer, video projector, flip chart, white board).
“When you want to take on great challenges, it’s ultimately just a story of human beings meeting and sharing their ambitions, doubts, fears and dreams. This is the seminars at the Villa des Conquérants.”
How did you imagine the life of entrepreneurs within the Villa?
Basile Bohard: I think that if you create spaces that convey values, that are functional, that inspire people and in which they feel at home, the stories create themselves. The place allows employees and entrepreneurs to meet, share their experience, and meet other entrepreneurs from time to time to remake the world around a good glass of wine. And it is this type of relationship that is interesting because, when you want to take up big challenges, it is ultimately only a story of human beings who meet and share their ambitions, their doubts, their fears and their dreams. In addition, our teams are present at all times during their stay to accompany them, but also to provide them with a serene and memorable experience. They are also accommodated in the best conditions and our restaurants, with their home-made cooking, are at their disposal if necessary… As for activities, the Villa caters to all desires: hiking or biking, a visit to a chocolate factory, a session with a sports coach, lasergame, sunrise yoga, wine tasting… Activities adapted to the goals you have set for yourself for inspiring exchanges and convivial moments that will re-energize everyone.