Admittedly, I’ve got a healthy P.T. Barnum streak and it serves me well as an event producer. I truly relish the crazy months, weeks, days and even hours leading up to a client-specific event that I have created.
Here’s my back-door approach to creating an amazing experience: Your event will be considered from the perspective of the attendee – from the moment they exit their car (or bus, bike or limo) until they head home. What do you want them to be thinking, saying or feeling on that ride home? Likely, you’d want them to feel excitement, inspiration, satisfied or even sore from laughter, depending on your goals. Ultimately, you want them to feel like it was absolutely time well spent.
Some examples of my work:
SpectraWatt Factory Launch (Hopewell Junction, New York – 2010): Worked with client to co-create an official ‘ribbon cutting’ event that included local politicians, business leaders and press. Handled all media and the speaker line-up in addition to writing the CEO’s speech.
Project Coordinator for the inaugural Digital Media Symposium (Boulder, CO – 2010): Worked with three clients (Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media; Boulder International Film Festival and Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau) to create a unique event to discuss the intersection of entertainment and technology. Speakers included execs from Google, Disney, Crispin Porter and others, including Oscar and Emmy winners. Attendance doubled beyond expectation.
Led effort to re-establish client, The New York Times, in Silicon Valley (Bay Area – 2005): Working with the Churchill Club, paired Times’ technology reporters with leading technology executives for a series of well-attended breakfast panels. As part of this effort, also organized and hosted a private roundtable dinner that included executives from Chevron, Nike, H-P, SAP AG, SGI and The New York Times.
Founder, Smile Train Benefit Shows (Denver, CO, 2008-present): Creator of annual fundraiser for Smile Train, a cleft repair charity for children around the world. Uniting Denver’s comedy improv community for four nights of performances at the Avenue Theater, our August 2011 shows will mark our fourth year. (Thus far, the efforts have ‘fixed’ over 21 kids.)
New Money Launch (Seattle, WA – 2003): Launched new US currency ($20) in Seattle for client, US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, hiring Jim Whittaker – the first American to summit Mt. Everest (and first employee of REI) – to “spend” the new bill at a high-traffic Starbuck’s, a Seattle-based company. Event attracted five broadcast news crews in addition to print and online media.
Gamer Party for Montreal (San Francisco, CA – 2004): Orchestrated exclusive party for client, City of Montreal, to attract video game developers and designers. Attendance went through the roof, creating viral buzz. Held in a wharehouse bar/art gallery serving French-Canadian beer.
Intel Capital CEO Summit (Carlsbad, CA and San Francisco, CA – 2006-2007): Handled all media (including international) for Intel Capital’s annual CEO Summit which brings together 600+ executives from Global 2000 corporations and budding start-ups for an extended match-making event. Charged with staging multi-company press conferences, escorting tier-one media and scheduling/hosting numerous interviews.
Hollywood Party for Design Team (Hollywood, CA – 1999): Co-produced a $100K party at Hollywood’s Garden of Eden for the Macromedia (now Adobe) Flash and Director design teams, arranging venue, invitations, food/drink, entertainment and celebrity attendance. In the parlance of that era, it was “off the hook.”