Producing corporate events is complex and challenging. But producing an event for event professionals is daunting! Right? Expectations are high, and rightfully so.
We, as an audience of producers, planners, and suppliers know the ins and outs, right and wrong, average and exceptional. We are a discerning group and, you bet, we can pick apart events that we didn’t produce ourselves. However, when 2,000 event professionals came together last week for #MPI #WECSanFrancisco, we gathered to learn, support, and celebrate.
This association that cares deeply for our industry, knows better than to criticize. We celebrated each other and the future of the events industry that is back doing what it does best.
Were you there? If not, check out MPI’s recap. We see no need to duplicate efforts crafting our own overview. They did a great job.
Headlining Wednesday’s General Session, Denise moved and inspired the audience. Again, it’s worth noting, speaking to a room of event professionals is no easy task. But Denise gathered herself and her mission to help us all understand how it feels to truly belong and how we can share this feeling with others.
What made Denise’s presentation so impactful was actually quite simple:
THE RIGHT MESSAGE
Belonging; a natural human desire, right? Who in the world doesn’t want, need, and deserve to belong?
THE RIGHT TIME
Having weathered the recent pandemic and now economic aftermath, don’t we all crave the comfort and security that comes with a sense of belonging?
THE RIGHT MESSENGER
And, when the magic of belonging is shared by a vibrant Latina who, with passion and grief, tells stories of “growing up Latina” but never feeling “Latina-enough”, the message is felt and received.
Punctuated by a screening of Denise’s film, Being Enye, it was fascinating to spend the hours and days following her presentation at Denise’s side. Countless attendees approached and shared their own experiences and/or thoughts that were brought forth by her presentation. Even in the middle of the dance floor. Each conversation was met with hugs, tears, understanding, and yes, a sense of belonging.
“Authenticity is the source of your power and authenticity is what belonging feels like.”
Denise Soler Cox
As event professionals, we understand the importance of seeing and feeling the impact of the experiences we create. #MPI brilliantly programmed Denise on the mainstage because they recognized this as a “right message, right time, right messenger” opportunity. That’s one of the most important components of designing and executing an impactful event. The emotional impact felt across the General Session room and into the hours that followed confirms that even though we all come from different backgrounds, we all have the same need to belong.
It’s not just her story. It belongs to us all and it is now our opportunity to share.
Want to know more?
Want to know more about Denise Soler Cox and how she can inspire your audiences? Or just curious about how a professional speaker or entertainer can inspire your audience? Contact Kris Campbell and visit our site.
If you’re in the Minneapolis area, you’ll want to meet Denise in August when she presents at our new speaker series, Please Welcome. Details to come!
Please Welcome is a new and upcoming speaker series produced by Heroic Productions. Sign up for our news now to be sure you’re notified of the date and details!
If you’ve ever driven with kids in the car, you’re familiar with the question: “Are we there yet?” That’s what it has felt like the last two years for anyone who plans corporate events or develops the corporate event strategy.
With joy in our hearts, we can finally proclaim: Yes! We’re there!
Now it’s time for a new set of questions. Like, how have corporate events changed? What are the latest corporate event trends? And, what’s the best way to get started planning?
We’re here to address these questions and more, including:
How to reignite your corporate event strategy
What’s trending in corporate events
How to create memorable brand experiences
How to start planning your next corporate event
How to measure your event success
How to reignite your corporate event strategy
Prior to the pandemic, in-person events were the gold standard for brands. It’s almost as if the event wasn’t live, it didn’t happen at all. As a result, virtual events, which existed long before the pandemic, often took a backseat to in-person events.
That sentiment is shifting big time.
Virtual events have hit their stride. In fact, we believe in-person events that include a virtual offering play an integral role in any corporate event, especially when you need to:
Reach a bigger audience
Accommodate folks who are unable to attend in-person
Manage your travel budget
What’s trending in corporate events? (How to give it that wow-factor)
Every day, we talk to brand and marketing leaders about their event goals and objectives and two things keep bubbling to the top of those conversations.
People want connection
Whether it comes in the form of networking with new people or reconnecting in person with longtime colleagues, the trend is all about establishing and strengthening relationships.
This is especially true for companies that went from 100 percent in-office to 100 percent remote in a very short period of time. When planning your corporate event, be strategic with your agenda structure and create space and creative tactics to encourage connection, teamwork and celebration.
People want to have fun
After two years of staring at laptop screens, people are ready for something different – they’re ready to meet in-person. We’re seeing more interest in laughter, inspiration, balance, real-talk and fun.
Bringing in outside speakers and talent that are aligned with your event goals create that momentous experience for your audience. While the phrase “surprise and delight” may seem overused, this is definitely the time for it.
How to create memorable brand experiences (on stage, on-screen, or both)
Lasting impressions rarely happen by accident. They take vision, creativity and lots of planning. Showing up strong at your next event starts with nailing your goals and objectives. This is the springboard for your ever-so-important event strategy.
What’s the format?
Shakespeare couldn’t have predicted just how true his “all the world’s a stage” line would be in today’s world. The stage can be physical, like at an in-person corporate event. Or the stage can be “on-screen,” like during a virtual event.
What options does the format offer for branding?
In-person events offer more familiar opportunities for communicating your brand in the overall event design – think scenic elements, graphic design, signage, collateral and swag. All of these remain important and should be part of your overall event strategy as they impact the experience you are creating for your audience.
Virtual corporate events have plenty of branding opportunities, too.
When we produce events for the small screen, we use what’s called a virtual platform to deliver the event. This virtual event technology is an intricate component of your event strategy. It not only sets your event apart from everyday Zoom or Teams calls, it supports the content and experience you are creating and managing.
Virtual events offer many opportunities to let your brand shine. From your pre-communications strategy to registration, to the login screen and pre-show lobby, to your mainstage, breakout rooms and so on – integrating your brand into the design of all touch points is critical.
Your audience should know immediately that they are at your event, just as you do when you see an Apple launch or the NFL draft, as every detail supports the brand and the goals and objectives of the event.
A friendly word of caution
Maybe it was living through two years of Zoom calls from home, but we’ve noticed audiences have a low tolerance for technical mishaps, poor quality, awkward transitions and lackluster production. Be sure to invest the time and dollars to make your next event feel special (whether it’s in-person, virtual, or hybrid). Your audience has been waiting for it.
How to start planning your next event
We all appreciate the gift of time, and that’s certainly true in the events industry. Where possible, our clients bring us into the planning process early. We’ve earned a seat at the table by bringing an objective clarity to their event goals and by providing a seasoned, strategic approach to planning and execution.
It is beneficial to nail down essential considerations early, especially:
This is driven by many factors including the type of meeting (incentive will drive the location/type of hotel), demographics of your audience (east/west coast, etc), airport accessibility, union/non-union labor city, expo component, your budget, etc.
This is critical to your event flow so approach this with a concise list of “must haves,” including: quantity and size of breakout rooms, General Session square footage/shape/ceiling heights with no low-hanging chandeliers, your preferred seating layout, staging/scenic footprint, flow of meeting space, outside meeting space, reception areas, and now more important than ever – the hotel guidelines and budget add-ons.
Involve your production partner as you consider a venue for your event and include them on your initial and follow-up site visits. Their view is a combination of technical and production savvy and a discriminating view on what is possible to execute at a specific venue. Your production partner sees different things during site visits that should be factored into the technical budget. They will inquire about rig points, power, load-in restrictions and can also provide specific requests before a contract is signed.
If event marketing is part of your strategy, you know the importance of making the event unforgettable. That’s where working with an outside partner can make all the difference in delivering a unique experience that drives your messaging and goals. They can:
Help you articulate your goals and objectives
Focus on understanding your target audience and what drives them
Discuss problems your audience may have directly or indirectly related to the event subject matter
Drive creative ideas and content that support your brand, messaging and engage your audience
Ask hard questions like – what do you want your audience to feel, to do after attending your event
Take broad ideas and funnel them down to what is impactful
Work with you on timeline management
Timeline for planning a corporate event?
There’s no magic number or foolproof equation. It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve and the support and resources. For example:
Do you need to bring people together quickly for an announcement? Or are you sharing a new strategic direction for the company?
Is it a brand-new product launch? Or the next iteration of an existing product?
Is it a one-time special recognition event? Or an important fundraiser?
Is your approval process straightforward or multi-layered with many stakeholders?
Is accessibility to leadership’s calendar accessible or impossible?
Do you have a budget to support partnering with an agency to produce and execute your meeting or are you driving solo?
Measuring the success of your corporate event
No matter how meaningful an event is, it also needs to deliver measurable value to the business. Who doesn’t want to show ROI to their leadership? Which route you take to measure your results depends on the goals and the corporate event strategy you established. For example:
Traditional measures – You can follow up with your audience using an email poll or survey.
Technology – Virtual event platforms provide a wide variety of stats and data about your event – like how often people engage on the platform, which breakouts they attended, or which content they reacted to.
Content-related goals – Let’s say you have an annual sales meeting. You could track customer engagement or retention after the event. If you introduce a new sales process, you can measure whether you have an uptick in sales after three or six months. If you host a state of the business update, you can follow it up with interviews.
It’s your move
We hope these corporate event tips and insights are helpful – especially as you’re thinking ahead to your next event. Let’s chat if you get stuck in the process. Our team would love to help you reignite your corporate event strategy.
Recently, we reached a point in our journey where we felt our own brand needed a refresh to more accurately represent who we are, what we do.
While we are known by many for expert audio, video, and lighting services, we’ve become much more than that. Organically and over time, we’ve grown into a one-stop, event creation and production company that unifies audiences by amplifying their stories.
It looks a little different around here at Heroic
From the beginning, we’ve been deeply aware of how the power of performance and presentation can transform an experience. Our new brand identity reflects the idea of transformation while serving as a reminder that every event we design and produce ensures our clients emerge as Heroes of their own story.
That’s why the central element in our new branding is a hero. The style is based on a tangram – one of those puzzles that creates a shape – and is grounded in the concept of transformation.
The logo represents how our experience uniquely positions us to reconfigure and rearrange our expertise into the best order to help you tell a story.
To build on the idea of transformation, we also created a branded pattern made from the shape of our hero’s cape.
Then, we chose a modern font and fresh color palette to round out our new look. The color green is bold and exciting, just like the experiences we create.
Every brand has a story
Every brand has a story – a reason for being and a vision for moving forward. Sharing these stories and future visions is where Heroic comes in.
When we create an event for our clients, we find the details and themes to amplify, strategically weaving the most important concepts throughout every moment. It’s the core of what we do: making a brand’s story shine through deep immersion, ingenious creative, and transformative experiences.
By rebranding, we did the same thing for ourselves.
Throughout the creative process, we worked hard to stay true to our roots, authentic to what makes us great, and consistent in always buttoning up every detail, because even the smallest touchpoints matter.
While our new look is different, our mission remains the same: to rally your stakeholders, team members, and valued partners – moment by moment, person by person – to take the future by storm, making each person a hero in their own story, inspired by the best in all of us.
Ready to amplify your story?
Are you at a place in your company’s journey where you need to create a momentous experience? Do you want the kind of big beginning that integrates seeds of ideas, strategies for change, and sparks of success?
Heroic is a complete creative event production company that can amplify your brand strategy through impactful live and virtual experiences. Known for being incredibly passionate about our work, we’re also experts at turning key information and initiatives into entertaining and illuminating experiences.
Our clients bolster understanding, rally stakeholders, and energize action—all as a natural outcome of unforgettable, flawlessly executed events.
Whoever said it’s easier and less time to do a virtual event, in comparison to a live event, has a lot to learn about this “new normal” of our industry. However, what we’ve learned is that people aren’t having the upfront and honest conversations of why this is. Well, we’re here to help answer some of those questions and give you an exclusive behind-the-scenes breakdown of everything you need to know about pre-production for a virtual event.
Nothing is more important to the success of an event than partnering with a company who can ensure your visual and audio components are executed flawlessly. But, with so many companies out there, how do you decide which one is right for you and your event?
The key word here is partner. The right event production company will be more than a supplier of equipment and labor. You can take advantage of their years of experience to get sound advice and new ideas that can make your event more interesting, fun, or all-around impressive. Choose the right partner, and you can actually look forward to your event instead of worrying.
What should you look for?
What is the company’s track record? Do they have solid testimonials? What’s their experience working events similar to yours in size, venue, and complexity? Don’t make assumptions about what they can and cannot do because services and capabilities vary from one company to another. How much of their capacity is in-house, and how much do they outsource?
It takes more than efficient AV set-up, execution, and tear-down to produce a seamless, memorable event. It takes artistry and imagination. Can they think outside the box and offer suggestions that will improve the vision of your event or add technological elements you’d never have thought up yourself?
Willingness to work within your budget
Everyone has a budget regardless of the size or scope of their event. The right partner will have your back here, with no hidden fees or last-minute surprises. They’ll help you get maximum bang for your buck, advising when it’s best to spend more money and where you can cut costs without compromise.
Choose a partner who is a good listener and an eager participant — excited to assist with planning your event as well as execution. That strengthens the quality of your production, eliminates misunderstandings, and makes ongoing communication easier. Equally important, it ensures the final event meets your business goals in ways that clearly communicate your brand.
Teamwork and a Great Culture
Camaraderie counts. You want a partner whose people work well and happily with each other because how they function as a team affects the work they do for you. Do you like them? You’ll be spending a lot of time together, much of it under stressful conditions. You want fabulous results, but getting there shouldn’t be torturous. So, how’s their sense of humor and “cultural vibe?”
You’ll find that not every event production company is a good fit for you or your project. Frankly, if you don’t like them or believe in their expertise and talent, you won’t trust them. And trust and flexibility are critical when you’re producing any event. Choose well, though, and you’ll find a long-term partner who will be a multi-value resource when it comes to creating flawless, unforgettable future events.
We’re all familiar with the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” There is truth behind that statement, but do you always need to pay more to get what you need? Well, yes and no. As with most things, it helps to understand why prices vary, and then you can decide what level of service you need.
After all, the top audio visual companies got there for a reason. As an event planner, you know how important it is to understand what sort of AV set-up and timeframe will likely be needed for different types of events. Understanding the AV business itself from a behind-the-scenes perspective makes you an even more insightful and effective planner and partner, and it gives you a clearer picture of what goes into the charges you pay. Continue reading “What Factors Drive Costs for Top Audio Visual Companies?”
It is with great pride that I introduce you to a newly designed and updated Heroic Productions brand identity! After 18 wildly exciting and successful years, we decided it was time for this cobbler to get new shoes and better tell our own story.
Having supported and partnered with our clients over the years through brand launches and countless monumental events, we have a wonderful, new story to tell. After all, turning 18 is a pivotal “coming of age”. In lieu of a raise-the-roof party…as most 18 year olds do, we chose to mark the occasion with a rebrand that more effectively represents Heroic Productions, today.
Those who know us from “back in the day” may remember us on stage as Temporary Heroes, a popular R&B band. We called ourselves “Temporary” because once the gig was over, it was each of us musicians that were responsible for striking the set, packing equipment, and schlepping the gear home. For the few hours on stage, we were everyone’s hero as they sang and danced, and simply enjoyed the sights and sounds.
The ethic of intense practice and crafting a performance to perfection is what led to the creation of Heroic Productions. Over the past 18 years, we’ve amplified and illuminated event experiences on countless stages and virtual environments. Our work has taken us all over the world proudly supporting event production needs for many of Minnesota’s top 100 companies as well as national Fortune 500 companies, ensuring that their messages are perfectly seen, heard, and remembered. But audio, video, and lighting were just the beginning. Today, we are a one-stop event creation and production company that unifies audiences by amplifying their stories. We help make a brand’s story shine – in person or virtually through ingenious creative and immersive experiences.
We may look different today but our mission remains the same: to rally stakeholders, team members and valued partners – moment by moment, person by person – to take the future by storm, making each a hero in their own story, inspired by the best in all of us.
I expect some of you may say, “Well, it’s about time, Jon!”
My response? This team is just getting started. Our new brand identity is a future-focused signal of our ever changing world, and a reminder that every event we design and produce ensures that our client walks away the Hero as audiences leave inspired and wanting more.
Thank you for being part of Heroic’s past and inspiration for our future, together.
Now, take a look around our new website and reach out to the Heroic team when you’re ready to make your next event legendary!
Virtual events aren’t going away. Here’s what you need to know about virtual event planning.
For years, many of the in-person events we produced included a virtual element as part of their overall production. But it wasn’t until “it-which-shall-not-be-named” forced our industry to think differently, that going completely virtual became the norm. It was the only safe solution for our clients to keep telling their stories, sharing their messages, and celebrating their achievements.
Combining virtual and in-person events is more than a trend – it’s the new normal. Here’s what you need to know about hybrid event planning.
You’ve probably heard this before. Here’s a shocker: The shift to hybrid event planning is a great opportunity!
Webinars, online conferences, and virtual events serve specific purposes because of flexibility and safety – in-person and live experiences engage people differently. And in person, you can be 100% confident everyone is wearing pants!
Live, in-person, events are back. People want to socialize, share ideas, and celebrate. It feels good to be together again!
Let’s talk about the celebratory part of the return to in-person events. Celebrations usually include entertainment, all kinds of entertainment. Of course, it’s exciting to see our favorite big-name artists, but many a fabulous event has been accomplished with lesser-known talent.
It’s our goal to help make your job easier, and event more successful. One way we do this is by constantly vetting speakers who are exceptionally effective with virtual and hybrid events. Check out this month’s top picks and watch their video clips to see for yourself!
Subscribe to our blog and be the first to receive our monthly lists of top speakers and entertainers or check our Speakers & Entertainment page regularly to see our top picks.
It’s hard to believe spring is right around the corner, which means it’s almost graduation season. As you may have guessed, commencements in 2021 won’t be like they used to be – massive venues with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people gathered for hours as they watched their loved ones walk across stage. But big venues and large crowds aren’t the only things that make a commencement memorable. Many schools are shifting away from cancelling commencements completely and transitioning to a virtual setting. We’ve compiled a list of our top five tips for you to consider when creating a successful virtual commencement.
We’ve complied February’s Top 5 Virtual Speakers. Keep these individuals on your radar for 2021, as you plan out talent for your next event. Subscribe to our blog and be the first to receive our monthly lists of top speakers and entertainers or check our Speakers & Entertainment page regularly to see our top picks.
Do you still have confusion around what exactly a hybrid event is? Heroic’s CEO, Jon Young, breaks it down and gives some clarification.
Here’s a word you’re going to hear more and more: Hybrid. It’s certainly a word with lots of definitions and even more synonyms. For instance, I own a couple of hybrid golf clubs (I hit them equally poorly). Our video department manager, Kevan, drives a hybrid car. Sun Country Airlines just filed papers for an IPO describing itself as a new breed of hybrid, low-cost air carrier. I could go on and on.
Every month, the MPI Minnesota Chapter offers FREE Coffee Chats to event professionals, friends and colleagues. They feature a 10-15 minute update from a local leader, followed by time for everyone to catch up, ask questions, work through best practices, and simply be together.
We’ve compiled our first Top Virtual Entertainment picks of the year. The world certainly isn’t short of talented entertainers. Be on the lookout for our ongoing recommendations of top virtual entertainment. Subscribe to our blog to be the first to receive our monthly recommendations.
We’ve complied our first Top 5 Virtual Speakers list of the year. Keep these individuals on your radar for 2021, as you plan out talent for your next event. Subscribe to our blog and be the first to receive our monthly lists of top speakers and entertainers.
For more information on the speakers below, please visit our Speakers Page.
We can’t get enough of good news, especially when it comes from our friends, family and extended community. It occurred to us you might want to hear a little of our good news, as well. Here are a few of the fun things happening at Heroic…