Heroic Productions and the Gala Trifecta

Who said April showers only bring May flowers? At Heroic Productions, they bring back-to-back-to-back galas! Spring has been bustling at our headquarters as we dive into one gala after another. For our association and organization clients, galas are more than just glitz and glamor; they’re about making a real impact on important missions. And let’s face it, the success of a fundraiser often boils down to the greenbacks raised.

But here’s the kicker: it’s not just about flashy auctions. At Heroic, we take our AV production game seriously, especially when it comes to partnering with nonprofits. We’re all about ensuring their message resonates loud and clear.

Gala #1: Home for Life

The first weekend in May brought the Heroic team to the Home for Life Animal Sanctuary’s Spring Gala, a distinguished event dedicated to raising crucial funds for the sanctuary in Star Prairie, Wisconsin. This year’s special guest was none other than international actress and model Isabella Rossellini. Held in the breathtaking International Market Square with its multi-story atrium, the gala promised an unforgettable experience. Our mission? To create a captivating atmosphere in a vast space with challenging sight lines. Using cutting-edge technology, we synchronized dynamic lighting effects with gobo projections, amplified sound reinforcement, and high-definition projection to make Isabella’s presence even more impactful. Our team also ingeniously merged colored lighting and gobos to craft elegant design textures, immersing attendees in a truly captivating ambiance.

Home for Life Animal Sanctuary's Spring Gala

Gala #2: Children’s Cancer Research Fund

The second weekend in May brought the Heroic team to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund’s DREAM Gala, a cherished Twin Cities tradition. This annual event, benefiting CCRF, is beautifully crafted with exciting experiences, inspiring stories, and fabulous food, all for a meaningful cause: to end childhood cancer. As always, Heroic’s main focus was ensuring our clients’ key messages were seen, heard, and felt. We set the stage and overall room with large projection screens, ensuring the best visibility for the 400+ seated dinner audience at Quincy Hall. The event also featured an after-party with a live band. We equipped Quincy Hall with staging for the program, silhouetted the ceiling in CCRF’s signature purple, highlighted their green with a fun lighting pattern, and up-lit the speaker podium in a glowing pink.

As for the after-party, we created a lively stage for the band to kick off the night in style. We lit the room in a myriad of colors to match the theme. We even up-lit the cocktail tables in glowing pink to keep the energy high.

Children's Cancer Research Fund's DREAM Gala

Gala #3: VocalEssence 

The third weekend in May brought us the VocalEssence Celebration of Song Gala! Founded in 1969, VocalEssence is a global choral music powerhouse with deep Minnesotan roots. This gala was hosted at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington-Minneapolis South, and it was all about fun and interaction. Guests enjoyed performances by the VocalEssence Chorus, Ensemble Singers, Singers Of This Age, and more. The program also featured a live auction and fund-a-need presentation with auctioneer Andy Imholte of Fladeboe Advancement. With an audience of 400, Heroic made sure the message was seen, heard, and felt. Using a ripple wall as the backdrop, we painted the stage blue and red and set up two projection screens so every guest had a perfect view. We also lit the ceiling with laser-like effects using LED moving-head fixtures, creating an electric, concert-like atmosphere.

VocalEssence Spring Gala

At Heroic Productions, our commitment to excellence shines through in every event we help create. This May, we were honored to support three incredible galas, each with its own unique flavor and purpose. From the heartwarming cause of animal sanctuaries to the life-saving mission of cancer research and the soul-stirring power of choral music, we brought our AV expertise to ensure each message was powerfully conveyed. We’re proud to be part of these meaningful experiences, helping our clients make a real impact in their communities. Here’s to many more successful events and to making every message leave a lasting impact!

To talk about how Heroic can help make your message seen, heard, and felt at your next event, contact us.

To learn more about the work we do with nonprofits, visit our website.

Global Meetings Industry Day: The AV Collaboration Journey

If you missed Global Meetings Industry Day presented by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), have no fear, we did the heavy lifting for you! Some of the most asked questions by event planners were answered by experts in the audio/visual production field. Get ready to uncover the secrets to crafting a collaborative journey with your AV partner that will leave you stress-free and your attendees buzzing with excitement!

What Should Be in an RFP? What Should a Planner Ask Up Front?

When drafting your Request for Proposal (RFP), arm yourself with the essentials:

  • Dates: Lock in those crucial dates to ensure availability.
  • Venue Info: Provide detailed venue information for seamless integration.
  • Site Survey: A thorough site survey lays the groundwork for flawless execution.
  • Production Schedule: A good production schedule keeps everyone on track.
  • Room Names/Specs: Know your spaces inside out for optimal setup.
  • Previous Event Images: Visual cues help set the production bar and align expectations.

Explaining Your Needs: Making Quoting Easier

Clear communication is key. Articulate your needs upfront to streamline the quoting process. Don’t shy away from detailing your requirements — it’s the roadmap to success!

Navigating Rising Costs: Feeling the Budget Pinch? Fear Not!

Collaboration is Key:

Start by seeking multiple bids for competitive pricing. Let the AV wizards work their magic by quoting to your specs, but don’t stop there! Engage in a conversation to explore possibilities and fine-tune the details. Remember, the devil is in the specifics, and quotes may evolve based on your discussions.

Tap into Expertise:

Leverage the wealth of experience AV companies bring to the table. They’re not just there to set up equipment — they’re your partners in creating impactful experiences. Trust them to recommend cost-effective alternatives without sacrificing quality.

Seek Trusted Partners:

Reach out to vetted AV partners who understand your vision and budget constraints. They’re not just vendors — they’re collaborators dedicated to bringing your event to life. Together, you can find creative solutions to maximize impact while keeping costs in check. For example, LED is great and super trendy, but projection may be just as impactful for a lot less budget.

The AV Collaboration Journey

Load In/Out Logistics: Timing Is Everything

Show Complexity and Technology

Load in/out timelines are as unique as your event itself. The more intricate the show and the tech involved, the more time it might take to set up and tear down. It’s like a finely choreographed dance where every move counts.

Venue Constraints

Ah, the venue — our beloved partner and occasional timekeeper. Sometimes, they throw us curve balls with strict load in/out windows. Flexibility is key, and sometimes, we’ve got to work around their schedule.

Preparation vs. Reality

While we’d love to prep everything in the warehouse and whisk it into place effortlessly, reality bites. Some things just can’t be prepared beforehand, and that’s okay. We’ll adapt and conquer!

Efficiency vs. Bodies 

Here’s the scoop: More bodies don’t always mean faster load in/out. It’s not about quantity—it’s about quality. Each member of the team plays a crucial role, and too many cooks can spoil the broth.

Trust the Pros

Your AV provider knows the drill. Trust them to estimate the time they need for setup and teardown. They’ll make every second count to ensure your event shines bright like a diamond.

Staging: Sooner the Better

Early bird gets the worm, right? Staging equipment as soon as possible gives us a head start and ensures a smoother setup process. Plus, it saves us from duking it out with catering for elevator rights — nobody wants that showdown!

Dedicated Outside AV Providers vs. In-House: The Great Debate

Building client relationships is like building a castle of knowledge for AV providers. In-house focuses solely on that event because chances are, they won’t see those clients again if they move locations. With outside providers, you get experienced folks who’ve seen it all in different markets and travel with you. Plus, there’s the added perk of having the same friendly faces at your events. So, with outside AV providers, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — it’s more like a joyful ride!

Articulating Your Vision: From Vintage Vibes to Cutting-Edge Cool

Bring your vision to life with references! Pictures and videos speak volumes. Share your inspiration to ignite the creativity of your AV company. Collaboration is key for those out-of-the-box solutions. Just remember, a more advanced setup might come with a higher price tag and longer load in/out times. And hey, sometimes, “vintage” is just what the event calls for, so you don’t have to stray away from good ole projection and pipe and drape!

In Conclusion: Let’s Rock Your AV Experience!

There you have it, folks! Armed with these insider tips and tricks, you’re ready to embark on your A/V adventure with confidence and flair. Whether you’re drafting that RFP like a pro, navigating the budget maze, or orchestrating the perfect load in/out ballet, remember — you’re not alone!

Forge strong partnerships with your A/V wizards, communicate your vision loud and clear, and embrace the journey with open arms. From vintage vibes to cutting-edge cool, your event is poised to dazzle and delight. Here’s to stress-free planning, jaw-dropping productions, and unforgettable experiences. Cheers to your next event being the talk of the town!

See how Heroic Productions can help you unleash your creativity, and let’s make some magic happen together, contact us.

Check out some of our proudest productions to spark your imagination for your next big event, visit our website!

Three Must-Address Focal Points for Event Pros: MPI’s Meetings and Events 2024

Ready to level up your Meetings and Events in 2024? Meeting Professionals International (MPI) interviewed three event pros to discuss the three most important components on which people are increasingly focused. These are the three crucial areas that demand keen attention: staffing, inclusivity, and wellness. Let’s dive in and see how you can ace these focal points with flair and finesse.

Event Pros 2024

Staffing: Working Smarter, Not Harder

While there seems to be a need for more staff, many don’t seem to have the budget or resources to onboard more personnel. Molly C. Marsh, CMP, Director of Education and Events at AMR Management Services states, “Our company has struggled to find, specifically, qualified individuals in the program development side of the industry. Those who work with speakers, planning committees, and do our event marketing have been hard to come by, while our events team that focuses on project management and logistical execution for meetings and conferences has remained very strong.” So, with rising hospitality costs and stagnant budgets, it’s time to get creative. Cue the “not so new” kid on the block, AI! Let’s tap into some “creative efficiency” and lighten the load without breaking the bank.

Inclusivity: It’s About People

When it comes to inclusivity, event professionals are being more aware and intentional. So, how do we shake things up? It’s simple: start with people. Jennifer Lazarz, Events Planner and Tradeshow Manager at Medical Informatics Corp says, “Our industry is poised to make a positive impact by ensuring that we work with each other to have inclusivity in our speakers and presenters event-wide [as well as] diverse representation in thought leadership to drive inclusivity and planning strategy.” Forget the RFP jargon for a sec and focus on fostering an environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued. Let’s make inclusivity the heart and soul of our planning strategy!

Event Pros Wellness in Food

Wellness: Healthy Events = Happy Attendees

Thomas Counts, Director of Sales at GettinLocal, is preaching the wellness gospel loud and clear. “The meetings themselves should be part of a wellness plan,” he asserts. Imagine kicking off the day with a refreshing yoga session or organizing an afternoon team walking tour around the city hosting your event. These activities not only promote bonding but also contribute to overall health and well-being.

It’s no secret that many corporate meetings start off on the wrong foot with unhealthy breakfasts, followed by equally unhealthy lunches and dinners, topped off with cocktails after a long day of sitting. However, there’s a better way forward. Wellness initiatives like quiet rooms, designated workspaces, and offering healthy food options can help cut through the noise of these bustling events. 

Thomas recounts a recent trade show experience where a booth encouraged visitors to unleash their creativity with watercolor. It was a simple yet effective two-minute break that left him feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Molly adds another layer to the discussion, noting, “With continuing education a primary focus for many association meetings and conferences, it is very difficult to get buy-in to take away a breakout room to use for a quiet space, or to have longer breaks to allow participants to decompress between sessions. But those are outdated ways of thinking that we really need to continue to chip away so that we can provide healthier experiences for all.”

Event Pros: Level Up for 2024!

In a nutshell, whether you’re harnessing the power of AI to streamline your operations, championing diversity and inclusivity from the get-go, or adding quiet rooms to your next meeting, change is on the horizon for the events industry. So, let’s roll up our sleeves, get creative, and make 2024 the year of unforgettable events!

Download MPI’s full comprehensive Meetings and Events 2024 report by visiting their website.

To see how Heroic Productions can help you plan your next event, contact us.

To learn about marketing events in 2024, visit our blog.

Kitty Hart Shines on Your Brand Amplified Podcast: Inside the World of Experiential Marketing

Ever wondered how a brand can sweep you off your feet, creating those magical moments you just can’t stop raving about? Get ready to satisfy that curiosity as Anika Jackson dives deep into the vibrant world of experiential marketing with the amazing Kitty Hart, Heroic’s VP of Client Brand Experience on Your Brand Amplified Podcast. Together, they embark on an insightful journey through this ever-evolving landscape that’s all about captivating hearts and igniting senses.

Kitty: The Experiential Marketing Maestro

Kitty’s expertise lies in experiential marketing. “Any touchpoint we have with a customer is an experience,” Anika states wisely. Kitty sheds light on the fact that while experiential marketing isn’t new (it goes way back to the 1800s!), its importance has skyrocketed in our digital age. Despite our digital immersion, there’s an irreplaceable need for physical brand experiences. Yet, in today’s world, surprising and delighting audiences has become a delightful challenge.

Your Brand Amplified Experiential Marketing

The Evolution of Experiential Marketing

The evolution of corporate event marketing has been nothing short of fascinating, especially in our work at Heroic. From national sales meetings to incentive trips, we traverse diverse terrains. Even though our focus is often corporate, it’s crucial to remember that whether it’s business-to-business or business-to-consumer, we’re all humans seeking genuine connections. We want attendees excited about events, feeling the pulse of momentum, and leaving refreshed and more connected to the company and their goals.

How to Incorporate Experiential Marketing

Establishing a solid foundation rooted in your company’s core values is key to integrating experiential marketing. Go back to basics: What defines your brand? Who are your customers, and what drives them? Once you have these insights, let creativity soar. Collaboration across departments is vital here, and don’t let budget constraints dampen imaginative sparks! Kitty emphasizes that any brand, big or small, can weave experiential marketing magic by focusing on one sense at a time and building experiences around it.

The Hybrid Experience: Blending Physical and Virtual

Many companies now blend in-person and virtual experiences to accommodate diverse needs. Whether it’s remote employees, geographical challenges, or budget considerations, creating dual experiences has become essential. This duality necessitates crafting tailored experiences for both physical and virtual participants, ensuring everyone feels engaged and valued.

The Importance of Business Development

Kitty’s sales success stems from selling experiences that unite people and brands. Her mantra? Seeing consumers as humans first, not just potential buyers. Today’s consumers are savvy and seek authenticity over pushy sales tactics. Anika notes that, “the new equivalent of the old, pushy sales person is the LinkedIn inbox.” Building genuine relationships and leveraging referrals are key strategies. Kitty’s sales superpower? Wholeheartedly believing in what she sells. She states, “I’m just a matchmaker finding people who need what we have.”

Kitty concludes with a powerful message: let’s value the experience and wisdom of individuals, regardless of age. Women over 50 bring immense value and insight, just as 20 somethings offer fresh insights. Respect and collaboration across generations enrich our experiences and drive innovation forward.

In Conclusion: Embracing Experiential Magic

As we conclude our journey through the realm of experiential marketing with the effervescent Kitty Hart, one thing becomes abundantly clear: magic happens when brands connect with audiences on a human level. From understanding core values to crafting immersive experiences, the key lies in authenticity, creativity, and genuine connections.

To have your own conversation with the experiential marketing maestro herself, contact Kitty Hart.

To learn how to incorporate stellar audio/visual production into your next event experience, visit our website.

Meetings Today Event Industry Trends for 2024

Calling all event enthusiasts! Meetings Today has just dropped their “Trends for 2024” eHandbook packed to the brim with insights sure to help you plan for the upcoming year. The 2024 Meetings Today Trends Survey was conducted using Alchemer between 10/27/2023 and 12/18/2023 and includes 181 complete responses from meeting and event planners.

Meet 2024’s Meeting and Event Planners 

Ever wonder who’s behind the magic of event planning? Well it turns out, almost half of meeting and event planners seem to fall between the ages of 42-57, consisting mostly of Gen Xers followed by the second largest group being 58+. More millennials and Gen Zers will eventually make their way up the ranks, but not anytime soon. Experience is the name of the game here, with more than half of our survey respondents boasting over two decades in the biz! Oh, and did we mention? The event management scene is rocking a fabulous 78% female power surge.

Meetings Today Event Industry Trends for 2024

Hot Button Issues

Politics and social issues may make headlines, but do they sway our planners’ destination decisions? When asked if a location’s climate on controversial political and social issues impacts destination selection, the majority of responders fell between “somewhat” and “has no influence on my destination selection.” And what about labor unions? Meh, not a deciding factor for 70% of respondents. In fact, when picking a destination for their meetings and events, the respondents said they mainly care about location! Accessibility, airlift, and weather play the next most important roles in decision making.

Meeting Logistics: Location, Location, Location

Picture this: bustling events, buzzing with energy, and attendees aplenty. That’s the vibe for 2024, with planners expecting a crowd of 101-200. And the fun doesn’t stop there—the majority of planners say they are planning to have 3-5 or even 11-50 events throughout the year! While, about 57% of planners say they will not be going international in 2024, 11% say they plan to in the future. 

Activities offsite are nothing new to the world of corporate meetings and events, but what type of options are planners considering when perusing local Yelp pages? It’s no surprise that restaurants came in at number 1. Planners are also considering historic buildings/landmarks, museums, and trailing not far behind are wineries/breweries and sports facilities. But what kinds of activities specifically are we talking about incorporating? Obviously networking is first, followed by more than one third saying that team building activities and wellness activities are on their priority lists. And let’s not forget the allure of a round of golf or a pampering spa day—because who doesn’t love a little indulgence?

When it comes to hotel selection, the majority of planners are picking based on, you guessed it, location. Room rates come in second, followed by food and beverage and then attrition policy. 

Meetings Today Event Industry Trends for 2024

Looking Ahead to the Future

The biggest foreseeable challenge for our meeting planner friends seems to be increasing costs. Hotel, supplier, and food and beverage costs seem to be skyrocketing along with inflation, and over 87% of planners see this as their biggest challenge moving forward. Staffing levels and navigating attrition policies also spark concern, followed by the perennial challenge of managing tighter budgets.

Yes, the events industry has bounced back with gusto, but it’s a journey sprinkled with both triumphs and hurdles. Embracing the blend of old-school expertise and new-wave innovations, about 32% of planners are still keen on hybrid events, keeping the virtual realm buzzing with possibilities. 

So, fellow event professionals, let’s tackle 2024 with excitement, creativity, and a dash of tech-savvy magic! Together, we’ll make every event an unforgettable experience.

To see the entire comprehensive report, visit meetingstoday.com.

Let’s turn vision into reality with stellar audio/visual production, contact us.

Want to learn more about event trends in 2024? Visit our Marketing Events in 2024 blog.

Kitty Hart on The Faces of Business Podcast: Creating Unforgettable Events

At Heroic Productions, we were fortunate to have our very own Kitty Hart, our VP of Client Brand Experience, as a guest on The Faces of Business podcast with the one and only Damon Pistulka. In this episode, Kitty takes a deep dive into the world of brand experiences, unraveling the secrets behind creating unforgettable events that truly resonate with audiences.

Kitty Hart: A Marketing Maven

Kitty isn’t just your average marketing professional; she’s a visionary with over 28 years of experience, specializing in breathing life into brands through strategic storytelling, impactful brand strategy, and innovative experience design.

The Value in Event Production

According to Kitty, her favorite part of working at Heroic is all about setting a stage and ensuring the people on stage are seen, heard, and remembered. The most thrilling moment for her team is seeing a concept evolve into a spectacular reality. It’s a journey that can take up to a year, from brainstorming ideas and creating room renderings to the actual event day. Her secret insight: being “on comm” with a headset during an event is the key to understanding all the behind-the-scenes magic that goes into producing these top-notch events.

At Heroic, our mission is crystal clear: our client is the hero. We’re not here to take the spotlight; we’re here to ensure our clients shine. Our happiness stems from their satisfaction. It’s essential for our customers to select a production partner who can execute flawlessly and be the expert in stage design, audio, and lighting. So when that speaker steps onto the stage, they don’t have to worry about technical glitches or whether the audience can see and hear them.

Kitty explains how some of our events span several days, which means our team needs lots of stamina. Consequently, staffing and crew management play pivotal roles in ensuring everything runs smoothly.

The Faces of Business Featuring Kitty Hart and Events

What Sets Events Apart?

“It drives a constant focus on creativity,” Kitty emphasizes. Many of our clients host the same event year after year, and they’re eager to keep things fresh. They often draw inspiration from outside their industry to inject new life into their corporate events, especially considering that the current workforce spans four different generations.

Kitty’s personal favorites are events that incorporate music and impactful lighting. “Surprising and delighting people is becoming increasingly challenging,” she notes. Beyond visuals, the choice of speakers and entertainment plays a substantial role. Transforming a simple ballroom into a rockstar experience is no small feat. When you can infuse as many of the senses into an experience, the more impactful that experience becomes. “It’s the senses that drive our memories,” Kitty notes.

Additionally, she goes on to mention a baseball stadium that pumps the smell of cotton candy into their stadium! Using scent to elicit the feeling of hunger and nostalgia. 

Challenges in Events

Damon inquires about the most challenging event Kitty has ever been a part of. She recalls an event for a beauty brand Heroic worked on. It spanned multiple days, with exceedingly high expectations, especially for the staging. It was a haircare product, and the main event was a fashion show. The event was one of our larger projects, demanding long and high-energy days. Our team was a part of keeping that energy high.

Education, entertainment, and networking are the key components to corporate events. With consumer brands, getting products into people’s hands to sample is a big part of it. For B2B clients, it’s about designing an engaging experience that goes beyond traditional PowerPoint presentations. Recreational time for attendees is undoubtably crucial for maintaining attention spans.

Success!

When asked about success, Kitty reflects on Super Bowl 52 event hosted on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. Our crew endured long days in subzero temperatures, but the event was nothing short of amazing. Over a million people flocked to Minneapolis for the Super Bowl festivities. Being part of such a remarkable event in our hometown was truly life-changing.

What’s Next for Events?

What’s next for event production? For Heroic, we’re keeping a watchful eye on AI, and we’ve also got our hands on the new Proto Epic hologram machine!

As Kitty and Heroic look to the future, one thing remains constant: our unwavering commitment to making every event exceptional. So, whether you’re hosting a corporate extravaganza or a show-stopping product launch, you can count on Heroic Productions to be the secret ingredient that transforms ordinary into extraordinary.

Stay up-to-date on what’s next in event tech with our latest blog post.

To get in touch with Heroic for your next unforgettable event, contact us.

AI: Event Marketing’s New Superhero

If you’ve been keeping your finger on the pulse of the marketing world, you’re likely well aware of the seismic shifts AI is causing in the B2B landscape. But let’s zoom in on one exciting area: the events industry. Brace yourselves, because generative AI is here to shake things up in ways we’ve only dreamed of before!

How exactly does this nifty tool come to the rescue, and what magic does it hold for the future of events? Let’s begin by uncovering the gaps in event marketing, shall we?

According to a report done by Forrester, our fellow B2B marketers have been grappling with some age-old event planning woes. The report shows 63% of event marketers underutilize the event content they create, 55% are not maximizing the value of data they capture at their events, and 53% are struggling to give attendees that special, personalized touch. And guess what? That’s just the tip of the iceberg! We’re talking about challenges like targeting the right audience, flexing those cutting-edge content creation muscles, and nailing the post-event follow-up dance.

Pre-Event AI Superpowers

With all these challenges, how can AI help? In the pre-event stage, AI improves efficiency and productivity. AI can help improve audience definition and targeting, so you are getting the right people to the right event. It can help enhance content creation, making content better and more engageable. It can also help simplify event management by optimizing event budgets, automating routine tasks, and assigning those tasks and timelines appropriately. Plus, AI is streamlining the RFP process with bots! Allow them to take down your event information and watch them fill in forms for you. 

AI: Event Marketing's New Superhero

At Event AI Awesomeness

AI is all about serving up personalized and inclusive experiences on a silver platter. Think highly personalized attendee journeys and a big warm hug of inclusivity for everyone involved. But wait! Personalization doesn’t only come from the event experience itself. Pre and post event AI can sprinkle its own personalization magic all along the way.

Post Event AI Brilliance

Once the confetti settles, post-event AI steps up, helping you squeeze every last drop of ROI from your event with savvy analysis and content repurposing. For AI, it’s all about maximizing the value of event content, personalizing attendee follow-up, and improving event data analysis. Leveraging AI encompasses various metrics such as pricing strategies, estimating attendee numbers, website visits, sign-ups, social media engagement, post-event surveys, and social media reviews to gauge satisfaction. This comprehensive analysis not only aids in benchmarking events against each other but also signifies the democratization of data analysis facilitated by AI.

Overcoming Adaptation Hurdles

The biggest challenge? Wrangling the beast of implementation and navigating the murky waters of change in corporate settings. Another common hurdle faced is finding legitimacy and authenticity with the resource. Generated content may not always stand out from competitors and isn’t unique to the brand. Good, thorough prompts are a must when using the tool. And oh, let’s not forget about those pesky ethical and legal issues. But fear not, with the right focus on security, risk mitigation through governance, using the tool as team upskilling, and partnering internally with all teams, you’ll be surfing the AI wave like a pro in no time!

How Should Marketers Dive In?

In the same survey taken by Forrester, less than half of B2B event marketers claimed to have a grasp on AI, and only a cool 28% were investing in AI training. And for the marketers using AI, over 70% said they are not revealing how they are using AI for events. But hey, the good news? Event AI usage is on the up and up, with 2024 shaping up to be a major milestone in the events industry’s AI journey.

Use Cases: What’s Hot?

The top current 3 use cases seem to be:

1.    AI powered captioning/translation/interpretation.

2.    Chatbots/IVAs delivering pre, at and post-event support

3.    Automated distribution of secondary event assets

The top 3 planned use cases in the coming year:

1.    Data driven and automated post-event attendee follow-up

2.    Automated production of secondary event assets

3.    Personalized attendee recommendations

In a nutshell, AI isn’t here to replace marketers—it’s here to amplify our superpowers! Good creative continues to come from humans. It is all about writing GOOD prompts and importing GOOD data into this scary, new tool.So hey, if you’re not already riding the AI train, what are you waiting for? All aboard!

To learn more about the future of events, visit our website.

To see how Heroic can help spice up your next event, contact us.

Marketing Events in 2024

Welcome to the dynamic world of marketing in 2024! In this ever-evolving landscape, launching a new event or navigating the impact of AI on your job requires a strategic approach. Buckle up as we dive into the exciting realm of marketing trends, effective strategies, and the game-changing role of AI.

Marketing a Brand New Event

The Devil is in the Details

Embarking on the journey of marketing a brand-new event? Unleash the power of uniqueness! Begin with attention-grabbing information that leaves your audience curious and hungry for more. Save the logistical nitty-gritty for later and focus on what makes your event unmissable.

Google is Your Superhero

Structured data through coding or using a service like Eventbrite will help land your events high on Google. That way when people simply search for current events in your area, your event will be listed at the top. Rise above the noise and give your event an opportunity to shine!

Tap into Your Network

Networking at other events to build relationships and invoke interest in your own event is a simple and easy “boots on the ground” way to get your message out. Also, don’t forget your existing network of friends, family, and coworkers—let them amplify your event’s reach.

Pro Tip: Create a checklist for event promotion across platforms to leave no stone unturned. If you see an event somewhere, write where you saw it and use it in your own marketing strategy!

How do I track the results of my event?

Face-to-Face Tracking

Engage directly with your audience at the event. Ask them, “How’d you hear about this event today?” One-on-one interactions are golden for gaining valuable insights.

Digital Tracking: Tell Tale Signs

Monitor the metrics on event day. Did your website traffic surge? Were calls and email inquiries off the charts? Leverage hashtags and QR codes to make online tracking a breeze. Set up these mechanisms well in advance for a seamless tracking experience.

Survey Says

We all love a good survey! Don’t we? Surveys are a great way to gather after event data, but they tend to not garner a ton of response. Consider offering a giveaway with your survey to get more hits.

Pro Tip: Purchase a new domain or create a new URL exclusively for event attendees. This will give you complete accuracy when determining which hits came directly from your event. 

Have No Fear, AI is Here

AI is a game-changer with untapped potential. Explore its prowess, especially for small budgets—let it assist in writing, editing, and organizing data. Embrace AI for brainstorming; throw ideas into the mix and witness the innovation. As we navigate the generational shift in the workforce, AI bridges the gap, alleviating shortages and enhancing efficiency.

New Trends in Marketing

Continuing to bridge the gap between offline and online marketing remains of the utmost importance. Crafting a strategy that seamlessly integrates both realms is key. Traditional and digital marketing should always both be a part of the conversation. Prioritize quality over quantity in your content, and opt for soft calls to action for maximum impact. Lead time is your ally—plan projects with a buffer that can adapt to change. And always remember, gratitude goes a long way in building lasting connections.

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, staying ahead means embracing innovation and adapting to trends. Whether you’re orchestrating an event, navigating AI’s impact, or exploring the latest marketing trends, the key is to stay agile, creative, and open to possibilities. Here’s to your marketing success in 2024 and beyond!

To see what’s new in event technology, visit our blog.
To see how Heroic Productions can help make your brand’s story shine, contact us.

The Future of Event Tech

If you’re in the events industry, you know that event technology is the heartbeat of every conversation. But let’s not just have tech in the room; let’s make it dance! Embracing both form and function is the key. Wondering how to infuse that tech magic into your event? Well, the experts have some playful and futuristic ideas for you!

Lit Check-ins: Sparking Event Excitement with LED Welcome Bliss!

Why shouldn’t you shock attendees right from the jump? Try surprising and delighting with an LED check-in table! However, it’s not just for check-ins; turn it into your bar or silent auction showcase. With LED panels there are limitless design possibilities, from colors to flashy designs, you can truly make it your own.

Starlux Arbors and Archways new in event tech

Arching into the Future: LED Arbors Steal the Spotlight!

Archways and arbors are classic, but here’s a twist – LED archways and arbors have just stepped into the spotlight! Perfect for speakers, panelists, and, of course, selfies and step-and-repeats. Light up your event with this new tech, making it a focal point that shines.

See-Through Event Tech Magic: Samsung’s Transparent MicroLED Screen Unveiled!

Transparent LED screens have been around, but Samsung just dropped a bomb – a new transparent microLED screen! Display content on a transparent background up close, creating a 3D, hologram effect. With higher brightness and less impact from ambient light than traditional OLED panels, it’s a game-changer.

#EventGoals: Infusing Social Media Buzz with Interactive Hashtags!

How about making your attendees the stars of the show? Create a catchy event hashtag and display social media content on the screen. Bring up attendees’ videos and images, keeping the energy high and interactions buzzing throughout your event.

Elevate Your View: Trolley Cameras for Capturing Event Awesomeness!

Capture the magic from above! Cameras and GoPros on trolleys overhead your venue are the latest craze. Perfect for marketing and pre-planning, these cameras capture the entire room, giving you a comprehensive view of the entire venue and event!

Event Tech Pro Tip…

Now, here’s a pro tip: while new tech is a blast, make sure you’ve got a solid AV company by your side. Chat with them before you book a venue. They’ll guide you based on your vision and help infuse the right tech to bring that vision to life. Happy event planning! 

To help infuse the best tech into your next event, contact us.
To learn more about Heroic’s newest technology offering, visit this blog.

Heroic Productions Spends a Day at Raise + Arrange 2024

Picture this: a chilly January 18, and the Heroic Productions squad descended upon Glasshouse in Minneapolis for the stellar Raise + Arrange 2024 event hosted by Do Good Events. Our CEO, Account Manager, and Marketing maestro joined forces with 80 other event enthusiasts for the afternoon, turning a frosty day into an epic experience.

The theme of this event was “Back to the Future of Events.” The venue transformed into a neon dreamland, with vibrant pinks and purples filling the space. The eye catcher? An LED check in desk courtesy of Full Swing Productions! The festivities kicked off with networking, delectable charcuterie from Chowgirls, and Kombucha sampling thanks to J’s Kombucha. Even Minneapolis local Surley Brewing Co. showed up with some swag and giveaways for attendees.

As the clock struck 1:30 p.m. everyone took their seats at round tables to get cozy with other event wizards. Once our table got acquainted with each other, the conference kicked off. In three hours, this event packed in a treasure trove of knowledge.

Raise + Arrange 2024 with Heroic Productions

Build a Million Dollar Fundraising Event

First up was Fundraising: Building a Million Dollar Event. Two members of The University of Minnesota Foundation, Nick Engbloom and Brittany Minke, took the stage to give us their genius tips for building a million dollar fundraising event. From building strong donor relationships to slightly altering ticket prices, these panelists were filled with a myriad of brilliant ideas!

PR/Marketing for Your Next Event

Next in line was PR/Marketing: Tips and Tricks, which included panelist Ben Theis, CEO of Skol Marketing. The hot topic – trying to bridge the data gap between offline and online marketing. The advice? Continue to mix traditional and digital marketing like a blender. Bring both to the table for conversation. Our pro tip takeaway: create/purchase a separate URL or domain for your event attendees. This way you can directly link web traffic to specific events. Genius, right?

Let Tech Bring You Into The Future

Cue drumroll for The Future of Event Tech, Heroic’s sweet spot! Ed Raeker, the brain behind Starlux, a new tech startup, wowed us with LED archways that can transform your event with illuminated geometric designs. Did we mention the LED check-in desk? Impressive stuff!

The New Age of Mobile Bidding

Then, it was time for mobile bidding, brought to you by the day’s sponsors, OneCause and Auction & Event Solutions. They make bidding and collecting donations a breeze, ensuring your fundraising event is smoother than a well-choreographed dance.

“Fundraise Awesomer” with Patrick Kirby

Donors, Sponsors… and Everything Else! Enter Patrick Kirby, Keynote Speaker, Author, and Founder of Do Good Better Consulting. He hit the stage with contagious energy, reminding us that it’s the little things—like engaging your donors—that truly elevate fundraising events to awesomeness.

The Alignment of Past, Present, and Future

Last but certainly not least, the sensational Heather Boll took us on a journey with Learning from the Past, Living for the Present, Planning for the Future. Heather left us with pearls of wisdom and the courage to conquer the year ahead.

The Raise + Arrange 2024 day wrapped up with a networking happy hour, courtesy of the delightful Brasa Rotisserie. As we indulged in Brasa delights, sipped our drinks, and mingled with fellow event enthusiasts, we left with newfound knowledge and friendships. What a day!

To learn more about what’s new in event tech, visit our blog.

To see what Heroic Productions can do for you, contact us.

Marketers’ Community at Heroic Productions for Transformation Talks: Creating Authenticity, Purpose & Fulfillment in Your Career

On a frigid January 16 afternoon, Heroic Productions lit up STUDIO15 with the warmth of Marketers’ Community. This time taking the stage was Marketers’ Community founder, Laura King, with a keynote on creating authenticity, purpose and fulfillment in your career.

As 100 marketers filed in from the cold, they were met with light bites and refreshments including an NA bar dedicated to Zero Proof Collective and cofounder Jen Gilhoi. Flavorful NA beer and wine options for dry January? Count us in! Marketers drank and were merry as they networked with their fellow mavens at Heroic branded cases that were converted into makeshift cocktail tables! Inventive? We thought so!

Eager to get started, the crowd was ushered into STUDIO15 for the main event. As they entered to take their seats, they were met with an enveloping sea of gorgeous blue and green illumination. Then, the anticipation soared as Kitty Hart took the stage to introduce Heroic, followed by the excited Abby Kelsey introducing Marketers’ Community and Laura King.

Marketers' Community in at Heroic Productions for Pursuing Your Purpose
Marketers' Community in at Heroic Productions for Pursuing Your Purpose
Marketers' Community in at Heroic Productions for Pursuing Your Purpose

How Did Laura Learn to Pursue Her Purpose?

Most of the faces in this crowd knew the illustrious Laura King, but few knew her story. She begins with a tale of the heartaches she suffered in 2023. From a stellar $900,000 sales year in 2022 to a humbling $35,000 in Q1 of 2023 – Laura had faced setbacks. Yet, in those moments of challenge, Laura found enlightenment.

Laura’s mantra? “To inspire, educate, motivate and love as many people as possible.” She reshaped her focus using three key competencies: gifts, passion, and values. But how do we grasp these? Through awareness, attitude and action. If you know your gifts, passions and values, and follow the three A’s, thus you are living in your purpose. 

However, we know this is easier said than done. Here’s a checklist to kickstart your journey:

Gifts

1. Awareness: Do you know your gifts?

2. Attitude: Do you honor your gifts?

3. Action: Are you using your gifts?

Passion

1. Awareness: Do you know your passion?

2. Attitude: Do you honor your passion?

3. Action: Are you pursuing your passion?

Values

1. Awareness: Do you know your values?

2. Attitude: Are you being honest?

3. Action: Are you living by your values?

Finally, once you understand these three competencies, evaluate what is getting in your way, and align all three – congratulations, you’re living your purpose!

The crowd broke off into groups to discuss how they can better find alignment to live in their purpose. After hearing from a few audience members, you could say the room was inspired.

Afterwards, coats were donned and the Minnesota winter beckoned, a new energy filled the air. Armed with Laura’s wisdom, marketers stepped out, ready to embrace their purpose.

Curious about how we can add a sea of color to your next event? Contact us.

Read about what event tech you could be adding to your next event here.

Kitty Hart: The ROI of Experiential Marketing on CMO Convo Podcast

Heroic Productions’ own VP of Client Brand Experience, Kitty Hart, had the opportunity to go on CMO Convo podcast to discuss a couple of important topics: what is experiential marketing, and where is the ROI? 

Experiential Marketing? Tell Me More!

Kitty has an infectious passion for experiential marketing. Having navigated the twists and turns of sales and marketing throughout her career, she totally gets why these topics are big deals. 

According to her definition, experiential marketing is all about, “events, experiences, and interactions that will create a lasting emotional connection between a brand and its audience.” 

As part of the conversation, host Will Whitman asked, “what about the future of experiential marketing?” Well, it is taking a digital detour. Yep, you heard it right – experiences are no longer confined to the in-person realm, all thanks to our good friend, technology.

The Thrilling Rewards of Experiential Marketing

But let’s talk about the benefits, shall we? The benefit of an experiential marketing experience is different for a B2B business versus B2C business. In B2C experiences, like a State Fair for example, the path to purchase is instant. The mouthwatering scent of Sweet Martha’s Cookies draws people to their stand, forking over $$ for an immediate exchange of sweetness. B2B, on the other hand, takes a bit of a scenic route. It’s about leaving a brand impression and creating a connection, and, well, exercising a bit of patience. The path to purchase takes a little longer but sales will be realized following a variety of meaningful touchpoints. Good things take time, right?

The Secret Sauce

What’s the secret sauce? Being different and unique. Kitty’s insight? “Audience expectations become more and more challenging over time. It becomes harder to surprise and delight people.” So, aim for that memorable impression that has them itching to tell someone what they heard, saw, and felt at your event. 

Social media is your sidekick in this adventure, and it has tremendous value. Sharing from your event and creating some buzz with things like event hashtags go a long way.

Don’t let any of this scare you! It turns out, experiential marketing events don’t have to break the bank. Take Kitty’s Uber example where the top 12 Uber users were invited to an event thrown by Uber in a giant bus with a celebrity chef. Not your typical Thursday, right? But the social impressions? Off the charts! Intimate, effective, and budget-friendly. Put the right people in the right room and your experience can have a huge impact.

Everyone’s Favorite Measurement: ROI

In regards to measuring ROI for an experiential marketing event, there is no textbook answer. Each company must decide for themselves what is meaningful for them to measure. Surveys and social buzz are a great way to gain insight. Start with a simple question: “What challenge are we trying to solve here?” Are you launching a new product? Are sales slacking? There are many reasons to throw an experiential marketing event. Your goals should be the Sherlock Holmes to your marketing mystery.

Here’s a tip: Gather the troops – sales, marketing, executive leadership, CMO – everyone’s invited to the table. Teamwork makes the dream work, after all.

Kitty also drops some wisdom on the importance of corporate events and investing in your work fam, which is a lot of the work Heroic does. She brings up a favorite quote of hers, “CFO to CEO: What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us? CEO to CFO: What happens if we don’t and they stay?” Mic drop moment, right?

Now, brace yourselves for the future of experiential marketing. Tracking and facial recognition software are the cool kids on the block. The Mall of America’s been using tracking software for a while to map out the customer journey. A lot of companies are investing a lot on making their own apps. They’re like data superheroes. Gamification is also stealing the show – who doesn’t love a game on their phone for some freebies? Will Whitman, adds that he loves a good QR code! Thanks COVID for the comeback!

Surprise & Delight!

Let’s make waves in the experiential marketing ocean! Whether you’re planning a B2B soirée or a B2C extravaganza, remember Kitty’s golden rule: know the challenge you’re tackling and keep asking the question, “why are we doing this?”. Let’s keep surprising, delighting, and creating experiences that not only leave a mark but also have everyone shouting, “Encore, encore!” 

To speak with the experiential marketing maven herself, contact Kitty Hart.

Curious to dive deeper into the world of experiential marketing? Check out our resources page.

Kitty Hart: Building Brands Through Events on Digital Velocity Podcast

Our powerhouse VP of Client Brand Experience, Kitty Hart, recently stole the spotlight on the Digital Velocity podcast, hosted by the dynamic duo, Erik Martinez and Tim Curtis. They dove deep into the world of building brands through events that are not just memorable but downright life-changing.

Business development is the name of Kitty’s game. She currently sits in this seat selling experiential meetings and events. She’s got this knack for selling experiential meetings and events that are more than just gatherings – they’re highly architected experiences where nothing is left to chance. Why? Because connecting brands and people is both a science and an art. It’s about creating events that hit you right in the feels – engaging all the senses.

So, where does it all start? According to Kitty, it begins with a simple yet tremendously important question: “Why are we doing this?” Then, in a world where we’ve seen it all, the challenge for event and marketing teams is to ask, “how can we do this event differently from how we have done it in the past?” It’s important for returning audience members to look forward to the event year after year. 

And here’s a nugget of wisdom – just because we live in a digital age doesn’t mean experiential marketing takes a back seat. Take Uber, for instance. Identifying super users, they crafted a unique dining experience on an Uber-branded bus for 12 lucky souls with a celebrity chef. The physical experience was intimate but the buzz those super-users created through social media was through the roof!

Now, creating buzz isn’t exclusive to consumer brands. B2B marketers, it’s time to embrace the buzz! Heroic’s corporate events aren’t just about meetings, education, and a bit of entertainment sprinkled in; they’re about creating experiences that people can’t wait to share.

In the world of Heroic, collaboration with brands is more than a partnership – it’s setting the stage, literally and figuratively. As Kitty puts it, “All the world’s a stage. We are going to help your brand show up on that stage in the very best way that it can.” Crafting the narrative is key.

In-person events are evolving, now often accompanied by a virtual component. It’s like creating two different worlds – one for the in-person audience and one for the virtual voyagers. Holding the attention of virtual attendees is crucial; after all, distractions are just a click away.

Kitty brings up her Starbucks example. Describing how Starbucks must tailor experiences to different customers. Customers who go through the drive through, customers who come in, order and sit down, and customers who come in and order their coffees to go. Each of those customers need a different tailored approach. 

“Event marketing is a tried and true method of marketing,” Kitty says. It is unmatched and worth every penny. 

She leaves us with “the next big thing in your industry will come from another industry.” So stay on top of marketing trends! Identify things that can be applied to your business.

Ready to dive deeper into the world of brand-altering experiences? Connect with Kitty and let’s create some magic!
Need help planning a hybrid event? Download our Hybrid Event Planning Guide!

Another Heroic Production for Gustavus Adolphus College’s 50th Year of Christmas in Christ Chapel

Heroic Productions was back in St. Peter, MN for another year of Gustavus Adolphus College’s Christmas in Christ Chapel. “What is Christmas in Christ Chapel?” you ask. Well, it’s Gustavus’s 50 year-old tradition of bringing the community together to joyously celebrate Christmas. Picture this: a large production with singing, dancing, live music, and the spoken word; all brought to you by the incredible performances of Gustavus Choir, Choir of Christ Chapel, Christ Chapel Ringers, Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, Lucia Singers, and select members of the Gustavus Dance Company.

A Heroic Journey Through Time with Christmas in Christ Chapel

Why Heroic you ask? It all started 14 years ago when Heroic was contracted to help enhance the lighting in Christ Chapel using professional-grade instruments to better illuminate the superstars – the choirs, orchestra, and speakers. Fast forward four years, and Heroic decided to go beyond being a rental contractor. We approached the college with an idea to broadcast the show on the college’s web-streaming services. Gustavus’s response? A resounding “Absolutely!” For the past 10 years, we’ve been an integral part of this magical celebration.

Then came 2020 – the year of the unexpected plot twist. Gustavus decided if the community couldn’t be together in person, they still wanted to spread the Christmas cheer. While other colleges either canceled or used previously recorded versions of similar shows, Gustavus knew they still wanted to showcase the production. Heroic was able to come up with a safe set and recorded all the musical magic in October and edited the show together for a magical broadcast to showcase in mid-December. “It was an incredible undertaking and one of the proudest of my career,” Heroic CEO, Jon Young beams. 

Christmas in Christ Chapel Today

Today, Christmas in Christ Chapel holds a special place as one of Gustavus’s “signature events.” Heroic is honored to be Santa’s little helper behind this prestigious production. Our roots in music and entertainment make this event close to our hearts.

Christmas in Christ Chapel is not a “made for TV” show. It’s a live worship service, a dynamic experience that we strive to deliver to both in-person and virtual viewers. With 1,000 people seated in the audience and 10,000 viewing from home, Heroic is in charge of finding that perfect balance. 

The building is also not designed for our work – it’s a chapel! Working with stringent engineering specs and adding more power to the building has turned us into efficiency experts. We get more efficient every year! Our team of nine camera operators, four audio technicians, two lighting designers, a director, an assistant director, a page turner, video engineers, an executive producer, a technical director, and 20 stagehands expertly get the job done every time!

So, as we close out another year of spreading holiday joy, we invite you to join us next year, whether in person or from the comfort of your cozy couch. Christmas in Christ Chapel is a celebration like no other, and with Heroic Productions at the helm, you’re in for a treat.

To see the work that goes into this production, visit our website.

Ready to elevate your next event? Let’s start a conversation about how Heroic can bring your vision to life, contact us.

A Heroic Impact at Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe

This past Sunday, December 3, 2023, was a day to remember as Be the Change shut down Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe theme park from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The goal? Simple – spread joy and make a positive impact in our community.

Imagine this: an entire Winter Wonderland extravaganza exclusively for underserved kids and their families. Eight hundred students from Bethune Arts Elementary, Nellie Stone Johnson Community School, and Hall STEM Academy were invited along with 800 of their friends and 800 of their parents to spend a day of fun at the iconic theme park. Yep, you read that right – the more, the merrier!

The day was filled with loads of thrills! And no, we’re not just talking about unlimited ride wristbands (although those were pretty awesome too). The event also hosted local DJs, face painting, photo booths, and a free holiday store stocked with gifts for the kiddos! Santa even paid a surprise visit from the North Pole. 

The excitement didn’t stop there. Attendees dined on catered meals from local chefs as well as, the most exciting part, a giant donut wall!

Volunteer Power Unleashed

Kudos to the incredible partners who made this event come to life: Mall of America, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minneapolis Fire Department, The Minnesota Vikings, The Minnesota Timberwolves, Sue McLean and Associates, Event Lab, many Minneapolis elected officials, and Heroic Productions! Without their support, none of this would have been possible.

A special shoutout to our very own Heroic Account Manager, Miles Kipper, for spearheading the site logistics and day of execution to make sure everything ran like a well-oiled machine. Heroic is beyond proud to be a part of events that create lasting memories and smiles.

Don’t miss out on future moments of joy! Subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive updates on what’s happening at Heroic.
Supercharge your next event with Heroic, send us a message.

Experiential Marketing with Kitty Hart on LifeBlood Podcast

Heroic’s own marketing maven, our VP of Client Brand Experience, Kitty Hart, shares some serious wisdom on the LifeBlood podcast. She dived into the thrilling world of experiential marketing alongside George Grombacher.

Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing is extremely important during this day in age. Kitty rightly points out that despite everything going electronic, people still crave real, physical connections with brands. “We live in such a digital age. Everything is electronic, but people still want to have a physical experience with a brand,” she mentions. Face-to-face interaction remains an essential need.

Experiential Marketing with Kitty Hart on LifeBlood Podcast

What Even is Experiential Marketing?

Kitty describes experiential marketing as, “Designing a physical experience where the brand shows up in a space and interacts with a person.” And guess what? This concept isn’t exactly fresh; it traces back to the 1800s. She shares intriguing anecdotes about the World’s Fair in Chicago. Providing examples like Wrigley’s handing out pieces of chewing gum, Aunt Jemima dishing out pancakes from their new mix, and Cracker Jacks giving away their product for people to try. It’s all about putting tangible samples in people’s hands to tickle their senses.

The Key to Success

She emphasizes that successful experiential marketing hinges on creativity, uniqueness, and an element of surprise. However, she underlines that authenticity to the brand is crucial. “The best experiential marketing campaigns are shareable,” Kitty stresses. Marketers should aim for experiences that people can’t help but share on social media, and they should consider this when planning events and experiences. 

According to Kitty, whether you’re in the B2B or B2C realm, it all boils down to “people to people.” Connecting with your audience on a personal level is key.

And here’s the kicker: engaging people’s senses is paramount in experiential marketing. Kitty delves into how sensory elements like scent, taste, and sound create lasting memories tied to experiences, influencing branding and marketing strategies. She sheds light on the impact of scents, citing baseball stadiums that infuse the air with the scent of cotton candy, ultimately evoking feelings of nostalgia and hunger. It’s like a sensory trip down memory lane! While it’s not necessary to tap into every one of the senses all the time, it is important to find opportunities to infuse the ones that will make the most impact. 

Experiential Marketing at Heroic Productions

Kitty notes that Heroic Productions primarily works with mid to large-sized companies, orchestrating elaborate corporate events aimed at delivering impactful messages through stage production, focusing on details, and ensuring a memorable experiences for attendees. However, she highlights that even smaller organizations can leverage experiential marketing techniques to enhance their events.

Kitty’s insights truly paint a vibrant picture of the exciting world of experiential marketing. If you missed the podcast, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Keep up with Kitty for more marketing insights and remember, it’s all about creating those remarkable, shareable experiences that leave a lasting impact!

Let’s explore how you can create memorable and shareable experiences for your audience, contact us.

Learn how to leverage sensory elements, surprise, and authenticity in your brand experiences with our Corporate Event Strategies Guide.

Shakespearean Kitty Hart on Thoughts That Rock Podcast

Hey there, fellow champions of personal and professional development! We’re excited to bring you the highlights from Kitty Hart’s recent appearance on the Thoughts That Rock podcast with hosts Jim Knight and Brant Menswar. Kitty, Heroic Productions’ VP of Client Brand Experience, shared three transformative thoughts on how to become the star of your own show every day.

Shakespearean Kitty on Thoughts That Rock Podcast

THOUGHT #1 – View All the World as a Stage & Every Person a Player

To quote Shakespeare Kitty says, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.” This profound thought holds the key to success both personally and in the business world. So, how do we apply this wisdom in our daily lives?

  • Lists as GPS: Think of your to-do lists as your guiding stars. But remember, it’s not just about having a list; it’s about tackling it with purpose and enthusiasm.
  • Dress for Success: Everything you do helps you create your own personal brand. This starts with the clothes you wear and how you present yourself. Kitty suggests thinking about the people you will be interacting with for the day and “level up one.” This shows people that you care and have come to the table prepared. 
  • Are You the Star or an Extra?: Brant challenged us to think about our daily approach. Are you treating each day like you’re a star in your own show, or are you merely an extra in someone else’s story? Remember, your power lies in your ability to take the lead.

THOUGHT #2 – Be Who You Are: It’s All About Authenticity (To Thine Own Self Be True)

People see through inauthenticity. Kitty passionately rejects the notion of “fake it till you make it.” Instead, she encourages you to manifest and work towards the life of your dreams. 

  • Authentic Armor: Authenticity is like a protective coat of armor. It’s crucial to find your voice and stick with it.
  • Adapt Without Compromising: Jim reminds us that it’s okay to adapt to different audiences, but your core beliefs, values, and goals should always stay the same. The show must go on, even if you need to leave some baggage at the door.
  • Discover Your Non-Negotiables: As Brant puts it, “You can’t be authentic until you figure out what your non-negotiable values are.” These principles are your compass in the vast world of life and work.

THOUGHT #3 – Bring Out the Best in Others

Kitty concluded her podcast appearance with yet another Shakespearean gem, “We know what we are but not what we may be.” It’s all about bringing out the best in others and fostering an environment of growth and support. 

  • Acknowledgment and Encouragement: Celebrate the strengths of others by acknowledging their talents. A simple compliment can have a tremendous impact. There is enough room for everyone to win.
  • The Power of Leaders: Brant emphasized the importance of strong leaders, citing Michael Jordan as an example. While we need “Mr. Rogers” vibes, we also benefit from those who challenge us to be better. Healthy competition can be a powerful motivator.
  • Choices in Leadership: Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to bringing out the best in others. Leaders may need to tailor their approaches when deciding how to inspire and lead, but the common goal is to help everyone reach their full potential.
Shakespearean Kitty on Thoughts That Rock Podcast

So, there you have it! Three powerful thoughts to help you become the star of your own show every day. With Kitty’s wisdom and a touch of Shakespearean inspiration, you’re well on your way to achieving your personal and professional goals.

Let’s embrace each day as our own show, and make it a blockbuster worth watching!

Explore more about Heroic Productions, visit our website.

To get in touch with Kitty Hart directly, simply shoot her an email.

Crafting Brand Design and Experiences: Insights From Kitty Hart on Corporate CPR

In the ever-evolving world of branding and marketing, it’s crucial to ask yourself a vital question: Are you telling the right story about your brand? To explore this intriguing topic, we turn our attention to the expertise of Kitty Hart, Heroic’s VP of Brand Experience, who recently shared her invaluable insights on the Corporate CPR podcast. With 25 years of experience in the branding and marketing arena, Kitty is a seasoned pro in crafting remarkable brand design and experiences. In the episode, she discussed a plethora of ideas that can transform the way you perceive and present your brand. Let’s dive into her wisdom and discover how you can breathe new life into your brand’s story.

Designing Every Interaction with Control and Consistency

Kitty’s first nugget of wisdom is all about designing every interaction your audience has with your brand. She states, “If you leave things undesigned, you will have misunderstanding.” She emphasizes that successful companies understand the significance of designing every moment, as it directly influences the way your brand is perceived.

Brand consistency is like the North Star guiding your audience through the galaxy of options. To maintain a positive brand perception, companies must control and be consistent in how their brand shows up in various instances. This consistency ensures there’s no room for misunderstanding about your brand.

Kitty underscores that the integration of design thinking into your business strategy is the secret sauce for creating memorable brand experiences. It’s not just about how your brand looks, but also how it feels. A well-thought-out design thinking approach can revolutionize your brand’s story and engagement.

Kitty Hart on Corporate CPR podcast: Crafting Brand Design and Experience

Listening and Adapting: Keeping a Finger on the Pulse

To gauge how well your brand is perceived, Kitty advises brands to actively monitor social media and conduct surveys. “Social media is a good sounding board,” she says. If people aren’t talking about your brand or are expressing negative sentiments, it may be an indicator that improvements are needed. Listening and adapting are essential to keeping your brand fresh and relevant.

Crafting a Clear Brand Story: Your “Why” Matters

Crafting a clear and compelling brand story, grounded in your “why,” is pivotal. Kitty emphasizes the importance of involving a cross-section of your organization to create and maintain a consistent brand message. A well-crafted brand story not only informs but also inspires.

Shift in Perspective: Beyond Products and Services

For your brand to truly stand out, Kitty suggests shifting the focus from products and services to the results and impact on customers. Challenge the status quo and emphasize why you do what you do. Your brand is more than just what you sell; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.

Design and Visuals Matter: Creating Engaging Environments

Visuals, staging, and technology play a significant role in crafting engaging and enjoyable corporate events. A well-designed environment enhances the learning experience and leaves a lasting impression. So, pay attention to the aesthetics of your brand’s touchpoints.

Balancing Content and Engagement: Keep Them Wanting More

Successful events strike a balance between informative content and enjoyable elements like entertainment and networking. Kitty advises keeping attendees engaged and looking forward to future events. It’s all about creating experiences that people want to be a part of.

Kitty’s Top 3 Takeaways for You

  • Consistency is Key: No matter the size of your company, maintaining brand consistency is vital.
  • Focus on Delivery: Observe how your product or service is delivered from beginning to end – encompassing words, visuals, behaviors, and more.
  • Learn from Others: Look beyond your industry to find inspiration in what other brands are doing. Apply these insights to your own business.

Kitty Hart’s wisdom is a treasure trove for anyone seeking to take their brand’s story to the next level. Remember, your brand is an ever-evolving story, and by embracing these insights, you can craft experiences that resonate with your audience, leaving an indelible mark on their hearts and minds. So, are you ready to tell the right story about your brand? Kitty Hart has given you the roadmap; now it’s your turn to embark on the journey. Happy branding!

To learn how Heroic can help you create memorable experiences, contact us.

To learn more about how Kitty Hart spearheaded Heroic’s rebrand, visit our blog post.

Kitty Hart Discusses Brand Experience on Your Business Greatness Podcast

Simone Sloan and Kitty Hart bring the magic to Your Business Greatness podcast! In an exciting episode of Your Business Greatness, Kitty Hart, the VP of Client Brand Experience at Heroic Productions, takes us on a journey through the world of brand storytelling and creating remarkable brand experiences.

Kitty’s Lesson in Sales

Kitty’s career began in sales, driven by the belief that it would give her control over her success. But sales today is so much more. It’s about crafting tailored, unforgettable brand experiences for customers.

“The center of experience design is empathy,” Kitty asserts. If empathy isn’t woven into your process, you’re bound to miss the mark.

Your Business Greatness Podcast with Kitty Hart and Simone Sloan on Brand Experience

Brand Experience Lessons from a Starbucks Cup

Kitty artfully illustrates her point with the Starbucks experience. She describes how Starbucks caters to three types of customers from drive-thru enthusiasts to in-store lingerers and on-the-go orderers. These are three distinct user experiences Starbucks must cater to in order to leave a positive lasting impression on all their customers.

Kitty defines an experience as an interaction, which can be positive, neutral, or negative. Identifying key moments that leave an impression is crucial for businesses to understand and improve their customer interactions. Simone adds, “If you are not thinking through that customer journey and all those different touch points you miss the mark big time, and when you miss the mark big time, it hurts.” 

Heroic’s Dance with Event Marketing

Kitty emphasizes that Heroic is in the business of event marketing, asking: what do we want people to do and feel when they leave the experience? Whether that is in-person or virtual. During COVID we had to learn how to take our business virtual and give attendees the same feeling they would get from an in-person experience. 

Diversity and Inclusion in Events and at Heroic

Regarding diversity and inclusion, Kitty mentions that when bidding on large projects that go through procurement, they are increasingly asked questions about their diversity, equity, and inclusion mission. 

At Heroic, we’ve fostered a culture of unity and mutual respect. Every member of our team is seen and celebrated for the unique role they play, regardless of their background. As a small company that doesn’t frequently hire, we approach each recruitment with a commitment to diversity. Our goal is to place the right individuals in the right positions, based on their skills, passion, and potential.

The Art of Storytelling and Electrifying Experiences

Simone Sloan and Kitty Hart delve into the nuances of brand storytelling and the art of crafting electrifying experiences for businesses. Kitty recounts an exhilarating project with a major fashion-focused beauty brand. Working along with the brand’s guidelines, she discusses how it was a fun experience getting to work with the client and define what the event was going to look like. The Heroic team helped to transform the space into a vibrant runway show with pulsating music and flowing hair. The energy was electric, and it perfectly embodied the brand’s essence.This endeavor required an abundance of talent and vision, ultimately turning a space into an enchanting environment.

Kitty Leaves with a Parting Thought

As we wrap up this engaging podcast conversation, Kitty leaves us with a powerful reminder on the topic of ageism. It’s a perception that often casts a shadow over accomplished women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. But in reality, these decades are when women are at the pinnacle of their careers. They bring a wealth of experience and wisdom to the table, making them invaluable assets to any organization.

The most successful organizations recognize the significance of a diverse workforce spanning generations, from the energetic innovators in their 20s to the seasoned professionals in their 60s. “Generational experiences matter,” Simone aptly points out. It’s the blending of these diverse life experiences that often leads to the most extraordinary and innovative outcomes.

So, let’s remember that every age and stage of life is an opportunity for growth, contribution, and excellence. We hope this podcast leaves you ready to embark on your own journey of business greatness.

To learn more about our VP of Brand Experience, Kitty Hart, visit our website.To learn more about how Heroic can help you with your next event, contact us.

Heroic Productions Delivers Audiovisual to Gustavus Adolphus College’s Nobel Conference

On Tuesday, October 3, 2023, Heroic Productions had the sheer joy of bringing Gustavus Adolphus College’s annual Nobel Conference to life! Since 1965, the Nobel Conference has been a captivating platform, gathering leading researchers and thinkers at Gustavus to delve into groundbreaking, transformative, and urgent scientific matters, as well as the ethical questions that invariably accompany them. Over the years, many Nobel Laureates have been guest lecturers. Heroic has had the privilege of being the creative audiovisual force behind this conference for the past decade!

The Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College using Heroic Audiovisual

This year’s theme? “Insects: Little Body, Big Impact.” Our team was buzzing with anticipation as we embraced the responsibility of orchestrating the audiovisual experience, ensuring the magic unfolded right before your very eyes.

An Audiovisual Transformation

The metamorphosis occurs annually at Gustavus’s hockey arena, Lund Arena. With a fresh theme each year, our mission is to transform this space from an arena into a dynamic conference center. What makes it all the more thrilling is that this event is hybrid. This means we must craft an engaging atmosphere for both those in the room and those tuning in from the comfort of their homes via the livestream. And did we mention that this event spans two full 8 hour days?

The Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College using Heroic Audiovisual
The Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College using Heroic Audiovisual

Setting the Stage

Our incredible audiovisual crew waved their magic wands and turned an ordinary room into a captivating experience for both our in-person and online audience. We kicked things off by setting up not one, not two, but four gigantic projection screens that brought content and live footage to life. Behind the speakers and panelists, we utilized five LED towers for background. This created the perfect stage for them to shine. To make sure every angle was covered for our livestream audience, our crew decided on four cameras, ensuring that no moment was missed!

Our lighting guru, Bex, bathed the walls in exquisite shades of green and blue, mirroring the signature colors of the conference’s featured insect, the scarab beetle. Three hundred feet of Truss was installed to handle the lighting and video. 

Now, let’s talk sound. Our audio maestros were in their element, ensuring that live music, speakers, and panelists seamlessly took center stage all day long. Coordinating this auditory extravaganza was no small feat. However, they nailed it, making sure that everyone’s voice was heard exactly when it needed to be.

The Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College using Heroic Audiovisual
The Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College using Heroic Audiovisual

Lights! Camera! Action!

The event unfolded flawlessly. The presenters were exceptional, and the music was nothing short of divine. Gustavus even featured a new jazz work with dancers to lead the opening academic procession! We’re already counting down the days until the next Nobel Conference next year.

To learn more about our work, visit our website.

To see how we can help you transform your next event, contact us.

Marketers’ Community at Heroic Productions Presents Navigating Marketing Leadership in an Era of Disruption

Greetings, fellow marketers! On a crisp October 10th evening, Heroic Productions rolled out the red carpet to welcome the Marketers’ Community back into STUDIO15 for an event that delved deep into the intricacies of mastering chaos and navigating marketing leadership in an era of disruption. 

Once again, we joined forces with the dynamic duo, Laura King and Abby Kelsey, to bring marketers an evening they won’t soon forget.

Sip, Savor, & Socialize!

The night kicked off with a bang, or should we say, a clink of glasses. Over 65 enthusiastic marketers gathered in Heroic’s lobby for a solid hour of networking. Our bar was stocked to the brim, and we had delectable NA options thanks to the magic touch of Jen Gilhoi from Zero Proof Collective. Attendees savored delectable drinks, nibbled on scrumptious bites, and engaged in some good old-fashioned chit-chat.

In the meantime, behind the scenes, the Heroic team was busy setting the stage for an evening of important conversation. Our ripple wall was bathed in a mesmerizing blue hue, and the projection screens awash in the signature colors of Marketers’ Community.

Marketing Leadership with Marketers Community Event
Marketing Leadership with Marketers Community Event
Marketing Leadership with Marketers Community Event
Marketing Leadership with Marketers Community Event
Marketing Leadership with Marketers Community Event
Marketing Leadership with Marketers Community Event

Debbie Schwake Unveils Chaos in Marketing Leadership

Our keynote speaker, the illustrious Debbie Schwake, CMO at the Pedowitz Group, wasted no time in diving headfirst into the heart of chaos. She candidly shared her own journey navigating the turbulent waters of marketing leadership during these trying times.

Even a seasoned marketing leader like Debbie couldn’t escape the whirlwind of change sweeping through four crucial areas: generational shifts, evolving team dynamics, shifting consumer behaviors, and the transformation of leadership itself.

Four Keys to Mastering Chaos

Debbie’s wisdom? To successfully navigate this era of disruption, we need to adapt in four critical areas:

  • Generational: Get to know your audience inside out and tailor your approach to resonate with their unique generational values.
  • Team: Embrace the evolving dynamics of work and prioritize that ever-elusive work-life balance.
  • Consumer: Map and enhance customer experiences to reduce friction and emphasize impeccable service.
  • Leadership: Revamp your fundamental marketing leadership strategies and give due consideration to the impact of stress on decision-making.

Then came the interactive part! In small groups of 4-6, marketers dove deep into these four key areas. They brainstormed, shared insights, and got creative in deciphering how to chart a path through the chaos.

Insights Galore!

The feedback was nothing short of enlightening. One group pointed out the importance of catering to each generation’s unique concerns, like Gen Z’s passionate stance on climate change. Another shared a CEO’s approach to letting employees choose when and where they work, likening it to a “pick your own adventure” at work.

Consumer trust was another hot topic, exemplified by Bombas, the sock company that replaces your Bombas socks free of charge if they garner any holes.

One group highlighted the idea of leadership tailoring itself to each individual within the company and shaping the company culture around individual needs. The conversations in the room flowed with brilliant insights.

The Party Continues

As the presentation wrapped up, the energy in the room remained palpable. Marketers were buzzing with excitement, eager to continue the spirited discussions with their peers.

It was a night to remember! One of insights, connection, and ideation. Stay tuned for more fun in STUDIO15 from Heroic Productions. Until next time!

To learn more about what Heroic can do for your next event, visit our website.

Interested in learning more about STUDIO15? Reach out to our VP of Client Brand Experience, Kitty Hart, here.

Kitty Hart’s Heroic Insights: Sharing Marketing Wisdom and Event Planning Tips on Legacy Leaders Podcast

Our VP of Client Brand Experience, Kitty Hart, had the opportunity to go on Legacy Leaders Podcast with hosts Stan Miller and Katie Beth Hand. Kitty brings over 28 years of experience in the sales and marketing industry, and her mission is clear: to champion the transformational potential of physical experiences for individuals and businesses alike. As she shares her insights, event planning tips, and experience, Kitty’s passion for what she does shines through.

Legacy Leaders cover art- Event Planning Tips With Kitty Hart blog featured image

Kitty’s Journey: From South Dakota to Minneapolis

Kitty’s journey began in South Dakota, but she’s called Minneapolis home for the past 30 years. Her career has been a winding road through business development, branding, design, and experiential marketing. She emphasizes the connection between sales and marketing, highlighting how each experience and role she’s had has contributed to her expertise in the field.

The Heroic Brand Experience

As the VP of Client Brand Experience at Heroic Productions, Kitty explains that the “hero” in the name represents our clients. Our mission is to ensure that clients emerge as the heroes of their own stories when they engage with us. Whether it’s a product launch, a sales kick-off, or employee recognition, Heroic Productions’ role is to make our clients shine.

The Magic of Experiential Marketing

Kitty’s passion for experiential marketing shines through as she discusses its power and creativity. She emphasizes that even in conservative industries, there’s room for creative marketing. The key is understanding your audience and finding unique and surprising ways to engage them. While experiential marketing isn’t new, it constantly evolves to keep up with changing expectations. “The challenge,” Kitty notes, “is to consistently surprise and delight people.”

Examples of Experiential Marketing

Kitty provides two diverse examples to illustrate the versatility of experiential marketing. For a conservative financial services company, Heroic Productions orchestrates multi-day events in large venues, ensuring that every detail is meticulously planned. The goal is to make every client look good to their executives.

On the other hand, for a major beauty brand, we hosted a fashion show with runway models, focusing on creating an engaging and energetic atmosphere. The aim is always to design an experience that leaves a lasting impact and has attendees eager to return.

Kitty’s Expert Event Planning Tips

Pitfalls to Avoid

Kitty doesn’t shy away from discussing the common mistakes she’s seen in event planning. Long lines, underestimating restroom and power needs, and inadequate sound and lighting can all mar an event experience. Her advice? Don’t leave any detail undesigned.

The Importance of Early Planning

For those looking to plan engaging and impactful events, Kitty’s golden nugget of advice is to start as early as possible. Kitty says, “So there’s an interesting trend that has happened over many years and that is that the planning window has continued to shrink.” A longer planning window allows for a better end product, regardless of the event’s size or budget.

The Impact of COVID-19 & Navigating Future Events

Kitty acknowledges the devastating impact of COVID-19 on her industry, with overnight cancellations of major events. Yet, she notes that the industry has bounced back as in-person events have returned. While virtual events gained prominence during the pandemic, they haven’t replaced the value of in-person gatherings. However, many clients still seek a virtual component to include a wider audience, especially, when budget is a factor. However, as Katie states, “It’s a whole different world to engage a virtual audience.” 

Image of Please Welcome, a Heroic hybrid event

The Starbucks Analogy

In closing, Kitty draws an analogy between event experiences and Starbucks’ diverse customer base. She describes at least three types of Starbucks customers. The customer that parks their car, comes in, orders, gets their order, and comes out. The person who is going to come through the drive-through. And the person who drives to Starbucks, gets out of the car, goes inside and orders, gets their order, and sits down. Just as Starbucks caters to various customer preferences, event planners must consider different interfaces for in-person and virtual attendees.

Event Marketing Matters More Than Ever

In this illuminating conversation, Kitty Hart leaves us with a final thought: marketing is essential, especially during recessions. Cutting back on marketing can cause a brand to disappear from the public eye. In a world where marketing is gaining the respect it deserves, businesses must recognize its pivotal role in their success.

To learn more about Kitty, or to get in touch with her, visit our website.

To learn more about planning your next hybrid event, download our Event Planning Guide.

What’s New in Event Technology? Innovations Piquing Our Interest

How can you bring the excitement to your next event using technology? Discover the latest cutting-edge innovations that can set your event apart from the rest.

Event Technology Reimagining Corporate Experiences

1. Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality is the rising star of event technology. It adds an interactive layer to your event, engaging attendees like never before. With their smartphones, attendees can seamlessly interact with trade show booths, branded content, and more. Whether it’s through immersive games or educational resources, AR enhances your event content and keeps attendees engaged.

Image of an augmented reality game on a smartphone.

2. Holographic Video

Holographic video is the pinnacle of event tech sophistication. Imagine showcasing your logo and products, or even bringing in a speaker from anywhere in the world in real time. Holographic video allows you to pre-record content or beam in a live presenter, creating a wow factor that will leave your audience in awe.

Image of a hologram machine with a Lion in it.

3. LED Walls

While LED walls themselves aren’t entirely new, their versatility and reinvention are making waves in the event world. Curved LED walls offer a more immersive experience with superior quality compared to traditional flat LED screens. But that’s not all! Removing LED panels from walls and creatively shaping them can breathe new life into your event. Customize LED walls to different shapes, sizes, and designs to make content more engaging and exciting.

4. Taking LED Beyond the Walls

To truly mesmerize your attendees, think outside the box (or walls). Consider wrapping an entire room in LED, creating a hypnotic and immersive atmosphere. Place LED panels on the floor to craft an LED runway or “red carpet” experience. For an up-close and personal touch, invest in LED fans to showcase content in a unique way. Mesh LED, a relatively new form of LED technology, allows you to overlay pipe and drape or create stunning see-through designs that will leave your audience in awe.

Transform Your Productions With Event Technology

The world of event technology is evolving rapidly, and these innovations are just the tip of the iceberg. To stand out in today’s competitive event landscape, embrace these cutting-edge technologies, and be prepared to push the boundaries of creativity. Your next event could be the talk of the town with the right tech in your arsenal!

Remember, the key is to enhance the attendee experience and create memorable moments that will keep them coming back for more. So, don’t hesitate to explore these new event tech horizons and elevate your events to a whole new level of excitement and engagement!

Ready to elevate your event with event technology? Reach out to Kitty Hart, Heroic’s expert in event tech innovation, and make your next event unforgettable!

To stay in the know about our latest tech-infused events, subscribe to our newsletter.

Super U Podcast: Embracing Fearlessness and Client Connection With Kitty Hart

In this episode of Super U Podcast, Erik Qualman, also known as “Equalman,” sits down for an enlightening conversation with Heroic Productions’ VP of Client Brand Experience, Kitty Hart. Together, they dive deep into the world of sales processes and how technology is shaping the landscape of client connection.

Super U podcast cover art

The Changing Face of Buying and Client Connection

Kitty begins by shedding light on how the art of buying has transformed since the early ’90s. Gone are the days of mass marketing; today’s consumers crave a more personalized experience. Technology has played a pivotal role in this shift. People now prefer to arm themselves with knowledge before engaging with a salesperson. Kitty emphasizes, “If you have not infused technology into your sales process, you are going to have friction, you are going to have a really hard time reaching and connecting with people.”

LinkedIn: More than a Networking Platform

Kitty stresses the significance of LinkedIn as a powerful business tool designed to foster warm client connections. It’s not just a job-hunting platform; it’s a goldmine of information and networking opportunities. Kitty’s pro tip? Personalize your LinkedIn page with something that sets you apart.

The Game Changer: Hubspot CRM

Erik asks Kitty about the biggest CRM benefit of using Hubspot. Kitty points to Hubspot’s sequences and tasks, which have revolutionized her CRM experience. These tools empower sales teams to stay engaged with potential clients while automating manual tasks, making life easier and more efficient.

The Thrill of the Corporate Event Stage

One of Kitty’s favorite aspects of her role is the sheer diversity it offers. Heroic Productions specializes in corporate events that are nothing short of full-scale productions. The creative and theatrical elements of these events ignite her passion. Questions like, “What should the staging look like?”, “Who should grace the stage?”, and “How do we make them look and sound their best?” are all part of her daily excitement. Above all, Kitty underscores the importance of leaving attendees motivated, energized, and deeply connected to the companies they work for.

Matching Speakers and Entertainment to the Brand

Erik delves into the process of selecting speakers and entertainers for events, and Kitty shares a humorous anecdote about Harley Davidson’s infamous Milwaukee rally with a surprise guest – Elton John. As it turned out, he wasn’t quite the right fit for the motorcycle crowd. This highlights the critical importance of aligning speakers and entertainment with your brand.

Cutting-Edge Technology: Proto EPIC Hologram

Kitty also introduces us to exciting new event technology that can be utilized for speakers and entertainment, including the Proto EPIC Hologram machine. With this innovation, you can “beam” speakers or entertainers in live or pre-record their performances for your event, taking audience engagement to a whole new level.

A Parting Thought: Trust the Journey

Kitty leaves us with a powerful piece of advice: “Trust the journey that is in front of you.” Ever since an inspiring encounter with Martha Stewart, Kitty has been inspired to embrace fearlessness. Martha told her, “With preparation, there’s nothing to fear in personal life or business.”

So, dear readers, take a page from Kitty’s book and trust your journey. Embrace technology, personalize your network and client connections, and align with your brand. Who knows what incredible adventures and connections lie ahead when you do?

To learn more about Kitty Hart, visit our website. To learn more about what Heroic can do for you, contact us.

Heroic’s Highlights: BizBash’s Connect Marketplace 2023 in Minneapolis

What a whirlwind of excitement from August 22-24, 2023 for the Heroic sales and marketing squad! Our calendars were marked for BizBash’s Connect Marketplace 2023 in the vibrant heart of Minneapolis. With 135 trade show booths, a bustling crowd of 2,500 suppliers and buyers, and a jaw-dropping tally of 32,309 one-on-one appointments, you could say we were diving into the hustle and bustle headfirst!

Before we dive in, let’s take a look at the event!

Heroic’s Connect Marketplace 2023 Adventure: A 3-Day Recap

Day 1

Day one kicked off with a “regiception” (a fusion of registration and reception, naturally). We started things off with a bang at the first-timer’s gathering. This event was bursting at the seams with first-time connectors – a record-breaking assembly, might we add! With the newbie camaraderie still in the air, we sashayed our way to the trade show floor. We were dazzled by the Meet Branson, Missouri booth where they were dishing up moonshine ice cream, the Reno Tahoe Puppy Lounge booth filled with furry friends available for adoption, and the Visit Duluth team that provided corporate curling! We ended our day partying like it was 1999 with a Prince-themed extravaganza on Nicollet Mall. Taking over Orchestra Hall, Brit’s Pub, and Peavey Plaza, it was a night to remember.

Day 2

Day two was filled with our first one-on-one appointments. Meeting the crème de la crème of skilled buyers left us grinning from ear to ear. After grabbing some lunch – there were so many options; from skyline chili to macaroni and cheese to freshly baked cookies, we stuffed ourselves to the brim in anticipation of an afternoon of education. Our favorite classes were, The Future is Now: How AI Is Changing the Landscape of Event Planning, Using Event Tech to Leverage Your On-Site Attendee Experience, and 2024 Looks Bright: Forecasting What’s Next in Audiovisual Production. Day two wrapped up in a symphony of afternoon appointments that had us ready for round three!

Day 3

Day three kicked off with another round of one-on-one appointments with enthusiastic buyers. And then came lunch, ah, glorious lunch – the street tacos were fabulous! Our minds got a thorough workout during an eye-opening session on Event Forecasting with the one and only Michael Dominguez before we bid adieu to the final round of one-on-one appointments.

The Countdown to Connect Marketplace August 2024 is On!

As the sun set on our Connect escapade, the Heroic team couldn’t help but reflect on our exciting week spent at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The trip was an inspiring cocktail of fun, education, and making friends from all corners of the world. The countdown to next year’s rendezvous has officially begun – trust us, we’re already donning our party hats in anticipation!

To find out where the Heroic team is headed next, follow us on LinkedIn.

To learn more about what Heroic Productions can do for you, visit our website.

Kitty Hart on MVP Experience With Steph Silver: Creating Your Brand Experience

Welcome to a lively discussion featuring our very own VP of Brand Experience, Kitty Hart, who recently appeared on MVP Business with Steph Silver. Their conversation revolved around the captivating world of creating a brand experience that truly resonates with your audience.

Selling Brand Experience

Steph shares a powerful insight right off the bat: “Sales is marketing and marketing is sales; it’s just a different way of communicating.” Kitty wholeheartedly agrees, stressing that the synergy between these two facets is crucial in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. Historically, the age-old rivalry between sales and marketing has been a challenge.

The landscape of consumer behavior has undergone seismic shifts. Kitty asserts that this transformation isn’t solely driven by technology but is deeply intertwined with it. “When sales and marketing work together” Kitty affirms, “there is a more seamless buying experience.” It’s essential to craft a journey that customers want to embark on before making a purchase. Informed customers now rule the roost, turning cold calls into relics of the past. This is where marketing steps up, evolving drastically to cater to this shift. Sales teams must relay customer queries to marketing, fostering the creation of relevant and indispensable content.

The concept of selling to humans, not just consumers, is pivotal. Experiential marketing hinges on a blend of science and experience. Kitty describes the captivating scent of movie theater popcorn that greets you as you enter a theater. These memorable experiences evoke emotions that spur us to share with others. It’s all about cultivating feelings.

Kitty shares a personal revelation about her relationship with selling: “I realized I wasn’t selling. I was simply finding people who had a need for what we did, really well.” This encapsulates the art of genuine salesmanship.

History of Experiential Brand Experiences

The ascent of experiential marketing has been a thrilling spectacle, with brands embracing and unleashing its potential. Interestingly, experiential marketing traces back to the 1800s, proving it’s not a new concept. Kitty delves into history, citing the iconic World’s Fair and how Wrigley’s chewing gum distribution was a prime example of a brand incorporating taste into their experience.

Redefining Corporate Events

Reimagining “corporate events” is next on the agenda. Just because “corporate event” has the word “corporate” in front of it, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Rather, they should rejuvenate employees’ love for their company and leave them feeling valued and inspired. This encapsulates the essence of creating a brand experience for corporate events.

As the world reopened post-pandemic, the allure of in-person events resurfaced, though virtual alternatives remain popular. Virtual components offer cost-saving advantages, widening the event’s reach. Yet, crafting distinct experiences for in-person and virtual attendees is paramount.

Innovation should take center stage. Kitty emphasizes the importance of having team members receptive to groundbreaking ideas. Ideas on paper are mere potential until brought to life. Steph chimes in, stressing the value of diverse perspectives in brainstorming sessions.

Steph provocatively prompts: “What’s your brand experience map?” This pertains to every facet of your brand, be it events, physical stores, or shipping processes. Feedback gleaned from social media holds the key to refining your brand experience. Kitty admits, “Surprising and delighting people is increasingly challenging.” Ultimately, it’s about the emotions you evoke.

Kitty Hart’s insights on creating brand experiences are invaluable, and her chat with Steph Silver brings a refreshing perspective to the forefront. In today’s corporate landscape, the marriage of sales and marketing, the allure of experiential marketing, and the meticulous crafting of brand experiences emerge as pivotal themes. The journey continues, shaped by a world hungry for authentic connections.

Creating a Meaningful Brand Experience With Heroic

Heroic Productions takes event management seriously. Our approach ensures the event’s message is not only seen and heard but deeply felt, all while aligning seamlessly with the company’s strategy.

To learn more about brand experiences and chat with Kitty Hart, visit her page and listen to more of her podcast episodes here.

To find out more about event strategy, download our Event Strategies Guide here.

Unleashing the AI Magic: Heroic Productions Hosts Epic AI Event for Marketers’ Community

Brace yourselves, marketing mavens! On Tuesday, August 8 from 3 – 5 p.m. Heroic Productions had the pleasure of hosting Marketers’ Community’s AI event with an exciting panel discussion surrounding the power of artificial intelligence. We teamed up with the dynamic duo, Laura King and Abby Kelsey, to welcome a whopping 120 marketing wizards into the captivating realm of STUDIO15. Who knew AI could be this enchanting? We did! 

Before we begin, explore pictures from the event!

Setting the Stage for a Thought-Provoking AI Event

The spectacle kicked off in style as thirsty networkers arrived, grabbed a beverage and began lively conversations. Beyond the usual suspects of beer, wine, and sodas, our salute goes to Jen Gilhoi from Zero Proof Collective for curating a non-alcoholic sanctuary that raised the bar. While the lobby buzzed with anticipation, behind the scenes, the Heroic team and our esteemed panelists were cooking up a storm in the studio.

As the studio doors swung open, guests were mesmerized by a kaleidoscope of Marketers’ Community’s signature colors: purple, pink and orange with fun projected graphics, and dance-worthy tunes. The stage was set with the extraordinary minds including: Tim Brunelle (AI-Generative Creative Consultant, Creative Leader, Adjunct Professor at Minneapolis College of Art and Design), Mona Askalani (Director of Digital Capabilities at General Mills), Garrio Harrison (Partner & CRO at Stoneford Partners), and Heather Boschke (Marketing Leader, Professor, Owner of Buddha Birdie & Vogel Venture). As the studio filled to the brim with 120 curious marketers, the atmosphere hummed with anticipation.

Shining Stars of This AI Event: The Expert Panelists

The panel captivated audiences as they discussed the power of AI and the reasons why marketers should embrace the new technology, not shy away from it. Things like proofreading, client research, competitor analysis, and data interpretation are just a few of the ways AI can add productivity and quality to marketers’ everyday work. The verdict was unanimous: embracing AI is not a choice, it’s a necessity. The message was clear – AI isn’t here to steal your thunder; it’s here to amplify your brilliance. The panel’s golden advice? Dive into AI with wide-eyed enthusiasm, experiment with it (within company guidelines), and most importantly, approach this new technology with optimism! The panel discussion ended with an influx of questions from the audience that led to intriguing discussions.

At the end of this AI event, marketers were encouraged to stay after to chat with the panelists, snack, and network. Excitement surrounding the topic was seeping out of everyone as they trickled out of STUDIO15 with a newfound knowledge and respect for AI. And we, at Heroic Productions, had achieved our mission: to spark curiosity, inspire creativity, and forge new connections! 

Create a Mind-Blowing Event of Your Own With Heroic

To learn more about how you can host your next event in STUDIO15, visit our website or contact our VP of Brand Experience Kitty Hart.

Kitty Hart & Dacia Coffey Dive Into Experiential Marketing on Corporate Caffeine

Heroic Productions’ own VP of Client Brand Experience, Kitty Hart, was recently a guest on Dacia Coffey’s podcast, Corporate Caffeine. Like a dose of caffeine, the conversation was all energy as they dug into the topic of experiential marketing. 

Photo of Corporate Caffeine- Experiential Marketing on Corporate Caffeine blog

The Real ROI of Experiential Marketing

Heroic knows experiential marketing is one of the most prominent forms of event marketing used today. As Kitty states, “There’s real science behind this. There’s a reason that when brands create experiences that bring in as many of the senses as possible those brands create better connections.” 

Kitty went on to describe the main purpose of experiential marketing, and events in general, stating, “Whether we are talking business to business or business to consumer, it’s all people to people, and people want to feel something.” The two discussed the importance of patrons leaving an event feeling something, so much so that they leave talking about what they experienced. And they want to continue talking about it and sharing their experience with the brand. That’s the real return on investment!

The biggest challenge in events today, as Kitty explains is, “It’s become kind of hard to surprise and delight people.” This is a challenge that Heroic knows all too well as many clients repeat the same events annually. The team at Heroic needs to generate ideas for new and exciting experiences for attendees. Kitty describes one area in which you can breathe new life into your event — speakers, and entertainment. Investing in a great speaker or lively entertainment can really leave a lasting impact on an audience. She describes an event in which every transition throughout the day was led by a DJ and another where the client, which happened to be a major beauty brand, turned their corporate event into a live fashion show! 

As fun as live entertainment and events that swap traditional stages for runways may be, Kitty went on to talk about the importance of aligning with brand guidelines and standards. It is important when working with vendors and event partners to make sure they know who you are as a brand, so the event makes sense. Otherwise, your event may leave your audience with more questions than anything else.

Win Buyers With Experiential Marketing

Dacia and Kitty switched gears a bit as they went on to talk about how “buying” has changed. People have so much information at their fingertips, buyers are more informed now than ever. “You really do need to bolster marketing,” Kitty says, as old sales tactics such as cold-calling are no longer as effective. Dacia piggybacked on the sentiment stating, “Marketing does so much of the preparatory work to get buyers choosing you or deciding that you are better than the other competitors or options that they have.” It seems that while there is always a need for sales, marketing is now playing a larger and more integrated role in teeing up customers and getting them ready for the sales process.

Kitty goes on to elaborate on how Heroic uses experiential marketing as a marketing AND sales tactic through our Please Welcome events! She explains how inviting clients and prospects to a Heroic-produced event gives them the opportunity to see Heroic’s STUDIO15 and, “see us doing what we do best.” It’s an immersive experience in which, “they get to know us as people, as professionals, and someone who they can look at and say, “Okay, yeah, I could see them being my production partner.” It gives event attendees the chance to “try before they buy.” 

Proper Planning Makes all the Difference

In event marketing, Kitty likes to remind people not to leave anything “undesigned.” She says, as a production partner, making sure every attendee in the crowd can see and hear is “table stakes,” yet we’ve all been to events where we’ve experienced distracting deficiencies in these areas. Heroic clients expect the best and that’s what they get from our team. But beyond the basics of AV, many moments within the production experience can make or break the final impressions of the audience. Kitty advises thorough planning through every component and every transition, thereby unlocking a truly flawless experience that your brand can be proud of. 

To discuss how Heroic Productions can help you with your next event, contact Kitty Hart.

To learn more, check out our guide to experiential marketing.

Heroic Productions: New Home of the Proto EPIC Hologram Machine

On June 22, 2023, Heroic Productions hosted its first ever Event Planner Happy Hour! This intimate event, intended specifically for event professionals, in STUDIO15 with help from our decor partner Festivities, was planned to showcase the latest and greatest in event technology. As attendees sipped on libations and snacked on crudité, the Heroic team went to work showcasing what was sure to blow their minds!

Introducing the Proto Hologram Machine!

While virtual events, LED, and wearable technology were, of course, all topics of discussion amongst ongoing and up-and-coming trends, Heroic had something new and exciting to unveil: Proto EPIC Hologram! One of the only Proto hologram machines in the area, Heroic is proud to offer a home base for this very cool technology. When it’s not out “on the road” in use for our clients, it lives at STUDIO15 and is available for demos and ideation. 

This 54”x87.5”x28.5” box is used for professional hologram “beaming” with high fidelity speakers, 4K video, and a touchscreen. Beam a 3D version of your logo, a product, or yourself from Proto to impress your event attendees. Whether your content is premade or live, using this technology makes it simple for you to capture whoever you choose to turn into a hologram for your next event!

Now, back to the June happy hour. Guests were jazzed to try the Proto hologram machine for themselves and jumped at the chance to see themselves as holograms! The room buzzed and ideas flowed freely as the discussion surrounded the endless possibilities of what this technology could provide in the events industry. From meet and greets with celebrities, to trade show activations, to keynotes delivered by renowned speakers – Proto invites a sensational and cost-effective way to interact with event guests with a WOW factor. 

photo using the Proto hologram machine
photo using the Proto hologram machine

Bring the Magic of the Proto to Your Next Event

To discuss ways in which you can incorporate this cutting-edge hologram machine into your next event, contact Kitty Hart.

To keep up with Proto, follow Transcend Media on LinkedIn and stay connected!

The right message. The right time. The right messenger.

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. 

Period. 

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. 

Here though, let’s dig in a bit on the topic of “the right message, the right time, and the right messenger” which is a mantra here at Heroic Productions.  Specifically, we’re speaking about one of the featured presentations from Denise Soler Cox and The Magic of Belonging.

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!

Please Welcome Heroic Log

Heroic’s Guide to Corporate Event Strategies for 2023 and Beyond

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 
Corporate Event Strategies Guide CTA

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, in-person, 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. 

Frankly, we’ve never been happier to have speakers and entertainment as part of our core offerings.

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:

Event location

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.

Venue selection

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.

Site visits

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
Corporate Event Strategies Guide CTA

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.

The Hero is YOU – A Closer Look at Heroic’s Rebrand

For more than 18 years, Heroic has helped many of Minnesota’s top 100 companies ensure that their messages are seen, heard, and remembered. It’s been humbling to have so many brands trust us to amplify and illuminate their important moments.

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.

In other words, we put the right pieces into the right place at the right time to transform your event into an experience – whether it’s our premier production team and studio facilities, strategically selected speakers, or jaw-dropping entertainment.

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? 

Let’s talk.

Heroic is a complete creative event production company that can amplify your brand strategy through impactful in-person 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. 

The result? 

Our clients bolster understanding, rally stakeholders, and energize action—all as a natural outcome of unforgettable, flawlessly executed events.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Planning Virtual Events

Whoever said it’s easier and less time to do a virtual event, in comparison to an in-person 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.

Continue reading “A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Planning Virtual Events”

How to Choose an Event Production Partner

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?

Experience

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?

Creativity

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.

Communication

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.

What Factors Drive Costs for Top Audio Visual Companies?

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?”

NEW WORLD, NEW YEAR, NEW BRAND

A letter from our CEO

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!

Jon Young
President & CEO

Virtual Event Planning Guide

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.

Continue reading “Virtual Event Planning Guide”

Guide: Planning for impactful Hybrid Events

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!

Continue reading “Guide: Planning for impactful Hybrid Events”

Live Events Are Back: Celebrate With Entertainment

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.

Continue reading “Live Events Are Back: Celebrate With Entertainment”

Top 5 Virtual Speakers of the Month – March

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.

Continue reading “Top 5 Virtual Speakers of the Month – March”

Top 5 Tips for a Successful Virtual Commencement

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.

Continue reading “Top 5 Tips for a Successful Virtual Commencement”

4 Types of Trending Hybrid Events

The ever-so-popular word “hybrid.” You’ve probably heard this word used in a number of ways. Hybrid cars, hybrid golf clubs, and of course, hybrid events.

But what exactly is a hybrid event?

A hybrid event is the combination of an in-person experience and a virtual experience. However, this broad term doesn’t quite explain the breakdown of the variety of hybrid events. To help, we’ve compiled a list of our definitions on different types of hybrid events.

Continue reading “4 Types of Trending Hybrid Events”

Top 5 Virtual Speakers of the Month – February

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.

Continue reading “Top 5 Virtual Speakers of the Month – February”

What is a Hybrid Event?

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.

Continue reading “What is a Hybrid Event?”

MPI Coffee Chat – Virtual Events with Heroic Productions & Thrivent

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.

Continue reading “MPI Coffee Chat – Virtual Events with Heroic Productions & Thrivent”

Our Top Virtual Entertainment of the Month

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.

Continue reading “Our Top Virtual Entertainment of the Month”

Our Top 5 Virtual Speakers of the Month

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.

Continue reading “Our Top 5 Virtual Speakers of the Month”