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October 22, 2019

2012 Wrap Up!

January was a busy month for tying up projects from 2012, freshening marketing plans and reviewing and tweaking budgets. February provides the opportunity to look back and revisit the lessons the previous year has taught us – before we wade into the busy season again!

One of the best things we accomplished this past year was to carefully expand our team. We wanted to be able to accommodate potential new business opportunities and to better manage the projects we had in hand. We kicked off the year with a strategic team meeting. Topics of discussion included our goals for the coming year, a review of the specific skillsets we had in house and what particular needs we anticipated.

The goal was to maximize the talent we already had and to determine if/what areas we needed to add. Having a small team means we need be strategic in hiring. We have a 20+ year track record of growing our team carefully, slowly and with purpose. New employees have been brought in to fill specific needs but also to grow and mature professionally with the company. It was collectively decided that we needed a dedicated social media manager and an experienced events coordinator.

The timing on this decision was perfect. We brought on a new client with two retail properties in early April and another client with a lifestyle center grand opening coming up in May. We hired Jordan Garegnani in April as our Social Media Manager. She brought experience in social media campaigns and a genuine curiosity about this rapidly evolving platform. Jordan was able to take the social media maintenance and research for multiple properties off the project managers’ desks and allowed us to focus on the new clients’ start up needs – marketing plans, websites, collateral, etc. – as well as continuing to manage established clients.

We still had the event planning position, but good, experienced event planners can be hard to find.

The spring and summer seasons are comparatively manageable as events go. We typically produce 5-6 events in the spring and generally run pre-scheduled concerts and children’s entertainment in the summer months. The 2nd and 3rd quarter present a whole new schedule of many larger and more complicated events. We generally produce 10-12 festivals and events between September and December, including a full scale, month-long Santa installation, complete with entertainers and photography. The need for a dedicated event specialist was becoming more urgent as the summer drew to a close.

Brandy Walker joined our team in September of last year, just in time to be thrown into the deep end of the planning cycle. She brought the kind of practical experience and knowledge we needed – permitting, tenting, lighting, sound, and entertainment. Having her available to dedicate her time and imagination to the event logistics allowed us to produce fresh, high quality events without taking project manager time away from, well, project management.

This vertical integration – having the entire set of skills you need for the whole marketing process under one roof – allows our employees to concentrate on their areas of expertise and project managers to have more control over the end product without having to “do it all”.

In review, we accomplished what we set out to do in last year’s strategic team meeting. We added two new team members who brought in specific expertise while maximizing the time and the talent of the people we already had. This allowed us to manage a rapid client growth while continuing to provide quality service to our existing clients. We are about hold our 2013 team retreat. It will be interesting to see what our goals will be this year!