20 Dec IMG LIVE: 2017 In Review
2017 was a terrific year at IMG LIVE. We took on new projects with new clients, activated in new destinations around the world, and grew throughout the year as people and as a company.
With the calendar year coming to a close, we asked some of our employees to reflect on the past 12 months and share some of what they were most proud of and what they learned.
Q: What was your favorite activation you worked on in 2017?
Terence Raines, Art Director: My favorite activation was NBA Crossover at All-Star Weekend in New Orleans because it was different than projects we normally do. Crossover is the NBA’s multimedia exhibit showcase, so not only did we have to design the overall space and experience, but also manage partner activations there as well.
Leigh Rich, Client Service Supervisor: I loved the SUBWAY Green Room activation we did this summer, going to music festivals like Bonnaroo, Hangout Fest, and Outside Lands. That aside, Marriott Rewards at Spartan Race is still close to my heart.
Jonathan Martin, Production Manager: The Subway tour was the most production-intense project I have ever worked on. We had to be riggers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, DJs, HVAC specialists, foremen, etc. It was also great to take in great music across the country along the way! We all learned so much on this tour that was invaluable to us, and to IMGL.
I also really enjoyed Kia Stinger Runway Racing at New York Fashion Week. The Stinger was a great project because I was finally able to play with cars! I have a background in racing, and it was so fun to be able to tap into it. Within fifteen minutes of our first call after the project was greenlit, I had a stunt coordinator, stunt drivers, and an auto mechanic/consultant on the team. Three big parts of the puzzle done, which then allowed us to concentrate on the rest of the activation. The event was so much fun to work on, I had an absolute blast!
Q: What was your favorite individual component of an activation?
Terence: The shoe display for the release party for Cam Newton’s C1N shoe line for Under Armour. It was fun and rewarding to design something original and high-end. Not to mention, the client loved what we created so that was extremely rewarding too.
Leigh: The acoustic performances we hosted in the SUBWAY Green Room were amazing. Getting to witness T-PAIN sing “Buy U a Drank” with no auto-tune was a game changer.
Jonathan: The video walls we did for Subway. I programmed all the content across the screens. I had worked with digital signage very little in the past, and never with the hardware we had. I had to learn this technology, then develop & deploy it within a week. It was a fun project and it worked perfectly, and now I know I can help our team if a client wants digital signage.
Jason Baker, Director of Production: For UFC’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas, we put together an immense octagon structure (105’ wide) to house several different UFC and partner activations. It was a beast, and super impactful/disruptive for the UFC.
Q: What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Amanda Ululati, Client Service Account Manager: Physical challenges are always a tough part of the job. It requires long, hard hours to make a vision come to life, especially when working in extreme temperatures for outdoor events like for our Marriott clients at Coachella. I got to work on a lot of international projects this year, and they come with a lot of unique challenges as well. Learning to work within different time zones and with different cultures, and learning to work around language barriers and miscommunications because of language were extremely valuable.
Jason: We completed a 2-hour installation for Marriott International’s welcome reception for the NBMBAA conference at historic Reading Terminal in Philadelphia. The build should have taken 8+ hours at least, but we increased the labor involved, created specific roles for our internal team and built out a minute by minute run-of-show to ensure we stayed on track. It was quite the feat, and very rewarding once we were up and running.
Q: What was the most fun place you got to visit this year?
Terence: I would say New Orleans (NBA Crossover) was the most fun. I’ve never had the chance to bond with coworkers like that on a project, and it was definitely an experience I won’t soon forget. It was also Mardi Gras and I had family that literally stayed right next door to my hotel (although I didn’t find this out until the last night).
Leigh: Gulf Shores, AL … Flora-bama is an interesting place.
Jonathan: Switzerland. I had activations on opposite sides of the country (Zurich & Lausanne), so I was able to drive across the whole country. It was awesome to see the changing scenery as I drove. From the German industrial, modern looking city of Zurich, to the plains and mountains of the center of the country, and the French ornate, renaissance-inspired city of Lausanne. I also was amazed that in a country that has five languages, people could understand each other at all!
Jason: Ko Samui, Thailand, which we had the chance to visit on our way to an activation in Bangkok.
Q: What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2017?
Terence: I think the biggest lesson I learned this year was the value of trusting your teammates. As creatives, sometimes projects become very personal for us and we can get too close to it. I have had to learn that I can’t do everything on my own and it’s ok to let others in when I need help. I now see strong delegation skills as a strength rather than a weakness and it has made my work-life-balance much better.
Leigh: Professionally, I learned a lot about crowd flow/management. The SUBWAY Green Room saw a lot of traffic for such a small space. Personally, I learned that I have no sense of festival style/attire.
Jonathan: Have pride in your job, and respect others’ jobs. One thing I noticed while overseas is that regardless of someone’s job, they respect others. Whether you’re in an office, or working in a convenience store, waiting tables, or sweeping the sidewalk, people take pride in their jobs and help you with a smile.
Jason: Mastering the art of ordering off menus in a foreign language and the value of sleeping on long international flights.