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Sam Foxman speaks at MPI EduCon 2017

Posted on: December 1st, 2017 by Sam Foxman

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Evntiv President and Co-Founder, Sam Foxman, delivered an incredible panel discussion titled NEW. NOW. NEXT. Tools & Technology to Support Killer Content, as part of the EduCon 2017 for the St. Louis area chapter of MPI (Meeting Professionals International). Foxman spoke about the new standards in event technology and moderated, an all-star panel of event pros inclusing Rachel Weis, John Launius, Josh GuffeySteve Friedman, and Douglas Hall representing EvntivCPG AgencyVidzu MediaGeniecast and The Nitrous Effect.

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(Photo credits Jake Huber)

EVNTIV DONATES $105,000 TO STL NON-PROFITS

Posted on: August 17th, 2017 by Sam Foxman
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Evntiv.net

EVNTIV CELEBRATES FIFTH ANNIVERSARY BY GIVING BACK

St. Louis event planning agency to donate $105,000 in 2017 to local nonprofit organizations

Event planning and creative agency Evntiv celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2017. To mark the occasion, the company will be donating more than $105,000 in cash and services to a number of St. Louis area nonprofit organizations.

“Instead of throwing a party to celebrate our accomplishments, we wanted to do something for the organizations and people who inspire us and serve so many in our community,” explained Evntiv President and Cofounder Sam Foxman. “These are the organizations that have supported us over the past five years—without them, we would not be where we are today.”

“One of our largest donations was made by my business partner, Keith Alper, to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation and Siteman Cancer Center to help fund Illumination, an event that raises over $3 million each year to help find a cure for cancer through the Cancer Frontier Fund,” stated Foxman.

Located in downtown St. Louis, Evntiv is part of the Nitrous Effect™, a unique collective of marketing and communications agencies that work together to solve complex challenges for their clients better and faster than the traditional multi-agency model. Evntiv offers full-service event planning, entertainment booking, audio/visual production, video creation and a suite of graphic and web design services. The Evntiv team has produced award-winning galas, outdoor festivals, fashion events, grand openings, concerts and awards shows.

“Evntiv, and the Nitrous Effect™ agencies, have been our secret weapon for elevating our guests’ experience and the amount of funding raised for our programs,” stated Kristin Marino, Manager, Special Events for the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “The team brings a balance of creativity, innovation and operational skills to help guide our decisions and get things done.”

Since Foxman and Alper cofounded Evntiv in 2012, the agency has become a sought-after event planning and experiential agency, not only in St. Louis, but throughout the country. Evntiv has recently expanded its corporate events department, which focuses on field marketing events, business meetings and conferences for financial, medical and technology companies.

“We are growing our national footprint rather quickly,” said Foxman. “This year, we will produce over 150 events in 56 different cities.” States Foxman. “No matter how much we expand into other markets, our hearts are in St. Louis and giving back is part of our DNA.”, adds Foxman.

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FINDING INSPIRATION: Fred Bendaña

Posted on: August 29th, 2016 by Sam Foxman

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Evntiv asked business leaders where they find inspiration and how they incorporate into their work.

Fred Bendaña 

SVP SALES & MARKETING, CPG part of the Nitrous Effect agency collective

I love traveling to new destinations, whether it’s a distant city on the other side of the world or a nearby town I’ve yet to explore. I find inspiration on these adventures and often reflect how these new paths help me to be a bigger dreamer, better helper, improved storyteller, and more comfortable with the unknown.   I try to bring this expanded perspective to my client relationships and in doing so strive to understand their language and challenge them to also learn a bit from mine.  This approach usually leads to wildly successful and long standing friendships!

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FINDING INSPIRATION: SAM FOXMAN

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by Sam Foxman

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Evntiv asked business leaders where they find inspiration and how they incorporate into their work.

SAM FOXMAN

PRESIDENT, EVNTIV  part of the Nitrous Effect agency collective

I love visiting contemporary art museums and observing how artists use light, video and other mediums to express themselves. I was inspired by the artist Dan Flavin who is well-known for his massive light sculpture installations using neon tubes. I used this inspiration to create a lighting design for a runway fashion show. For me, Oscar Wilde had it right-  Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life!

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CASE STUDY: CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL “PLAY DATE”

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by Sam Foxman

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In our industry, it’s common to forget that events are a part of an organization’s marketing and communications strategy. They are more than just booking venues, ordering linens and getting a great band. Events are a great opportunity to communicate in real-time, and can be a very effective tool in the arsenal of any good marketer to change the hearts and minds of its constituents.

At Evntiv, we recognize this opportunity and rather than first discussing “venues and menus,” we focus on what the organization is trying to achieve with their event. In other words, at the end of the event, our goal is to have influenced what the attendees say, do, think and feel about the organization. Events are an opportunity to create a powerful and emotional call-to-action that can’t be achieved with the digital communications of the modern world.

In order to capitalize on what is often a missed opportunity, Evntiv has developed a proprietary method for facilitating the true objectives and outcomes that our clients want to achieve. This process is called the Core Mission Objectives (CMO). Through a series of exercises, we are able to discover what the organization wants to achieve from the event for it to be truly considered a success. Oftentimes, our clients themselves don’t even know what they are trying to achieve and through our CMO process, can discover for themselves why they may be doing an event in the first place.

One of our long-standing clients came to us with a problem… their event just wasn’t working anymore. We brought them through our CMO exercise and determined what was really important.

CHALLENGE: St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation hosted an annual gala event that was dwindling in attendance and had plateaued in fundraising. The event’s brand had nothing to do with what the organization was doing to help children and no longer attracted new supporters for the organization.

SOLUTION: Align the brand of the event with the mission and practice of the organization. Evntiv hosted a discovery session with key stakeholders including the President of the foundation. The hospital’s key to success was understanding how kids view the hospital environment and the staff at Children’s Hospital transform fear, anxiety and worry into a calm and playful atmosphere. We took the same approach when designing the event. In creating PLAY DATE, we proved what would happen if adults got to act like kids for one night and saw the world in a very whimsical way. Guests slid into the party on an inflatable slide, played giant jenga, drank cartoon-inspired cocktails, played vintage arcade games and decorated custom cupcakes. The dinner began with dessert first and featured tables that guests could draw on or customize. The back wall fell away to reveal a roller skating after party. Every gala should be this fun! The Evntiv team worked closely with Cheree Berry Paper to design the logo, identity and print materials.

RESULTS: The gala changed the perception of the foundation from stale and stodgy to the hottest, most innovative fundraising event in the city. The foundation grew attendance by 30% the first year and surpassed the fundraising goal set by administration by $20,000. Most importantly, the foundation attracted a new, younger demographic that they were able to convert to future patrons and donors.

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TEAM PROFILE: MELISSA MILLER, PROJECT MANAGER

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 by Sam Foxman
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We are proud to welcome Melissa Miller to the Evntiv Team!
As our newest Project Manager, Melissa brings over 17 years of event management and production experience. She has spent the last 15 years working primarily in the corporate arena, designing and producing events for companies large and small both in the St. Louis area and by traveling with clients to execute events during conventions in cities all across the US.
“It is an honor to have Melissa join our agency”, explains Sam Foxman, Evntiv President. “Melissa and I have known each other for many years. I have always admired her dedication to serving clients and providing creative solutions”, adds Foxman.
Miller’s floral design skills were honed early in her career in London, England by providing stunning designs to companies like Chanel, Hermes and Givenchy, as well as being responsible for the weekly flower arrangements at Kensington Palace for the Duchess of Kent. Melissa draws on her food and beverage knowledge through co-ownership of a restaurant in St. Louis City that was voted one of the Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetit magazine.

AUGMENTED REALITY PHOTO BOOTH

Posted on: August 15th, 2016 by Sam Foxman

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Augmented Reality Photo Booth allows your guests to appear with random 3D Virtual Props to create an extraordinary (and fun!) photo favor!

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Here’s how it works… Guests stand in front of the open air photo booth and then view themselves on a large monitor. Instantly, random 3D props are loaded onto the screen and the guest is able to move and interact with the props. Guests can switch the props by raising their right hand above their head and open it. Once the guests are ready to take their photo, they pull down the virtual gesture slider and 3..2..1.. snap, a memorable augmented reality photo is printed and handed to them! An additional feature allows guests to remove the backdrop without the need of a green screen. Guests can find themselves anywhere in the world or in front of any logo or branding.

Contact us for more information at info@evntiv.net

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TEAM PROFILE: MEGAN STULL, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

Posted on: July 20th, 2016 by Sam Foxman

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Our newest addition to the Evntiv Team is actually not new to Evntiv. Megan Stull has been working on a contract basis for Evntiv for the past two years on key projects. In May, Megan joined Evntiv full time as Technical Director.

Megan brings nearly 10 years of event experience to her role as Technical Director. Her background as an audio engineer and stage manager enables her to bridge the gap between clients and production vendors. Her technical knowledge and attention to detail ensure that events are executed seamlessly. Prior to joining the Evntiv team, Megan worked in many capacities as a freelance and touring professional.

“I have had my eye on Megan for a long time”, explains Evntiv President, Sam Foxman. “She has an incredible eye for detail and the technical knowledge to design audio / lighting / video systems. This kind of experience adds value for our clients”, explains Foxman.

 

Evntiv President Sam Foxman quoted in BizBash Magazine

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by Sam Foxman

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3 Tips for D.I.Y. Video Invitations

These new do-it-yourself online video invitation services help planners spread the word to guests.

Photo: Courtesy of Wideo

Event hosts have been experimenting with embedding videos into invitations for a number of years, but now there’s a new generation of tools that make incorporating video into an invitation easier than ever. Do-it-yourself options, along with the ubiquity of mobile devices, allow users to both shoot and receive video messages almost anywhere. Before hitting record on an event invite, industry professionals should keep these tips in mind.

1. Know your D.I.Y. limits.
“Everybody’s into video, but a lot of people don’t know how to present that video and make their event more successful and elegant,” says Prabhakar Bellamkonda, C.E.O. and co-founder of Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Inviter, a new site that offers an easy-to-use template format for those inexperienced with video invitations.

Ryan Costello, C.E.O. of Event Farm in Washington, adds that video invites take more creativity and time than most might expect. “People think, ‘because I saw this Vine thing that was cool,’ everyone can do it,” he says, adding that if it’s an organizer’s first time delving into video invitations, he or she will need about three times as much lead time to account for the technology learning curve.

If the plan is to use recorded material rather than pre-created animation, Costello says, “At minimum you need to understand the basics of video editing and understand how to clip and cut.” Even with template services such as Inviter and Wideo, which help eliminate some of the technological hurdles, the process is still a challenge, he says.

With Wideo, an animated online video creation platform, users can choose from among the service’s library of images, graphics, logos, and music and save their choices for future use, says Sofía Brockenshire, content specialist at Wideo.

Because the technology is still fairly new, there are no “hard and fast rules” about using animated versus handheld video footage in the invites, says Sam Foxman, president and co-founder of Evntiv, a St. Louis-based event planning, event production, and entertainment agency. “It’s all about a question of tone versus innovation,” he says. “What I want to try to do is create excitement for the event, whether that’s done in a very low-tech way or a very produced way.”

For certain types of groups or events, a roughly shot video could convey a desirable, attention-getting rawness. “It gives a taste of what the brand feels like—but with movement—and what guests could look forward to that print isn’t going to give,” Costello says.

2. Understand the costs.
The appeal of these new invitation platforms is that anyone can create a video invitation, with or without the budget for a slick, produced version.

“All of these make-your-own video services have come a long way,” Foxman says. “I think that the advantage is that a two-person shop could create something for less than $200 that feels very legitimate, and, if they’re creative, I think they can get a product that can be pushed out within 10 days and get the same effect as somebody who’s hiring a video house.”

Wideo, for instance, charges $59 a month for its mid-range pro plan ($19 a month when billed annually), which lets the user create three-minute-long videos that can be downloaded in HD and without the Wideo logo. A premium tier plan costs $99 a month ($39 a month when billed annually) and offers unlimited video lengths, access to more graphics, and music.

“I think the pro plan works best for event planners because they can download the video in HD, have up to 3 minutes in video length, and most importantly, have unbranded videos,” Brockenshire says. “It’s more convenient and professional that way.”

Users of Inviter have the option of paying per event or per month. For a single event, the service charges between roughly $20 and $160, depending on the number of guests. Monthly subscriptions range from around $40 to $200 per month based on event size.

Planners who aren’t ready to give up on paper invites just yet can compromise with Tap for Message, a credit-card-size inset containing N.F.C. chips, Q.R. codes, and a URL. The cards are pasted or inserted into traditional invitations, and guests have the option to tap their mobile device and activate the N.F.C. chip, scan the code, or enter the URL to receive the information and play the video, which is stored in the cloud.

The cards themselves cost $300 for 50, which include some customization and the ability to attach a video, says C.E.O. Kadeer Beg. “For the corporate side, it’s a little different because they want to brand the look and feel,” so the $6-per-card price is more of a floor than an average, he says.

3. Share smartly.
The more ways a video can be shared, and the fewer clicks the recipient has to make before viewing the video, the better.

“People think, ‘Will it automatically play when people open the email?’” Costello says. Because that’s not actually the case, the sender needs to make the process of watching the video as seamless as possible.

“You can upload ours to YouTube or embed to a website or WordPress, link to it, or share it on social media … and it can be downloaded for attaching,” Brockenshire says of Wideo’s videos. The company also lets planners add buttons with URL links to their videos, which can direct recipients to a new Web page or form, she says.

Having numerous options for sharing is important because some corporate email filters might block embedded video, and the growing use of mobile browsers can make compatibility an issue.

If the target audience tends towards heavy mobile usage, it’s also worth doing a test run on a number of devices before sending out the invites to see how images appear on different screens.

Additionally, the new generation of video invitations, much like other modern technology services, can provide usable data for planners. At the higher end of the price range, many video invitation services provide planners with reports and analytics about the messages sent and allow for communication with guests after the invites have been delivered.

For example, with Tap for Message, Beg says, hosts can provide guests with things like schedule and seating information in real time during the event and push survey questions to collect responses ­immediately.

For planners, this means the value they get from the investment doesn’t end after the guest clicks to R.S.V.P. “What we’re now doing is getting into the whole life cycle of event management,” Beg says.

Evntiv goes DADA for Contemporary Art Museum STL

Posted on: June 8th, 2015 by Sam Foxman
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On May 16, St. Louis-Based Evntiv produced the highly-acclaimed Dada Ball for the Contemporary Art Museum – St. Louis.  A non-traditional warehouse space within Koken Art Factory was chosen to host this one-of-a-kind event full of revelry and surprises.
The Evntiv team welcomed the exciting challenge of bringing an industrial space to life while celebrating the spirit of the dada movement.  The late Marcel Duchamp, Mr. Dada himself, was deemed the evening’s honorary chair.
Thanks to our DADA collaborators Lisa Melandri, Director of CAM and the lovely and talented Susan Werremeyer of Carlton | Werremeyer.
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Following the dinner and program, guests moved to the adjacent Dada Bash for performances by Hawthorne Headhunters and DJ Sinamin.
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And now, the transition from warehouse to Dada Ball…
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