We here at the Spy figured we’d try something new this summer and give a few ad/marketing interns the floor to share their thoughts and experiences from within their respective agency walls. First up to bat is Max Krauss, a junior studying business and marketing at Washington and Lee University who’s currently interning at experiential agency MKTG INC. Here, Krauss tells us about the lessons he learned from a recent MKTG experiential event for Nike. From the looks of it, our young scribe seems to have enjoyed himself.
On Saturday, June 23, for the 40th anniversary of Title IX, MKTG INC worked with Nike to host a “Celebration of Sport” event at Pier 46 in NYC to commemorate this landmark in women’s athletic history. The day-long event was completely free and open to the public and was comprised of multiple training sessions led by top women’s fitness gurus, Nike+ competitive trials, and a Q&A session with pioneers in women’s professional sports.
Throughout the day, hundreds and hundreds of people flowed through the pier, bringing everything from their yoga mats to boxing gloves to participate in the high-intensity workouts all day long. The event was clearly a planned destination for many, who showed up ready to go in their athletic attire, but also attracted many who were simply out and about on a beautiful New York Saturday and decided to check out the scene. Hey, who could pass up free Nike gear and a chance to try out the newest Nike+ training system?
Looking back on my experience, there were three lessons that I learned and which enabled the event to go off without a hitch. They are:
1. A Machine’s Got Gears – What outwardly seems like one large event really is a unified conglomerate of independent parts operating to provide consumers with a complete Nike Experience. The check-in/hydration tent, Nike+ trial stations and main stage/VIP area each functioned as their own unit, independent of one another and run by their own respective staffs working with our Production department. In fact, other than the initial event coordination and set-up, there was little to no direct interaction between any of these areas.
2. Nothing’s Set in Stone – I found everyone’s ability to think on the fly and adjust to unforeseen circumstances to be crucial in maintaining the event’s seamless presentation. During the morning set-up, if we needed additional supplies or materials for one area, we had to work with what we already had on hand, and due to the resourcefulness of the team we made due without a single issue (which included having to spontaneously adjust the layout of certain tents to meet NY Parks Department codes).
3. It’s Good to be a Blabbermouth – Above all, without a doubt, the most important factor of the day’s success was great communication. Much like everything else in life, communication between the moving parts of the event provided not only efficient allocation of manpower but also ensured that nobody was making mistakes. If someone didn’t fully understand their task, or came across something they didn’t expect, help was only a radio call away and they got the answer they needed. Thank God for the walkie-talkie…
While immersed in the sporting spectacle, the countless hours of planning, preparation, and perspiration it took to bring this activation to life (let alone strike it down at the end of the day and return the pier to its former, Nike-less condition) was the last thing on the minds of those who attended.
The sheer enjoyment these people were having, both serious athletes seeking a professional workout or daytime joggers just passing through, eclipsed such thoughts as they were caught up in the Celebration of Sport. But then again, isn’t that the point of why they were there? Training, like event production, isn’t exactly a walk in the park. It’s hours of hard work, sweat, determination, and at times frustration, but all in an effort to reach an end goal. And once you get there, when you reach that point and can pat yourself on the back because you’ve achieved your goal, that’s the moment that makes all the work behind it merely an afterthought, shadowed by that great feeling of pure satisfaction.