We Tell Your Story To The World
Previous Page

“If we support each individual’s identity, we will always have stronger staff members and provide a better identity for the brands they’re representing.”

Anthony Russo has been a self-employed business owner for more than five years and is one of the top agency owners in the experiential promotional marketing field. Not only does he operate a seven-figure agency, but he’s also a professional speaker and an emcee for large national events.

BusinessInterviews.com: Tell us a little more about your business. What are some of your goals for Identity Marketing in 2015?

Anthony: Running an experiential staffing agency, I have several talented people who work for me on both small and large levels. We also have the ability to expand our niche in the industry without stepping on our clients’ toes.

This year, we’re trying to expand our capabilities and workload to add more event planning and execution. We’re mostly focusing on small events to get our name on the map, but as our reputation grows, we’ll move into other spaces and diversify our client base.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some common hurdles you have to overcome in planning and executing an event, and how do you handle them effectively?

Anthony: One of the biggest hurdles is getting the client to commit to an event’s elements and budget. Often, a client knows what he or she wants, but once the estimate comes in, the client tends to verbally commit but not finalize until the 11th hour.

Putting the right people in the right places and making sure you have a good team lead or account manager is also a challenge. It’s a fairly common hurdle, and it’s our specialty, so it’s typically easy for us to handle. You just have to make sure that the right people are available.

BusinessInterviews.com: How do you measure the effectiveness of your events? What are a few measurable metrics that will show the ROI of a business event?

Anthony: This is a very broad, client-based question. For instance, if the client wants exposure, we measure success in estimated foot traffic or premiums given away. Other times, we need to achieve social media numbers. And in other cases, we need to track concrete sign-ups or lead gathering.

ROI is very subjective in experiential marketing because every client and event has a different list of measurable goals. From a staffing standpoint, an event was effective if we had everyone in place and on time, if staff members enjoyed the event, if they took a few brand photos, and if the client was happy.

BusinessInterviews.com: Live events are like a puzzle. You have to place many small pieces in order to create the whole picture. Do you have any specific tips for managing all of these pieces?

Anthony: Communication, communication, and communication. If everyone’s on the same page, these pieces will come together quite easily.

The sooner we have event details to pass on to our staff, the better prepared the brand ambassadors will be. This goes double if an aspect of the event needs to be altered. The better our client can respond to our needs, the better the staff will perform. And come event day, the staff is the face of the brand. Obviously, the brand should always be communicating with the marketing agency. If there’s an open line of communication through the chain of vendor/client/ambassador, the pieces will naturally fall into place.

If my client has to consider technology, setup, and event logistics but doesn’t have to wonder whether there will be a good staff of brand ambassadors, then we’ve done our job.

BusinessInterviews.com: When it comes to staffing an event, how do you choose the right team for different types of events?

Anthony: There are always great staff members who can work any kind of event, and depending on the city, we hope that a percentage of them will be available for the event. We strive to build a staff that’s composed of individuals with proven records of reliability with either our agency or several other agencies.

However, I also love to use people who are new to promotions. It scares our client sometimes, so we don’t always mention it. But these new faces allow us to continuously grow our database, and in all honesty, people new to the promotion and marketing arena tend to be the most motivated and excited to work, which really impresses clients.

The key to nurturing these new staff members is holding their hand as you prepare them for events, letting them know exactly what they’ll be doing and telling them how to do it. Build a quick friendship with them so they’re excited to be a part of this new industry. Ultimately, this combination has proven extremely effective for my agency.

BusinessInterviews.com: You put a lot of emphasis on the term “identity” on your website. Do you have some advice for event planners and staffing agents in nurturing and supporting the individual identities of their employees?

Anthony: Absolutely! To me, the word “identity” signifies everything important in this life, and it can be used in so many aspects. From a marketing perspective, without an identity, there’s no brand. And from a personal perspective, without identity, individuals don’t have the necessary components to define who they are.

For the sake of staffing agencies, if a brand ambassador feels that we haven’t given him an identity within our agency, he probably won’t feel the gig he’s about to do for us is worthwhile. When we take pride in our client and our staff, it always translates into a more successful event. If we support each individual’s identity, we will always have stronger staff members and provide a better identity for the brands they’re representing.

BusinessInterviews.com: How would you describe the identity of IM? How do you utilize the identity of the whole company to bring an event concept to life?

Anthony: We identify ourselves as people who “get it.” We’re an agency that has key people in place, including myself. When we have a great event staff, we know what needs to be tackled first. We know where to cut budgets and how to communicate with the staff effectively. All of these deliverables lead to a more exciting event and a much more motivated staff.

By making sure all of these identifiers are firing on all cylinders, we give the whole event its own life force. As an agency, we understand what’s going on because we just get it.

BusinessInterviews.com: What’s one of the most innovative marketing events you’ve tackled?

Anthony: Each event has its own challenges, technological advancements, and innovations. As the staffing agency, we’ve been a part of several programs in which we had to make sure we had the right staff in place.

Technology mixed with social media integration can create a wide range of innovative marketing concepts. I’ve seen social media vending machines that require a text/social media connection to produce winning items. I’ve seen balloons pop when tweets come in. But I’ve also seen some traditional participation tactics, which I believe are still the most innovative because they go against the trend.

At the end of the day, event attendees want to be active participants. They want to touch, see, and feel. In the marketing world, this has become less and less prevalent, but it’s still just as important.

Find the right Domain Name for your business at Fabulous.com!

Let's Connect