This article is brought to you in association with Macroart
Agency Spotlight, the latest addition to the Event Industry News site, profiles the top of the pyramid, the design and creativity behind brand activations, experiences, exhibition USPs and the greater live event model.
Sponsored by print specialist Macroart, these pages will profile agencies of all sizes, looking at how and why they started, with what ambition, key projects, relationships with the supply chain and a whole lot more besides.
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Annual Events: 100+
Mantra: Challenge everything
INVNT was established in the summer of 2008 – at the height of the financial crisis – with the aim of challenging and changing perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours. Passionate storytellers in their own right, co-founders Scott Cullather and Kristina McCoobery recognised that there was an inherent need to offer their clients an alternative to the existing agency model. They subsequently devised INVNT’s ‘challenge everything’ mantra as a means of disrupting the traditional approach to how brand events are created, designed, budgeted and delivered.
Founders: Scott Cullather & Kristina McCoobery
INVNT’s co-founders have a wealth of experience between them. CEO, Scott Cullather is a recognised industry leader who has worked within the sector for over 25 years, leading teams to deliver B2C and B2B events for renowned brands across 40 countries. Under his leadership the now decade old business continues to experience exceptionally strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Originally a theatre performer and director, INVNT’s COO, Kristina McCoobery has over 20 years of experience in the field of corporate communications. In her current role she oversees the company operations of INVNT, manages some of the agency’s largest accounts, and heads up its internal mentoring initiatives for emerging female talent.
Key services and sectors served
INVNT works with challenger brands across sectors including automotive, entertainment, FMCG, hospitality, pharma and technology. The agency’s areas of expertise can be split into four categories:
- Meetings and events. Experiences that cause messages to strike, stick and spread including business meetings, product launches, press events and consumer activations.
- Creative services. Ranging from communications strategy development and theatrical production to graphic and production design.
- Media and digital. INVNT creates content and platforms that ignite emotions, build believers and form tribes, across the likes of film and video, satellite broadcasts and multimedia production.
- Brand environments. Think exhibits, stands, immersive environments, brand spaces and stunts. INVNT creates environments that invite audiences to step inside, explore and discover for themselves.
Case Study: TEDxSydney 2018
TEDxSydney, the leading platform for the propagation of Australian ideas, creativity and innovation, was seeking a similarly minded partner to seamlessly produce its flagship event. The 2018 theme of HumanKind needed to be woven throughout the one-day experience in strategic and thought-provoking ways, ensuring each and every touchpoint would appeal to the brand’s discerning audience of curious minds, game-changers, and those who seek to be inspired.
INVNT produced both the theatre program and events and activations within the Hub – a dedicated precinct where participants, partners and stakeholders could learn and interact in between theatre sessions.
Teams were responsible for budget, venue, supplier and talent management, and oversaw all scheduling and logistics. Working with a trusted network of over 100 operators and technicians, INVNT sourced and installed four 48ft semi-trailers worth of audio-visual equipment across the theatre and Hub. The theatre featured wall to wall LED screens and 12 projectors with 20 million pixels which projected 200,000 lumens of brightness, resulting in an enthralling and immersive experience for guests.
The team created the floor plan within the Hub with respect to the attendee journey, and curated a number of brands and partners which would activate within the precinct. INVNT produced activations including ‘Body, mind, soul,’ which featured yoga and hip hop classes, and ‘Serious play,’ where guests could play mini putt-putt and giant Jenga, and charge their phones with pedal power. Keeping TEDxSydney’s mantra of ‘explore how to do things better,’ in mind, the team devised a sustainable and informative food and beverage offering for the main event and after party, which featured the likes of cricket hummus and water that was created using fruit and vegetable waste.
The event saw its largest audience to date, with just under 5,300 guests checking in on the day. Attendee feedback was incredibly positive, with 93% of respondents rating TEDxSydney 2018 as excellent or good, 85% stating that they enjoyed the Hub, and 81% noting they would like to attend TEDxSydney in 2019. Respondents rated the technical production, including lighting, audio, visuals and staging an average of 9.16 out of 10.
Case Study: New Relic’s FutureStack
INVNT partnered with American software analytics company, New Relic to deliver their flagship FutureStack event at Kings Place in London. The New Relic team wanted to provide attendees with the opportunity to learn more about their products through live demonstrations and an informative content programme. The brand also sought to drive general brand awareness in the UK market, and build on their relationships with clients by engaging with them face-to-face.
The team worked with New Relic to produce the entire event, from overall budget and venue management to managing speakers and their presentation content. INVNT also designed and produced FutureStack brand graphics, including interior and exterior signage and wayfinding within the venue – ensuring a consistent look and feel across all cities that the event was travelling to.
The event offered a combination of informative presentations from New Relic practitioners and invited experts, case study style sessions where speakers from brands including LEGO and Trainline discussed the ways New Relic has helped them achieve their business goals, and a series of product demos.
INVNT also managed the closing party, devising an Oktoberfest themed concept and sourcing entertainment in the form of a band in Lederhosen, and liaising with the venue on catering.
The event attracted in excess of 330 attendees from across the UK, and the client was incredibly please with its execution. James Pavey, Senior Field Marketing Manager, EMEA at New Relic noted: “FutureStack London was a great success thanks to INVNT!” and “importantly, attendees were very engaged with our speakers, the demo stations were bustling with people during the breaks, and the event is already demonstrating ROI.” In a post on his blog, Diginomica, finance and IT expert Den Howlett was also all praise for the event, stating: “The event was packed out, long on customers and educational sessions yet short on marketing rhetoric.”
What the future holds
- INVNT’s APAC office in Sydney has gone from strength to strength since its launch in April this year. The agency plans to further enhance its offering in the region in order to cater to new and existing clients who they work with both globally and locally.
- The company enhanced its creative offering with the launch of a SWDSH Design Studio in Stockholm, Sweden recently. INVNT’s creative team – its fastest growing department – will continue to focus on devising new and innovative 2D and 3D designs and supporting visual systems for clients into 2019 and beyond.
- INVNT has developed a proprietary strategic and creative methodology, INVNTion™, which allows its teams – across all disciplines – to ideate, design, and execute live brand experiences that tell a story and align with a client’s target audiences. The agency’s tribe of ‘INVNTrs’ are focused on educating their clients about the importance of this multi-disciplinary approach, and of the increasingly important role of live brand storytelling in the wider marketing mix.
- In the last 12 months, INVNT achieved a 70% client retention rating and secured 23 new clients. INVNT anticipates these figures will only continue to rise.
- There’s plenty of exciting client work in the pipeline, however these details remain under wraps for now.
This Agency Spotlight is sponsored by Macroart
Macroart challenges the assumptions about a ‘typical print company’. With a fair bit of cool kit to turn clients’ visions into reality, Macroart’s enthusiastic, committed and talented team delivers some of the most complex print projects in live events, retail and interiors.