1997-2017: A Retrospective




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Impact Productions (IP) is turning twenty this year.  Boy, how time flies.  To commemorate this exciting milestone, we’ve given our brand a makeover, unveiled a special anniversary logo, launched a new website, and are presently hard at work planning a party to end all parties in honor of our employees, clients, partners, and vendors with whom we’ve had the pleasure of working alongside these past two decades.

Naturally, we’re feeling a bit nostalgic, so we thought we’d take a quick look back at what was going on when IP first opened its doors.

The year was 1997. The very first Harry Potter book was published, Leonardo DiCaprio was “King of the World”, and we were all unashamedly doing the Macarena (all but our founder, Sheila Stack - or so she claims).  It would still be another year before Google would hit the Information Superhighway, but Sergey Brin and Larry Page did register the domain name.  A wise choice, since their previous working title had been BackRub. We’re not kidding. Google it.

Back then, corporate event production was known as corporate theatre or business theatre. The term “experiential marketing” hadn’t been coined yet.  Not surprisingly, many industry terms and standards have changed through the years as marketing and event technology has evolved.  

Do you remember when clients “themed” their conferences before “branding” them?  When the sound of corporate Jazz filled ballrooms coast to coast?  When multimedia presentations meant stacks of Dove projectors?  When gobos on pipe & drape constituted innovative set design?  When event planning gave way to event production (before that gave way to experiential)?

Because we didn’t have Dropbox or other file-sharing services, the creative process entailed many a trip to FedEx to overnight storyboards, comps or other deliverables to clients.  Real-time edits to corporate videos and analog turned-digital media were unheard of.  Truth be told, there are some nights we really miss those days!

Yes, a lot has changed in twenty years, and mostly for the better.  But when it comes to our core business and the “why” behind what we do, we’re struck by how much things have stayed the same.  Call it what you will - live event production or experiential marketing - it’s not about being trendy.  It’s about connecting brands with people, real-time, in a meaningful and personal way.  It’s about creating multi-sensory experiences that spark emotion.  It’s about making an impact.

Let’s also not forget that this industry is just as much about building relationships as it is about building brands.  People still do business with people, after all – at least until AI robots take over the world and our jobs.

So please join us in toasting our 20th Anniversary, and feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.  

Emelye Adler