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Leo Events: Crossroads Are An Opportunity

Past
Ten years ago we opened our doors downtown at Linden and Front Street as Destination King—a company focused on coordinating events in Memphis for out-of-town corporate clients. We began doing business at a time when Memphis was on the cusp of revitalization; interests and momentum were definitely swinging our way as an up-and-coming meeting destination locale. The convention center got a facelift and a new performing arts center; Peabody Place opened with a host of national retailers; and the FedExForum bounced into action. Fast-forward to a decade later.

Momentum slowed. No doubt this national economic downturn has affected tourism, and it didn’t take long to recognize that to remain profitable, and to keep contributing to the economic backbone of this city, we had to think differently about who we were, what services we provided, and in what places.

During this time, we also were realizing that our brand identity—with the central theme and key word being “destination”—was limiting our business. After all, we were beginning to reach out into new markets, and expanding our services into sales and meeting management, special events and big-venue experiences. We even opened new offices in other cities. The capstone to our evolving identity and consequent name change was our recent merger with Chattanooga-based Quiddity Entertainment in August.

Essentially, we found ourselves at a crossroads, one that we chose to see as an opportunity rather than as a detriment. We’ve set about expanding our business from a regional firm handling destination travel into a national firm managing all types of events and experiences—from exotic locales and national sales meetings to special product launches and outdoor festivals—before hundreds of employees to thousands of screaming fans. 

And because we love working and living in this city—a place we proudly call home—we’re continuing to promote it both professionally and personally. Memphis is our company headquarters.

Present
When people think of an event company, they often think of parties. And although we can put on one heckuva party, LEO is so much more. LEO’s true value comes in helping clients create experiences that build connections between their brands and audiences through inspiring, creative ideas and flawless execution. We like to call ourselves moment makers. Sometimes clients come to us with little more than a meeting date. Working closely with them, we develop an experience that incorporates their identity and key messages, and then we set off to bring that idea to life. We handle every detail from the theme to transportation and registration all the way to talent and technology to engage their customers or employees.

Future
Now more than ever, event companies must make sure their clients are seeing a return on their investment. The trend is moving to ways we can help an organization continue to ride the wave of success with their guests or employees once everyone returns to their desks or homes. For example, we have hosted product launches for clients where we were able to carry on that messaging and theme through social media contests and internal and external advertising.

Technology also is becoming a major component in creating an experience. We’ve partnered with companies that provide customizable mobile app software that features everything from meeting schedules and content to mapping and social sharing. We’re always looking for ways to use emerging technology cost-effectively whether an event is for 100 or 100,000—and always in a way that maintains a personal touch.

-- Cindy Brewer, CMP, DMCP, Principal

Has your business reached a professional crossroads, and if so, how did you handle it? Did you discover any pitfalls or handy tricks?



Leo Events is located at 265 S. Front Street, Memphis, Tennessee, 38103. Visit them online at LeoEvents.com and share with them on Facebook: facebook.com/experienceLEO



Comments
Bryan Fulton
I think you nailed it with the paragraph on Future. Clients want that ROI and its how effectively you use the resources you have that is going to give them big returns!

Great article thanks for sharing.
2/14/2013 10:39:53 AM

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THE M BLOG
The latest news from the Greater Memphis Chamber. For more information, contact Director of Communications Christina Meek at (901) 543-3504 (cmeek@memphischamber.com) or Communications Specialist Jenny C. Fish at (901) 543-3558 (jfish@memphischamber.com).

 

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