By Sharael Kolberg, California Business Journal.
Imagine stepping into your favorite video game…meeting the characters, experiencing the landscape, driving the vehicles…being fully immersed into the digital realm.
Welcome to Freddie Georges Production Group (FG|PG), which has brought Epic Games’ viral Fortnite game to life with a 38-foot-long neon Battle Bus, eight-foot hot air balloon, 100-pound disco balls, virtual hang gliding and mechanical llamas.
This is the level of experiential marketing that FG|PG creates with its team of strategists, designers, producers, technologists and fabricators who create dazzling trade show exhibits, immersive events, and highly branded corporate meetings.
Leading the company is Freddie (Frederique) Georges, who has 30+ years of experience in corporate event and trade show production and management. The woman-owned experiential marketing agency, based in Huntington Beach, Calif., works with some of the world’s most cutting-edge brands, creating custom multi-touchpoint experiences that “awakens the senses” and deepens brand loyalty with their target audience.
Having worked for larger companies early in her career, Georges wanted to start her own agency. As the video gaming industry was picking up, she decided to jump too. “I love the fast pace. It’s exhilarating,” she says. “Gaming gives us the opportunity to create immersive and experiential environments that bring games to life in a three-dimensional way.”
“We produce what we describe as ‘emotionally evocative, trendsetting, and technologically charged events and exhibits.’” Georges says. “This is particularly important for gamers who are typically isolated. People crave connection and are united by experience. Regardless of the industry, creating meaningful experiences and touchpoints for customers enables our client brands to cultivate a loyal following and strengthen their footprint in the marketplace.”
The biggest challenge in creating live events? “You have one chance to succeed — there’s no time to edit,” Georges says with the tone of someone who knows what they’re talking about.
So how does Georges keep her finger on the pulse of what is trending with a particular audience? “We use many creative and innovative data tools, practices and procedures,” she says. “We research the target audience, implementing audience segmentation, and find the best ways to reach them. Then we keep our eyes open and our ears to the ground, parsing the fads from the paradigm shifts.”
With a diverse client list that includes Facebook, Starbucks, Netflix, Pokémon and Lego with production budgets between $150,000 to $7 million, FG|PG has earned numerous awards, including The Clio Award, the ADDY, Hermes Creative Award and Exhibitor magazine’s Exhibit Designer Award.
The company has an estimated 40 clients with 100 employees that allow the company to “keep up with the demand” to produce 250 plus events per year. “It’s the love of the work, so I rarely call it ‘work’,” Georges says. “For those people who also love their work, their extended family is part of the industry and the organization.”
In addition to her day job leading a busy operation, Georges began “FG|PG for Good” based on corporate philanthropy. She currently sits on the board of The Priority Center, which provides support to end the cycle of generational trauma. FG|PG assists with the production, creative, and branding for the organization’s annual gala — pro bono.
FG | PG for Good also established a corporate giving and volunteer initiative for the Ronald McDonald House, Susan G. Komen and Wounded Warrior Project because, as Georges says, “I have always believed in helping people who have not been as fortunate. For me that means supporting great organizations and giving back to the community whenever possible.”
The landscape of Georges’ industry – like many other industries — is dramatically changing with augmented reality, virtual reality and live streaming. And now, in light of the coronavirus, “businesses want to do virtual trade shows and live streaming events, as well as smaller, more local experiences, as a way to keep audiences engaged and offset losses of cancelled conferences. We’re even providing experiential events online or through virtual reality, enabling customers to get a deeper look into a brand and interact in a way that is typically a one-way street.”
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