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Interview With Emily Greene From VIVA Creative – The Force Behind Innovative Events

Written by: Kristen DeGroot, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Kristen DeGroot

As the owner of The Campfire Circle, an agency that grows agencies, I’m constantly meeting agency owners and am fascinated by their insights.

Photo of man and woman smiling at camera

One such agency I’ve come across is VIVA Creative, and co-founder Emily Greene agreed to let me interview her since I find her fascinating. I mean, her company works with Oprah

 

I’m sure you’ll get as much insight from VIVA Creative as I did, so, enjoy the interview!

 

About VIVA Creative

 

VIVA is the creative force behind today's most innovative live, online, and broadcast events. The agency designs and produces brand experiences that reach audiences worldwide for clients like Norwegian Cruise Line, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Booz Allen Hamilton, Honda, and many more.

 

VIVA has niche expertise and established industry leadership in launch events. The agency helps brands launch unforgettable things, like the phone in your pocket, the car you drive, and the products in your cabinet.

 

Let’s start with something fun, what is your favorite quote and who said it?


“Nothing else in the world is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

What services does your agency provide and what industries do you work with?


VIVA is more than just an agency partner; we are a vibrant creative hub of diverse creators spanning several disciplines and capable of creating anything. Clients value our integrated breadth of services including strategy, creative, digital, and production, supported by hi-tech media production facilities with global broadcast infrastructure.


We work with both B2B and B2C brands, and thoughtfully design the entire attendee journey, creating events that people enjoy attending. We design and build every touchpoint from theming to staging, scenic, video, graphics, music, and bespoke experiences and installations. From conferences and launches, to exhibitions and pop-up experiences, we bring your brand vision to life with passion and precision.


Agencies are a dime a dozen, what makes your agency unique?


What makes VIVA different is our signature creatively-charged energy; it infuses everything we do. Clients tell us they feel refreshed and re-invigorated working with us, and that our signature VIVA energy adds tremendous value to their projects and teams.


Our cutting edge brick-and-mortar creative hub is also uniquely-VIVA. We’ve curated our spaces to enable just the right conditions for creative collaboration and media production. Creating videos in our amenity-rich multimedia studio spaces is a client favorite!


What made you decide to start your own agency?


At heart, my husband and I are creative thinkers, doers, and believers in the power of events to create good in the world. We believe in helping the communities in which we work and strive to leave things better than we found them.


We’ve come a long way from our two-desk basement to our vibrant blue HQ in the DC area, and still today VIVA embodies a creatively-charged lifestyle. An enormous mural outside our big blue building reads, Creativity Blooms!


VIVA is a place where creative people take root and grow. Our incredible people are united by a drive to help brands create extraordinary events that matter, and you'll see this evidenced in the quality and creativity of our work.


Tell me about your favorite campaign that you’ve run for a client and the results.


We’re immensely proud of the launch events we create for our clients. Launches are a brand's most anticipated and highly visible events, and it means so much to be trusted to help bring the newest aspects of their story to the world. We love helping our clients achieve their boldest creative visions and amplifying their launches far and wide.


As an agency owner, how do you keep yourself updated on how marketing and PR is always changing and how do you identify new trends in the space?


Our creative team researches and analyzes trends every quarter, drawing parallels between global economic, business, and lifestyle trends, cross-referencing with trends in adjacent industries like fashion, food, architecture, and luxury goods. We share these trends internally and with our clientele.

 

As an agency owner, what is the number one way you land new clients?


95% of our work is word of mouth. We are so grateful and proud that our clients become enthusiastic promoters of our work, and this means more to us than any other metrics of success.


What is your client retention rate?


For over twenty years our client retention has exceeded 95%.


It’s no secret that your agency is one of the most creative agencies in the space, how do you foster so much creativity for your clients?


We are a creatively-charged company, and it shows in how we set priorities. We invest in face-to-face creative learning, hosting workshops at our creative hub to discuss the art and science of creativity, share best practices, and try out new tools and technologies. We also offer in-person learning and creative inspiration for our clientele.


Which publications and thought leaders do you follow in order to keep a pulse on trends?


To keep a pulse on trends, there is nothing better than boots on the ground to spot patterns. We attend events of all kinds in major markets, and cross reference real world experience with our own internal quarterly trends analysis. This gives us excellent foresight for which design and event trends have staying power and are worth investing in.


In 2023, what are the main shifts, trends, and challenges that you’ve seen?

  • Generative AI is creating exciting new opportunities for creatively-charged companies like VIVA.

  • Audiences everywhere are showing a strong desire for personalized, high-touch, curated in-person experiences.

  • Younger audiences are trending toward “mobile fatigue” and moving away from wanting to use their mobile devices for EVERYTHING.

 

What is one piece of advice that you can give for businesses to succeed in the year ahead?


Prioritize in-person gatherings. The data is clear that on a biological level, people are suffering from lack of human connection. The evidence is stark, even alarming, as affirmed in the Surgeon' General's 2023 Report called "Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation." 

 

Even with all the positives that come from working from home, people are quietly lonely and longing for a deep sense of connection. Event organizers take note: we have a huge opportunity to help people connect and improve quality of life.

 

How can people find and follow you and your agency online?


Our website, where you'll see many examples of our work. Also, check us out on Instagram.

 

Final thoughts

 

If you’re in the market for a creative agency with expertise in live, online, and broadcast events, then VIVA Creative is a great choice. I don’t know about you, but I've not encountered agencies that have had a 95% client retention rate for 20 years.

 

Even if you’re not in the market for an agency, bookmark this interview so that you have it when you are in the market.


Do you do marketing and PR in-house or use an agency? Why? I’d love to read your insights in the comments below!


Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and visit my website for more info!

Kristen DeGroot Brainz Magazine
 

Kristen DeGroot, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kristen DeGroot is the CEO of The Campfire Circle, an agency for agencies. She has been helping agencies grow for over a decade. Kristen has an English writing degree so a lot of her strategies that she implements for her clients are content driven. Basically, Kristen grows agencies so that agency owners can spend more time on what matters: Doing awesome client work.

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