This week, we are hosting Mitch Litvak, organizer of The RoadShow Live
1. About you
A 22-year veteran of the entertainment marketing industry, Mitch Litvak founded The L.A. Office in 1994. Since its inception, The L.A. Office has been dedicated to facilitating communications and promotional activities between entertainment companies and brand marketers throughout the country. Litvak has been a pioneer in this creative and dynamic area.
Litvak began his career in the New York office of Universal Pictures, where he served in the publicity/promotions department. He returned to his native California to join The Walt Disney Company, where he worked on highly successful marketing campaigns for hit films including “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “Pretty Woman.” Moving up to Director of International Marketing, Litvak played a key role in establishing the Disney International Distribution arm, opening offices in Europe, Asia and Australia. After his long tenure at Disney, he returned to Universal to serve as Director of National Promotions before leaving to found The L.A. Office in 1994.
2. About your company
: Located in the center of the entertainment community in Los Angeles, CA for over 15 years, The L.A. Office has helped create unique and successful services and events to facilitate relationships between brands and entertainment marketers. Our Membership Program and consulting have been the catalyst to successful events like RoadShow Hollywood and our Industry Insights Series.
In addition to these services, we launched The Lounge at laoffice.com in April 2009. The Lounge is the only online community where brand and entertainment marketers can connect effectively and efficiently with the people, marketing opportunities, and resources that are integral to their jobs.
3. Challenges: What was the biggest challenge in organizing RoadShow and how did you handle it?
Adapting to the economy shift over the last year has been a learning experience for everyone. Between companies slashing travel budgets and personnel, every business trip is under greater scrutiny. Entertainment marketing is a relationship business and face –to-face meetings are critical to the success of the marketers involved. We knew we had to make adjustments to the event and that people could no longer spend a week out of the office. We know that RoadShow works, but we had to reinvent the process. The Road to RoadShow Webinar Series was created to cut down on travel expenses and enable attendees to access TV, Gaming and Music property introductions online, while still seeing Film and Home Entertainment properties in the traditional live RoadShow setting in Hollywood. All the RoadShow presenters, including the Webinar Series presenters, will be at the live event for opportunities to meet face-to-face with the attendees.
4. Why RoadShow ? What differentiates RoadShow from other industry events?
Known in the promotion marketing community as the entertainment marketing upfront, RoadShow
introduces brand marketers and their agencies to upcoming entertainment opportunities in the Film, Home Entertainment, Television, Gaming and Music industries through a unique “show-and-tell” format. This format differentiates RoadShow from anything else in the marketplace because there are no case studies or panel discussions; the event is a show-and-tell of each entertainment company’s slate of future film, TV, gaming or music tie-in opportunities. Property presentations are made to hundreds of brands and agency executives… all at one time…all in one place.
5. Just one Tip: If you are asked to give only one piece of advice for an event organizer, what would be the most important tip you can give him\her?
Be creative and know your attendees. This may seem like a given, however many event organizers forget who exactly their attendees are. For example, a majority of RoadShow’s attendees are brands and a selection of agencies. When planning RoadShow, it is important to provide information that the attendees will find relevant, easily accessible and important to their marketing development. We also need to make sure that the event is fun, lively and opens doors for each attendee. The networking opportunities are also one of the most important aspects of the event’s success. If you show people a good time, they will come back for more.
6. Your way: As an organizer, can you share one thing you do in your own way. Something you do different from the ‘event organizing 101’ notions. Something that works well for you but is not the regular way of doing things?
Our entire event has always been unique. RoadShow combines the networking aspects of a conference or social event with the “behind closed doors” meetings that would take place at a trade show. It works for us because it delivers what marketers need, to create their promotional calendar. We have three audiences (brand attendees, studio presenters and sponsors) and we need to make sure that each group is getting the most out of the event without sacrificing their individual objectives.
7. Lessons learned: As an event organizer, can you tell us about a situation you had a hard time handling in the past and recently managed to overcome and learn?
Through the Road to RoadShow Webinar Series, the office gained a lot of valuable knowledge from the coordination and logistics of incorporating webinars into The Lounge. It was also a learning experience to discover the various marketing needs that exist for a webinar event. Making the participants feel comfortable within the online forum is completely necessary so that they can get as much as possible out of the webinar experience.
8. Event marketing online
: Have you used the internet for marketing and advertising an event? Where?
This year’s RoadShow marketing has been almost entirely internet based. We have been able to make use of email marketing campaigns, eNewsletters, online ad space and The Lounge at laoffice.com.
9. The future: What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
We take everything one day at a time and to look at the business 10 years from now is impossible with all of the advances in technology and our business in general. While RoadShow will always be a branded “pipeline” for entertainment companies to communicate to brand marketers about their upcoming marketing opportunities, the shape of the event will continue to change as new technologies and opportunities arise. Since there will always be a need for one-on-one meetings in our business, we will always play an important role in the process in some form or another. As we learned this year, the format and structure of RoadShow will evolve along with the changes in the business environment.