The year is 2002. “American Idol’s” debut fever is spreading across TV sets all across America. The second installments of the “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of The Rings” trilogies are duking it out at the box office (as nerds everywhere rejoice—in Elvish). And somewhere in Berlin, Michael Jackson is dangling his son Prince Michael II off a hotel balcony with a blanket over his head.
Despite the year’s distractions, two guys with an idea, two full heads of hair and a dream are hunkered down deep in the basement of a suburban home in Connecticut getting ready to launch the first issue of Event Marketer. The industry was just a baby then—an add-on to the advertising
campaign or the after-party after the annual sales meeting. But even in its infancy, experiential marketing showed promise as a few pioneering brands began shuffling dollars towards live events and playing with the notion that face-to-face engagements might just get you more bang for your buck than a 30-second ad.
So samplers started hitting the streets. Spirits brands started activating on-premise. B-to-b brands explored life outside of the hotel conference room. And mobile tours began tearing up the pavement from the streets of New York City to the avenues of L.A. In every corner of the country, the discipline was being born, one mile and one moment at a time. And Event Marketer was there.
This month, as we mark our 10-year anniversary as the magazine for the makers of brand experiences, we take a long walk down memory lane to chronicle the ups and downs (but mostly ups) of the past decade. Indeed, the industry has grown up since 2002. Hairlines have receded (for one of the guys that started out in that basement, anyway), movie trilogies have ended and MJ has left us forever (RIP), but event marketing keeps singing. And making its mark.
Click here to thumb through the years and please enjoy our restrospective.