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50 Leading Companies of the Year 2021

Tête-à-Tête with Frédérique ‘Freddie’ Georges, FG|PG Founder and CEO: We’re Passionate Creators Driven to Connect People through the Power of Shared Experiences’

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“We continue to expand our virtual event capabilities, and now offer on-demand onsite broadcast production.”

FG|PG is an award-winning experiential marketing agency. It designs and produces custom trade show exhibits, impactful brand activations, and authentic experiences.

FG|PG was established in 2001 and is based in Huntington Beach, CA.

Frédérique ‘Freddie’ Georges, FG|PG Founder and CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Explain your experiential marketing services in brief.

FG|PG was founded nearly 20 years ago. Today, we’re one of the largest woman-owned experience design and production agencies in the US. That trajectory isn’t accidental. It’s the result of a commitment to evolve continually, never to stop learning, and to always listen to our clients' needs.

Our focus lies within delivering product launch events, brand activations, proprietary conferences, and trade shows; from creative conception to fabrication, and completion for small to Fortune 500 brands. More recently, due to Covid-19 and the cancellation of live events, we’ve pivoted to add virtual and hybrid events to our in-house capabilities. As an experiential agency with plenty of time spent watching trends come and go, we had been anticipating this need and quickly set ourselves up to be at the forefront of its integration.

Our award-winning multidisciplinary team of strategists, designers, producers, technologists, and fabricators provides us the rare ability to deliver a full suite of in-house experiential marketing solutions that help the world’s most innovative brands stay one step ahead of the competition.

Q. Business owners trying to stand out in this highly competitive market usually face a dilemma with their marketing campaign. How do you help them find the right tool that they can use and focus on?

Currently, most of what we do revolves around digital experiences. The right tools vary based on the client's needs and audience. FG|PG’s primary goal with every brand is to make live, virtual and hybrid events more human and more accessible. By leveraging our unique expertise in crafting meaningful live experiences blended with technology, we’re able to drive awareness and emotional connections between brands and their audiences no matter the platform.

When speaking to a new client, the biggest dilemma we see is the fear of a virtual event that provides nothing more than a one-way engagement, poor UX, isolation, digital fatigue, and formulaic presentations. As we’ve all experienced, many brands rushed to virtual, and a lot of those conferences were glorified zoom meetings. Every client we speak to is apprehensive of a virtual experience that is less than exciting for the brands they represent.

They want to create an event that makes a lasting and memorable impression and fully engages the audience. That’s where our creatives, brand experts, technologists, and in-house strategists come in and have the opportunity to devise a strategic action plan for each brand that takes into consideration how people interact with their products and services and allows us to create immersive environments in the digital space.

Q. How do you bridge the gap between live and virtual experiential marketing services?

The best experiential marketing happens when brands are successful in eliciting an emotional connection with the audience. It’s easier to do that in a live space. Although/thesiliconreview-frederique-freddie-georges-ceo-fg-pg-21 whether we’re working on a live event or virtual, we immerse ourselves in that brand and more than delivering an event - we aim to tell a compelling story. When we began offering virtual services to our clients, we knew it had to be more than a ‘Zoom’ meeting. It’s not easy to make an emotional connection when someone is sitting at home in front of their screens watching keynote after keynote. Therefore, we tasked ourselves with upping our creativity and finding ways to bring experiential components to virtual events.

Q. What’s the key to a successful experiential marketing event?

Regardless of the environment, whether it’s virtual or live, the key to success is a lot of planning, and of course connecting with the audience! Communicating clearly, and involving key stakeholders in the process early on and at every step of the way. Being prepared for the curveballs, because you will always be thrown into the unexpected, that is the one constant we can count on. Lastly, always have a plan B ready.

More importantly, we hold ourselves accountable for what we do and drive ourselves to exceed expectations. Plus, we have hired some of the industry's best talent; our people are the core of our business, and everyone takes great pride in the work.

Q. How do you understand the culture of the company before devising a marketing strategy?

When presented with an opportunity to work with a new brand, we understand the need to immerse ourselves in every aspect of their product and service, previous and current campaigns, go-to-market strategies, internal culture, and target audience. We look for nuggets of insight that allow us to create very targeted and unique experiences relevant to the brand and its offerings that ultimately inspire the senses, engages the audience, and leaves them wanting more. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy in experiential marketing; we approach every opportunity, whether live or virtual, with the same enthusiasm and passion as a brand strategist would, starting with learning everything there is to know about that brand and focusing on their goals so we can deliver on-point experiences.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched or recently launched?

While we have been involved in technical aspects of live experiential marketing and have employed in-house tech experts for quite some time to provide full service all under one roof experience to our clients for any level of event. When Covid-19 hit the US and every single project we had in 2020 cancelled within one month, we knew we had to pivot into the virtual event space, as previously mentioned.

Within a few months, our team researched, studied platforms, possibilities, watched many virtual events, started creating a list of what was done right and where there was room for improvement, and found some amazing partners in the process that allowed our most instrumental pivot to date. We continue to expand our virtual capabilities and now offer on-demand onsite broadcast production. We plan on building on this service as long as we are in business. It was initially intimidating, but we are now at a point where we’ve delivered virtual events that have exceeded expectations, and broken through virtual fatigue. We get better and more creative with each new opportunity. Both brands and agencies have realized that while live events will undoubtedly return, there may always be a need for some virtual component where much bigger audiences can be reached. Content can live beyond the physical space, extending the experience and ROI.

Q. What are your trajectories for the next five years?

As FG|PG enters its 20th anniversary in August, celebrating this much-anticipated milestone in a post-Covid economic recovery climate will be surreal at best. That said, a challenge has never been something that FG|PG has shied away from. In fact, the steeper the climb, the more we like to lean in to conquer that hill. Our next five years are forecasted to reach the $100M mark in sales with a talented and driven executive leadership team supported by the best of the best in the virtual, live, and hybrid experiential creative and production world. Our 2021–2026 global, national, and regional business growth strategy will include clients in e-sports, tech, pharmaceutical aesthetics, next-gen automotive, and cannabis, along with the crucial non-profit sector, to name a few key market targets.

“Our award-winning multidisciplinary team of strategists, designers, producers, technologists, and fabricators provides us the rare ability to deliver a full suite of in-house experiential marketing solutions that help the world’s most innovative brands stay one step ahead of the competition.”