Thursday, December 2, 2021

Technology Transitions

Interviews by Martin Palicki

Brandy Alvarado-Miranda

Early in 2021, Brandy Alvarado-Miranda launched BAM! Marketing & PR Agency. Brandy has an extensive marketing background, working for several companies since 2001. In 2014 she began working in the technology sector and hasn’t looked back. She has been a board member for Women In Digital Signage since 2018 and has chaired the AVIXA Women’s Council since 2019. Most recently, she was Director of Sales & Marketing for Mad Systems. With a specialty in technology and AV marketing, BAM! has already achieved a level of notoriety in the industry with clients including NanoLumens, Hall Technologies, cavlo tech and others.

Tell us why AV and attractions holds special appeal for you.

In 2014 I started working for an AV manufacturer and engineering firm that specializes in all types of verticals. I always loved working on large entertainment venue projects. I think that’s why I gravitated towards working for companies specializing in theme parks and museums. Those projects are gratifying and so much fun to work on.

What led you to launch your own marketing company?

Like many, I lost my job during COVID due to the downturn in the industry. I immediately updated my LinkedIn profile to “open to work,” and the same day I had colleagues asking if I was interested in ghost writing, or working on their website, or writing a white paper. I began freelancing – writing, creating content, and working on various marketing campaigns – and it evolved into full-time work. Within a month, I knew I needed to start my own marketing and PR firm.

Your specialty is technology. How do you market technology successfully?

I LOVE technology and my clients tell me that they appreciate that I “speak nerd” fluently. Working with BAM! means they don’t have to explain their technology to me for hours. I understand tech so there’s no learning gap for my clients to navigate me through.

I believe marketing technology drills down to a few things – who needs and uses this technology? Finding the answer to that and targeting that audience is key. Most tech manufacturers use a mix of print ads, product press releases, thought leadership articles, social media, and email coupled with website landing pages, and trade show events to reach their clients.

How do you advise companies to handle their marketing during slow periods, such as the pandemic?

My advice is to take advantage of slower periods to analyze, plan, and create strategic, measurable marketing goals that align with your sales team. Additionally, it’s smart to take stock of your brand, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and plan accordingly. During COVID, some of the first people to get furloughed were in marketing, and that is unfortunate. Keeping in front of your customers is more critical than ever and identifying how to best reach them is key.

What is your industry outlook for the near future?

My clients are saying that projects that had been delayed during the past year are going full speed ahead now, and new ones are in their pipeline as well. The challenge right now is with the supply chain. Getting the right equipment to facilitate a project has been difficult and will continue for some time. It’s an exciting time of growth and learning. Companies and their tech managers have had to become proficient and agile to accommodate the supply chain issues. They’ve relied on education and product knowledge vital to keeping their projects on track.

What are your plans for growing your company?

I’m nearly at my bandwidth already and may need to hire another marketer soon. Taking care of my clients and making sure we meet their marketing goals is most important to me so any hires will have to match my level of commitment to my customers and love tech as much as I do. •

Sean Reish

Sean Reish recently became TAIT’s VP business development, theme parks & attractions. The move comes after some two decades working on the technical side of the themed entertainment industry. With an MFA from UNCSA in Technical Production & Automation, Sean has worked for major operators like Universal Orlando as well as key suppliers, most recently Wärtsilä North America. Initially known for their shipbuilding and marine capabilities, Sean helped coordinate Wärtsilä’s division devoted to themed entertainment and attraction projects. I’ve known Sean for years, catching up with him at events around the world and the many times he graciously invited me to join his table at an IAAPA Expo GM/Owner’s breakfast. I’m excited to see how he brings his global knowledge of the attractions industry to TAIT, which is highly regarded for their theatrical technologies and automation solutions. -M.P.

What led you to this opportunity at TAIT?

I have always had a passion for the live entertainment industry and an affinity for automation and motion control of those never-been-done-before extraordinary moments. Throughout my career, I’ve been a part of creating these moments, which led me to TAIT™ and this opportunity. I’m thrilled to be part of the impressive culture at TAIT, one that delivers cutting-edge solutions to the themed entertainment market.

Can you tell us more about TAIT’s capabilities, even beyond attractions?

TAIT’s global capabilities and products literally make shows happen. Above and in support of all the specific technology, TAIT provides turnkey solutions. TAIT’s engineered and manufactured patented technology includes hoists, lifts, elevators, animatronics, performer flying, scenery and staging. The Navigator Automation Platform™ is a powerful entertainment automation and show control platform that maximizes the creative potential for live themed experiences. This is the technology that makes all automated systems work together seamlessly.

TAIT has now received two technology Thea awards. What technology should we be keeping an eye on next?

TAIT Navigator’s™ award-winning automation platform continues to evolve. Its hardware and software products are intuitive and user-friendly, making the user experience more cohesive. TAIT offers programmers, commissioners, and operators learning opportunities to train directly on the software and hardware products via online or in-person classes.

How are you hoping to grow TAIT’s presence in themed entertainment?

My personal goal is to champion TAIT’s global capabilities and deliver high-quality equipment that is safe, cost-effective and reliable for the primary, secondary, and alternative themed entertainment submarkets.

In what areas do you think there are opportunities for TAIT to impact attraction experiences?

TAIT is well known for delivering spectacular performer flying, show control systems and show action machinery. The guest and fan expectations are only becoming more demanding, and TAIT’s design-build approach offers a holistically designed production, great flexibility, cost savings and confidence in the quality of the attraction that will delight even the most discerning superfan.

How is the company doing during these (hopefully) waning days of the pandemic?

The world can’t open back up soon enough! While TAIT continued to have a lot in production during the pandemic, the entire group came together as one global team in a way that they never had before. The time was used to bolster up operationally, preparing an optimized foundation to handle the much-awaited comeback across all entertainment markets and throughout the industry. • • •

Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki owns and publishes InPark Magazine. Started in 2004, InPark Magazine provides owners and operators the perspective from "in"side the "park." Martin has also written for publications like Sound & Communications, Lighting & Sound America, Attractions Management and others. Martin has been featured in Time Magazine, CNN.com and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

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