You’ve got ID cards. Business cards. Playing cards. But odds are you don’t yet have this fine deck of Media Loft-produced Creativity Cards. You’ll want them for two reasons: 1) For the chance to unleash your inner architect; 2) As a nifty, shelf-worthy metaphor for the endless range of possibilities available when it comes to creating your next show. If you’d like a set of your own, contact Media Loft today. Because, unlike our supply of creativity, quantities are limited.
The site: The St. Paul Curling Club, aka the oldest curling club in the country.
The purpose: Fun. Beginning with a bus ride across the river for some lunch and
instruction in the finer points of all things “bonspiel.” (That’s “curling competition”
to you newbies.)
Six Media Loft teams then took to the ice and vied for several thousand dollars in
cash prizes. Not really. More like “Who gets window seats on the bus ride back to
the office?” Now that we’ve piqued your interest, we’re not about to leave you
hanging. You can find out more about the fascinating sport of curling at www.curlingbasics.com
You know how it is. You get some downtime. Your fingers get itchy. You get ahold of some video mapping tools and see where your imagination takes you. From CGI to VR to AI to whatever acronym comes next, we’re all over it. It keeps us on the forefront of fresh. And it’s the best way we know of to bring the exciting and extraordinary to your next show.
Design students know about design firms and ad agencies. But when 20 design students strolled
into Media Loft as part of their three-stop AIGA Minnesota Portfolio 1 on 1 ® studio tour, they for the
most part had no idea what to expect – for good reason.
While design is a critical part of every corporate meeting we produce, the under-the- radar nature
of our industry means that often only attendees and our clients are exposed to our Broadway-
meets-business events in auditoriums, arenas, beachfronts and many other places, all across the
During their time at Media Loft, students had the opportunity to glimpse beyond our curtains. We
showed them a brief history of our company, examples of our work, and an opportunity to pose
questions to a staff Designer, Creative Director, and company President.
One of the questions was, “What do you look for in a new hire?” For students and young
designers out there wondering how you can get noticed at Media Loft (or elsewhere), read on:
1. Stand out
First and foremost are strong design skills. We are looking for designers who have a unique
creative approach. Does the applicant have passion for design and creative curiosity? A top
candidate’s portfolio would include a range of creative including strong identity design, typography
and dynamic use of composition and color. As a young designer, technical knowledge is less
important than a portfolio that reflects a range of creative approaches. If you have not had
extensive professional experience include a few conceptual pieces that reflects your design
2. Know your audience
It’s easy to tell if an applicant has done their homework. Know your audience. Read the
company’s website. Understand what they do and how your skills would be an asset to the
company. Media Loft looks for potential employees who are excited about the diverse range of
opportunities we have In-house. Ask good questions. Don’t be afraid to write them down ahead of
time. Enthusiasm and genuine interest in what you can do for a potential employer (rather than
what they can do for you) will go a long way.
3. Be professional
Being prompt reflects well on you and allows you a moment to collect your thoughts before your
interview. Look smart, both in your appearance and in the presentation of your work.
Always send a prompt thank you for the opportunity by email and or post.
1 of 2 Media Loft, Inc. – Confidential
Be persistent, not pushy. Ask about the hiring process and potential next steps. If you are asked to
follow up – do it.
4. Be informed
Informational interviews are a great way to talk to people in the industry with no pressure on either side. Do your research and contact companies that do the kind of work you aspire to. Most
companies will be glad to meet with you, answer your questions and review your work.
Informational interviews give you the opportunity to learn about potential employers and get
helpful feedback on your work. Think of it as practice. Be sure to prepare as if it is a formal
interview. If you make a great impression it might get you one. Good luck!
This year’s holiday greeting from Media Loft featured a laser-cut, handmade pop-up corporate stage complete with executive speakers, panel discussion, videographer, production crew and conference attendees. (Now if stage setup and teardown were only this easy…)
Now it’s all reindeer and elves. But flash back not that long ago and Media Loft was crawling with critters of another breed. Ahhh, the Dog Days of Summer. When the weather was hot. The dogs were fetching. And the only hint of ice was the cubes clinking in our glasses.
It all started with a website redesign. Then we reevaluated and refreshed every aspect of our brand. You may have seen glimpses. From our identity to our lobby, we’ve updated our brand to better reflect who Media Loft is today. (Forty years of success can make you reflective.) We’ve had fun with it, as you will see. We’ve taken the best of who we are and what we do and rolled it into a new site with bigger bolder imagery, full-screen video and history to put it all into context.
If Don Draper had made a right on Broadway instead of a sinister left on Madison Avenue, his career might have deviated significantly from the world of advertising. For there was a wackier (yet tangentially connected) world populated by moonlighting Broadway actors, singers, set designers, composers, and lyricists all in thrall to the modern American corporation. It was the world of the industrial musical. For those unfamiliar with the term, an “industrial musical” is best described as a corporate sponsored event (such as a convention or sales meeting) that incorporates the trappings of a Broadway musical with the messages of the free enterprise system.
As Media Loft celebrates its 40th year in business, it’s nice to know that our start coincided with what authors Steve Young and Sport Murphy describe as ‘the golden age of industrial musicals’ in their comprehensive history book “Everything’s Coming Up Profits.”
Industries as diverse as automobiles, sewing machines, and bathroom commodes were celebrated in elaborately staged and costumed productions that often required weeks and weeks of rehearsals, only to result in just a single performance.
Did you know that the same composer who wrote lyrics for “Fiddler on the Roof” also graced us with the industrial blockbuster known as “Ford-i-fy Your Future?”
Never heard of it? How about this classic from American Standard’s 1969 Industrial “The Bathroom’s are Coming” entitled “Look at this Tub.” In this searing ballad, we learn why American Standard is needed now more than ever…
“Look at this tub! LOOK AT THIS TUB! It’s dangerous and certainly a hazard! It’s positively lower than substandard! Everything here is lower class, Why, I could slip, I could fall right on my…nose”
The industrial musical fell out of favor sometime in the late 70s, though we know of a few stalwart corporations that are still entertaining their stakeholders with completely original song and dance extravaganzas.
While Media Loft has produced its share of ‘industrial musicals’ it’s more typical now to serve clients looking for high tech ways to impress, dazzle, and communicate with their audience.
[To learn more about the golden age of industrial musicals, check out this Facebook page, or this site where you can actually sample some of the music of the era.]
‘Tis a shame that casting for the all-female re-make of “Ghostbusters” is already complete because a strong case could be made for including Media Loft’s very own Kim White. As account director, Kim was recently in charge of a meeting held at the famous Hotel Del Coronado near San Diego. The resort hotel has many claims to fame. Not only did Thomas Edison personally supervise the installation of electric lighting in the hotel, but L. Frank Baum wrote a major portion of the “Wizard of Oz” there. The eeriest claim to fame is the belief that the hotel is haunted by the ghost of Kate Morgan. Kate was a down-on-her-luck con woman who checked into the hotel in November of 1892 and was found a few days later on the seaside staircase, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Ever since her death, guests have reported hearing murmuring and phantom noises, and seeing flickering lights, billowing curtains, even the shadowy silhouette of Kate herself.
More worrisome to an events company like Media Loft is that the ghost of Kate Morgan also has a reputation for sabotaging stage productions.
Enter Kim White. Kim was so determined to ensure a flawless production for her client that she did everything in her power to appease the ghost. In the above illustration (provided by a talented crew member, Pepe Lezama) we see Kim making a friendly visit to Kate’s room to persuade her from pulling any pranks on us.
Kate must have appreciated our gesture. The meeting proceeded without a hitch.
Whenever practical, hire a designer. We know this is a little self-serving; after all, we employ a staff of highly talented PowerPoint designers and producers with years of shared experience. But when you see how quickly, efficiently, and imaginatively they can convert your prose into a compelling end product, you’ll want to insert professional PowerPoint support into every budget.
Paint a picture
Preferably something from the Impressionists catalog, because PowerPoint is about leaving impressions. Favor images over words in your PowerPoint slides. These slides aren’t a substitute for the story you are telling. They should complement your story in a way that is immediately grasped, leaving a strong visual and emotional impression. Be charitable. If you are presenting figures and statistics, think about how much of this data an audience can reasonably be expected to absorb. Not much, right? So think of alternate ways to communicate this info, or edit the numbers down to the most important stats the audience needs to know RIGHT NOW.
Polly Doesn’t Want a Cracker
Don’t parrot the words on the slide. Let the audience absorb them while you help them connect the dots between what YOU are saying and what they just read. Every once in awhile you might want to deliberately create a slide that visually contradicts your point. A silly example: if you say, “We’re putting more backbone into next year’s media buy,” you support that by showing an image of a jellyfish. Audience thinks: oh, yeah, now we’ve got backbone.
Nature Abhors a Vacuum, But Audiences Don’t
There are times when it is perfectly okay to rest on a slide of your corporate logo or meeting theme or a hamster eating a tiny cheeseburger. Don’t feel as if every point you want to make needs to be illuminated on the screen. We all have a cognitive threshold and the return on investment when you surpass it is very, very small. (In fact, it’s never a bad idea to think, “What is the one thing I want this audience to remember from my presentation today?”)
Edit Your List of 10 Down to 5
Compress, prune, hack, and trim. Abraham Lincoln needed only 272 words in his Gettysburg Address to commemorate the Union cause, yet his speech remains one of the most powerful presentations in American history. Evaluate every slide and every word and think of a way to make it more visually compelling and more pithy. Challenge yourself and your ego
. Take solace in knowing that a great presentation is as much about what’s been left out as what’s been left in.