BCD Meetings & Events, among the largest of the large independent meeting and event companies, has launched The Collective, a brand-experience agency.
The collection of creative services falls under the company’s Experience & Event Solutions umbrella, with teams in both North America and the United Kingdom. Leadership includes Christine Erickson, senior vice president, Experience & Event Solutions, and Cate Banfield, vice president, experience design & client engagement, in Chicago, and Emma Coleman, vice president, The Collective, in Milton Keyes, U.K.
In a May 5 launch video on LinkedIn Live, Erickson noted that The Collective has been on the company’s long-term roadmap, and that some “very strategic acquisitions have helped us to diversify and round out our capabilities, allowing us to offer this integrated solution set to our customers well beyond logistics; truly, we’re a brand-experience agency.” Those acquisitions include U.K.-based Zibrant in 2016, where Coleman had served as director of creative solutions, and Chicago-based event production and creative media agency L37 Creative in 2019.
On top of BCD M&E’s event-management strengths, The Collective brings together the company’s creative teams that work on communication campaigns, content development, digital media, event production, and other elements that go into experience design, delivery, and creative storytelling.
The Collective expects to bring its services to virtual, hybrid, and in-person meetings, and Banfield sees this as the right time to help organizations elevate their brands. While 2020 was undeniably a tough year, it also created “a moment of pause and reflection,” she says. “Over the past year, companies have had to re-evaluate and reimagine their event portfolio within their marketing and sales strategy, and brand experience has become paramount.
“Experiences and events need to be aligned more than ever, driving connectivity between your audience and your brand while leveraging digital and physical tools in parallel,” Banfield continues, emphasizing that personal experiences that spark emotion for attendees are what fuel behavioral change. “This is what brand experience is all about.”
Other members of The Collective’s North American leadership team include Susana Chao, senior director, event management; Ryan Legue, general manager, media & production; and Joe Cooper, executive creative director, media & production.