This review was updated on May 6, 2019, by the client. New content is below.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I am the vice president of enterprise marketing and organizational development at Hughes Network Systems. We are a managed network service provider for businesses that have several locations.
What challenge were you trying to address with TalkingTree Creative?
We host and sponsor many events and conferences each year. For several years, we’ve worked with TalkingTree Creative to help us significantly advance the quality of those events.
What was the scope of their involvement?
TalkingTree Creative has been helpful in two primary areas for us: finding better uses for the equipment we use at events and improving the quality of the content we produce. Each year we’ve worked together, there have been 6–8 large events that they have played a role in.
Before working with TalkingTree Creative, the event managers at hotels where our events were held would provide us with basic audio and visual equipment—a projector, a screen, and maybe a small stage. With TalkingTree Creative, we sometimes still use that equipment, but we are now able to leverage their experience to improve customer experience.
Further, we’ve relied on them for a number of video and animation projects to enhance the production value of what we present. That sometimes includes us providing them with our prepared slides or materials, but it has also involved their team coming on-site and shooting new video content.
What is the team composition?
Our team size depends on the project. For many years, we worked with Craig (Chief Creative Officer, TalkingTree Creative), but as the company has grown, he has hired several other capable people for us to work with. For most events, we work with two people—usually a production manager and a creative director. For our annual sales conference, we prefer to have a much higher production value, so we’ll work with 4–5 people.
How did you come to work with TalkingTree Creative?
They introduced and marketed themselves to us several years ago. We happened to be interested in improving our audience experiences at that time, so we brought them on for a project. The improvement was so pronounced for that first engagement that we were thrilled to continue working with them.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent well over $5 million.
What is the status of this engagement?
I’d estimate that we began working together in 2007. Our engagement remains ongoing.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Over the years, at our annual sales and marketing conference, the audience satisfaction has gone from 82–83% up to 95–96%. I want to think that part of that growth is our own company improving in specific ways, but I certainly attribute much of that success to TalkingTree Creative’s ideas and originality.
How did TalkingTree Creative perform from a project management standpoint?
Project management is the area where we needed the most help and the area where TalkingTree Creative has worked the hardest. They’ve been instrumental in planning events starting several months out. Once we select a delivery date, they work backward from that point to determine a timeline for the whole project. We’ll talk 2–3 times per month for a while until that grows into talking every day in the lead-up to the event. We use Webex routinely for meetings and video conferences, and we use Wipster, which allows us to view and comment on video projects as they’re going through the editing process.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Any good company pays attention to detail. TalkingTree Creative understands the details that matter to us, and they pay attention to those. Additionally, if we decided to change the budget for a specific event from one year to the next, they’ve proven to be very flexible while still providing excellent work.
Are there any areas they could improve?
No, we’ve worked very well together.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
I try to be as open as I can with them about what my ideas are and what I want the video or event to accomplish.