Before the global coronavirus outbreak, business was booming for experiential marketers. Business-to-business event marketing alone accounted for $512 billion annually in the industry.
COVID-19 social distancing and business regulations hit the experiential/events marketing industry hard. Brands have paused live experience plans for the remainder of the year—drying up revenue event marketers rely on for a living.
Despite this bleak reality, Eclectic Activation’s founder, Nikki Haddad, has made the most of the situation, while also giving back to local businesses.
Eclectic Activation, a Pinnacol policyholder, is a woman-owned and -ran event marketing agency based in Denver.
Before COVID-19 brought business to a screeching halt, the agency anticipated a stellar year of events planned for nationally recognized brands, including Bud Light’s new seltzer product.
Nikki’s choices to financially survive the rest of the year were to either join the world of virtual events or begin a completely new, pandemic-possible venture.
Taking her passion and expertise in live events, Nikki founded Windows of Inspiration, a one-of-a-kind program that empowers and supports Denver’s small businesses and art community.
A breath of fresh air, the program provides small businesses with beautiful, locally designed storefront window murals to creatively tell their brand story. And the custom murals inform the community that the participating establishment is still open and operational.
The best part for Colorado small businesses and artists? Windows of Inspiration underwrites the entire cost of the storefront murals.
The program has given back to numerous Denver businesses, helping them to let the community know they are still open for business in a unique, creative way. Participating businesses include many Denver staples like Sam’s No. 3 downtown diner, Birdcall, Hope Tank, 7Twenty Boardshop and Factotum Brewhouse.
For Melissa Salsbury, owner of Denver’s 7Twenty Boardshop, Windows of Inspiration created an opportunity for her store to advertise with an eye catching customized mural, while also spreading positivity in the community.
“Through these difficult times, micro-businesses across Denver have been faced with the danger of permanent closure,” says Melissa. “Windows of Inspiration is an amazing program that supports local small businesses and artists by creating an opportunity and awareness to spring into recovery."
Windows of Inspiration is in the process of planning collaborations with virtual event producers to see how the program’s efforts can also complement brands’ digital events as social distancing continues and evolves.
The program has the support of well-known national and regional sponsors, including Truly Hard Seltzer and Friday Health.
Once the world reopens and establishes a new normal, Nikki plans on using her Windows of Inspiration insights to re-energize Eclectic Activation’s core values and messaging to be more inclusive and supportive of the small business community.
Nikki explains how Windows of Inspiration has helped to create a blueprint for Eclectic Activation’s future events:
“This project is such a great way to dip our toe in the thought of ‘how do we bring in some great large scale national and regional companies to support local communities where they need it most in a unique and impactful way?'”
We want to empower Colorado businesses during the pandemic by sharing inspiring business transformation stories with Pinnacol’s tens of thousands of customers.