Contract Marketing Director at BIFF

At the beginning of the year, I was brought on as the Director of Marketing, Communications and PR for the Boulder International Film Festival on a short-term contract. 2015 was the 11th year for the festival, and they had never had a Director of Marketing before. From the beginning, I knew this was going to be a challenging position, but one that I was excited to tackle. 

My work started the week between Christmas and New Years, and I jumped head first into the deep end. The role started out chaotically, as I tried to put management pieces and marketing processes into place to create a collective effort. There are many volunteer groups that have their hands in various pieces of the marketing, and the first thing I found was that it was imperative to get everyone on the same page. To collect the groups, I created a brand marketing guide that brought together all of the important marketing elements into one concise document that everyone involved in marketing could have at their fingertips. This proved to be a great first step. Next I began to put management elements into place to monitor our marketing execution and what the best path for BIFF would be. This included bringing in a team to assist with social media, website development and much more. I was fortunate to assemble a fantastic team that was talented and eager. 

Although we were not allowed to promote it as such, we were fortunate enough to host the World Premiere of a new animated Dreamworks film called HOME. We worked closely with the studio and their marketing agency to put together several things to support the film launch. This included having film characters visit local elementary schools, an autograph signing with film producer, Tim Johnson, and much more. 

One of the elements that I pushed to bring in was an event social media aggregator called Tint. This proved to be very popular in the venues during the event. 

During the event, our goal was to push out a great deal of fresh content. This included social media, blog posts, photo updates on the BIFF website, and much more. I assembled a fantastic team that pumped out a vast amount of content every day of the event. Even if you weren't able to attend the festival, you could follow along with everything going on. 

With my extensive work in experiential marketing, I am always looking for unique things that can make a big impact with a brand. When I found out that one of the films coming to the film festival had an incredible vehicle that could project films while moving, I knew it was something we had to get to Boulder. I began pushing to make it happen, and putting together ideas of how we could activate around the vehicle to make an impact for the festival. It was a lot of extra work, but I was confident that it would make a dramatic impact for our event. As with many experiential marketing programs today, to really create a lasting impact, we needed to capture the experience and produce compelling content around it. We determined that this would be in the form of up to the minute social media updates from wherever the car was, and a video piece that could tell the story. Through the generous assistance of Balcony Nine Media and Scott & Joellen Raderstorf, we were able to make all of this happen. The Tesla with a 15k lumen mounted remote projector was a resounding success, and we created a video piece that will stand as a model for what an impact it can have for years to come. The video piece was shown in the Boulder Theater in front of a packed house, right before the Closing Night film, Racing Extinction. The video now has nearly 30,000 views.

It was a hectic time as the Director of Marketing, Communications and PR, but everything turned out great. The marketing initiatives we produced were all incredibly successful, and the experience was fantastic.