Kristy Somerlot

Interactive media interprets museum objects and ideas in a playful and emotional way, allowing museums to shift from imparting information to creating dialogue with visitors, who can now be active contributors.

The goal of museums is to make personal connections between visitor and content. Technology itself is not the objective, but it is a versatile vehicle to engage a wide demographic with knowledge, artifacts, ideas, and other people. Museums are beginning to center around innovative ideas that change visitor behavior and the way museumgoers explore. So, what are some of the top tech trends you can expect to see during your next museum visit?

  1. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality
  2. Social Media
  3. Escape Rooms
  4. Artificial Intelligence

1. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality

AR and VR are technologies that continue to grow in cultural organizations, standing out because they have the power to delight visitors as they are transported to other places and times. AR allows museums to virtually overlay educational and entertaining content without changing the integrity of the physical space, creating another way to connect with visitors. While AR overlays the real world with the digital world, VR replaces it. VR adds a new dimension to museum exhibits and will likely grow with the less costly headsets that are wireless and less bulky. Mixed Reality is using AR and VR along with other interactive programming to provide a rich visitor-directed experience.

2. Social Media

Museums have been successfully employing social media for marketing, letting visitors know what’s going on and recounting the excitement of it all. Social Media also provides the capacity to bring people together, contribute to local communities, and change people’s lives. Now is the time to proactively shape the role of museums as living institutions that amplify unheard stories, acknowledge differences, and bridge divides.

3. Escape Rooms

Escape Rooms are a playful and immersive trend where visitors use clues and elements to solve a series of challenges and “escape” within a certain amount of time. What a natural fit for museums with their incredible stories to share! Visitors know they are expected to explore, touch everything, use their skills, and become part of the story. It is these types of experiences that create a lasting memory.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Emerging Artificial Intelligence technology is where machines learn to perform tasks better than a human ever could. We already see chatbots simplifying interactions, providing information, and performing basic tasks. AI plays a noteworthy role in all phases of content development and sharing. Imagine AI as an evaluation tool, collecting visitor reaction of lips, eyebrows, pupils, nostrils and forehead and then calculating how they feel about an exhibit.

Museums are embracing these trends and visitors are coming to expect these new technologies as part of the experience.

Please check out Impact’s demo reel to see some of the creative immersive exhibits we have developed for our museum clients.

Video Production Specialist
Video Production Specialist

Imagine this: Your company needs a video communication that will be issued company-wide. The video needs to be short and concise but also creative. It must also be completed and ready for distribution in a mere three weeks. Oh, and did I mention that you have a limited budget?  You have helped with video projects in the past, and because you once assisted a colleague in editing a script and appeared in the company orientation video 10 years ago, your boss charges you with leading the project.

Where to begin?

What you need is someone who is dedicated to getting the job done. That person can’t be you because you have your own job, complete with all the usual duties and deadlines.

The clear solution is to bring in a producer. A good producer has the communication, organization, leadership, and administrative skills needed. Most importantly, the number one thing a producer is responsible for is delivering the final product to a client—a product that meets their goals and objectives and does so on-time and within budget.  

Jack of All Trades or Production Specialist?

Some may say that a producer is a jack of all trades.  However, a producer worth their salt, as they also say, is really a project manager extraordinaire. As your strategic partner, the role of a producer is to make your job easier and to ultimately help you and your company shine. On the front-end a producer will work directly with the client to understand and establish goals and objectives. They also develop budgets and creative treatments, create realistic production timelines, assist with scriptwriting, storyboarding, shot lists, and determine if graphics will be needed. Producers cast talent that are appropriate for your project…and working with talent whether professional or non-professional, can be a lot of work in itself. Whether it’s on-camera or voice-over talent, your producer is involved in rate negotiation, directing voice-over sessions, directing on-camera shoots, selecting wardrobe, securing props for every scene, etc. Before the video shoot, a producer also secures extras, researches the appropriate location(s), secures permits and insurance, secures, approves and manages payment of freelance talent and makes sure that everyone on the team knows where they’re going and what they are doing at any given time during the shoot. Producers are tasked with handling all travel arrangements for the crew, talent, and extras. Every detail is managed and often executed by a skilled producer.

On the day of the shoot, a producer will supervise the script on set, direct the shoot, and manage the crew and talent. And when all of these tasks and details are taken care of, the producer even feeds the crew. If you think any of the other tasks on this list are important, think about working a 14-hour day with a hangry crew! 

Then it’s on to post-production…and a producer’s job is far from over. It’s the producer who needs to ensure that the original objectives, look and feel of the video, and most of all, the client’s important messages are clear, concise and creatively executed. Post-production includes hiring graphic designers, editors and audio engineers to complete the job. A producer works directly with these team members by negotiating rates, scheduling and setting deadlines and supervising the edit and audio sessions.

Throughout this entire process, the producer is also keeping the client abreast of each and every detail, and ensuring expectations and budgets are being met.

In short, bringing on a producer means you are effectively hiring a decision maker, coach, spend thrift, creative problem solver, planner, scheduler, budgeter, negotiator, casting agent, interviewer, director, writer, and even caterer. A responsible producer will wear many hats and will do so while being flexible, focused, and driven. In the end, the decision to hire a producer should make navigating the process of a communications project much easier and make you look good too. After all, that’s what we do!

Impact Communications wins ADDY Awards

This year Impact Communications attended the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Cleveland ADDY Awards and were fortunate enough to take home two Silver trophies for our 2018 Holiday Video and Cinematography Reel, both in the “Advertising Industry Self-Promotion” category. It was a great honor to be recognized alongside all the best creatives in Cleveland’s ad community. The AAF ADDYs receive over 40,000 entries every year so to standout and be recognized is rather humbling. Both videos will now have the opportunity to compete at the district level of this three-tier, national competition.

Impact Communications received two Silver ADDYs

About our 2018 Holiday Video

When you have a staff full of creative, funny people, you open the door to a very imaginative concept that’s assured to get some attention. The Silver Addy is a testament to the artistic efforts of the entire group. We filmed our 2018 Holiday Video over five days and the hardest part was just getting everyone’s schedules to allow blocks of time for shooting. We shot it all on our Red Helium with Sigma lenses and mounted on the MoviPro. Great concept by our Impact designer / illustrator Kate Triantafellow!


2018 Cinematography Reel Highlights

Our latest 2018 Cinematography Reel is a culmination of our best footage from clients such as Aspen Dental, Signet Jewelers, and Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana. We’re so grateful to be a part of video shoots that provide opportunities to create beautiful visuals. The Impact team handles video production from start to finish, including content development, scriptwriting, project management, lighting, talent casting, and post-production.

If you want a laugh make sure to check out our holiday video outtakes!

What exceptional event management companies do to impress you every time.
What exceptional event management companies do to impress you every time.

No one company can be a jack of all trades. For many companies, there are often not the resources or the internal expertise to pull off a flawless event.

Whether a large corporation or a smaller business, hosting a live event can be daunting. That is where a seasoned event production company comes in. It is beneficial to rely on professionals that specialize in understanding your business goals and who can then create an outstanding event experience that aligns with those goals, and will resonate with both the hosts and guests.

Whether it is a sales or training meeting, a leadership meeting, or a large-scale launch event, the end goal should always be the same: move the audience to action.

What Are the Risks of Producing Your Event Internally?

While internal resources may have company knowledge on their side, there is so much more that goes into producing a top-notch corporate meeting or event. For starters, there are literally thousands of details to coordinate. For employees who already have other responsibilities, simply finding the time and expertise to plan and execute a live event can be one of the biggest challenges.

Finding the right mix of creativity is also vital to making that lasting impression. From the psychology of a custom theme and graphics development, script and speechwriting, and live entertainment to the little details like set design, technology specification and collateral materials, a creative spark is necessary across every aspect of the event. Without an experienced production team on your side, your event is not likely to achieve your goals.

Now that you are inclined to contract professional support, what wow factors should you look for when outsourcing your next live event?

What the Best Event Production Companies Do Well

There are many factors that should be taken into consideration when selecting the “best” event production company to handle your next event, but a few really standout:

  • Understanding the audience and the objective: A solid production team will ask the right questions in order to really understand who the audience is, where attendees are coming from, what their perspective is, and most importantly, how you want them to think or feel differently once they step away from the meeting or event. Answering these questions all begins with listening and relationship building with a client.
  • Accurately telling the story: Every meeting or event has a unique story to tell and it is the job of a production team to tell that story in an engaging and motivational way. A story is not just spoken on a stage. It is told through theme selection, live entertainment, snappy graphics and the right video and music at the right time. A motivational story has many different components and the best event production companies have the resources and expertise to tie every aspect of an event in, leaving attendees invigorated and wanting more.
  • Bringing the right resources to the table: There are many components involved in successfully producing a large-scale meeting or event. Bringing a production team with the right mix of expertise and capabilities to the table is a game-changer. A team that offers the whole package from soup-to-nuts (think script and speechwriting to talent casting, video production and even staging management) will ensure consistency throughout the event.

What has worked well for your events? Have they fallen short? We would love to hear your story and explain how we can build on what you have done in the past. Take a look at our most recent portfolio of work here.

Scriptwriting, Speechwriting, Video Production, Corporate Event Production, Corporate Events Production

Years ago, a local ad agency handed out little buttons that read “Eschew Obfuscation” to pitch their creative services. Eschew Obfuscation means avoid confusion. This button remains one of my favorite business promotional items because those two words together capture the essence of good writing. If I had been in the market for an ad agency, I would have hired them on the spot.

Those of us who write for a living – actually, those of us who write anything, period – can fall victim to filling scripts or presentations or e-mails with clutter words in an attempt to sound more authoritative or wittier. Readers or viewers get bogged down searching for the message in the quagmire of unnecessary descriptive terms. You lose them and you don’t achieve your project’s mission.

I’m asked what I do to shift between writing for different media or for different audiences.  There are cardinal rules, such as knowing your audience, identifying the objectives of the work and using those objectives to meet the end goal. Right up there is also writing to make each sentence count. This is the case no matter what I’m writing.

Someone even asked me “how do you write for millennials?” as if there had been a generational evolution in comprehension I might have missed. I had to look up how because quite honestly, I did not know the answer.  Turns out I’ve been doing it all along: No matter what the audience demographic, people crave clarity.

Whether for a video production or corporate event production, using crisp, clean and precise language is my goal with every script I write. It is okay to get illustrative – when it appropriately adds personality or color to the piece. I self-edit and I also have others provide feedback, which reminds me not to fall in love with my words. I’m not writing for me.

A lexical fact: The average active vocabulary of an adult English speaker is around 20,000 words. Promise yourself not to use them all in the same work. When writing, use words sparingly and judiciously. Eschew obfuscation. Get it?  You will. And so will your audience, quite clearly.

Realscreen Summit
Realscreen Summit 2019, Non-fiction Television

I recently attended the annual Realscreen Summit in New Orleans. Realscreen is the premiere industry conference for the non-fiction television industry. The event brings together Network Executives and Producers from around the world for four days of panels, pitching and networking. Each year during the conference, Executives from the top non-fiction networks—including History Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel and Smithsonian, share details about the type of content they are looking for. Producers then have the chance to pitch new show concepts. It’s an exciting opportunity for Producers of all levels—from first-timers to journeymen—to gain rich insights and pitch their best ideas to key decision-makers. 

This was Impact’s third year to attend Realscreen. Each year provides the opportunity to learn more about an industry where we hope to expand and allows us to pitch our own unique ideas and in turn, receive valuable feedback from some of the top contacts in the industry. In anticipation of this year’s conference, our team developed several exciting show concepts covering a diverse range of topics including history, travel and cars. We were excited to have the opportunity to pitch our favorites directly to History Channel and MotorTrend.

Key Takeaways from the Summit

  • Even though people are consuming more video content than ever, the way they consume it is being spread across many more outlets.
  • Just as the big three networks had to learn and adapt when cable came into existence with all of its options, now the “traditional” cable networks are having to adapt to the new Over the Top (OTT) services.
  • US TV viewers quitting cable in favor of various Video on Demand (VOD) (both subscription and advertising supported) outlets increased by a dramatic 32.8% in 2018 (from 9.8% to 12.9% of the population – Source: eMarketer, July 2018).
  • New players like YouTube TV and Disney+ are entering the VOD arena.
  • VOD services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are committing large budgets to acquiring content while Cable networks are forced to be more selective, making their budgets work harder.
  • Producers bringing new programming ideas to market are working in a more competitive arena than ever.

Impact is best known for our innovative meeting and event production, video production, exhibits and interactive multimedia, all of which require the ability to captivate an audience through powerful messaging and storytelling. It is because of these abilities that documentaries are a natural fit for Impact’s creativity and experience. In fact, several members of our team have substantial experience in this field and know just what it takes to succeed. Emmy-award winning Producer/Writer Sarah Pagura has produced over 25 hours of non-fiction content for major networks including CNBC, Biography, History Channel, Weather Channel and National Geographic Channel. Associate Producer Melissa Bentley worked on A&E’s incredibly successful series First 48, and our Director of Photography Craig Toussant got his start in production at VH-1 and MTV.

Realscreen 2019 was a great opportunity to visit New Orleans, make some new friends and contacts, and take a great deal of knowledge away about the non-fiction television industry. We look forward to hopefully sharing some news about exciting projects in the future!

Impact Communications saw another busy year in 2018 filled with creative event production, the use of exciting new technology, lots of travel, a new Production Assistant, and even a new baby! From innovative events to unique interactive exhibits and everything in between, 2018 was a fulfilling year for the Impact team. Take a look at our top 18 “hits” of 2018.

Multimedia Production Company, Cleveland Video Production, Innovative Events, Corporate Event Production, Museum Interactive Exhibits
  1. Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana chose Impact to show the world why Louisville, Kentucky is a fantastic place to live, work and play. This interactive exhibit featured 6 vertical monitors, custom animations and top-notch cinematography.
  2. In 2018, Impact staged a reunion for 4000 corporate team members who hadn’t seen each other for an entire year. Colored t-shirts identified the tribe members as they mingled and reconnected at the rally.
  3. Holidays are such a production! Nothing says Happy Holidays quite like a video production that includes a princess, accordion music, cats and green spandex. You had to see it to believe it.
  4. This touchscreen interactive program at the Cleveland Police Museum invites visitors to learn about and honor each Fallen Officer’s final sacrifice. We were honored to help our city pay tribute to these heroes.
  5. Our Director of Photography, Craig Toussant, welcomed baby Eleanor – his finest production of 2018: Eleanor Ann, born 12/14/18 @ 11:46pm; weighed in at 7lbs. 4oz. Definitely worth the wait!
  6. He shoots! He edits! He’s young and talented – and if he doesn’t know how, he’s ready to learn. We happily welcomed Lucas Willis to the Impact video production team.
  7. Impact is now licensed by the FAA to fly. We’re ready to bring our clients a whole new view of their world through video shot from drones.
  8. On the go – Impact’s MoviPro is the most advanced camera movement system available.  Fashion forward, too. Coupled with the Red Helium 8K camera, Impact created a year of award-winning cinematography.
  9. Creating a dramatic first impression, Impact brought a client’s corporate history to life through video and exhibits inside their two newly-constructed headquarters’ entrances.
  10. Four cities, four chefs, one national award winner. Not only did we travel to create profile videos of each of these top culinarians, but the crew came home with great recipes and a few new cooking techniques! YUM!
  11. Our dog-friendly office hosts furry friends Iona, Fred, Lulu, Hooper and Toby. Heck, we might be offering dog walking as a new service in 2019!
  12. One private venue. 300 lucky guests. One national musical act takes the stage. If we had a million dollars, there’s nowhere we’d rather be!
  13. What did you purchase with your Amazon Prime account in 2018? Here’s a snapshot of what we ordered for some of our clients’ productions.
  14. Who says you have to work in Hollywood to produce a music video?  All it takes is a talented client and a creative video production team with vision and skills.
  15. Sometimes event production means getting out the engineering tools. To achieve this feat, we mapped out a giant ‘A’ per CAD calculations, laid out construction markers and string, then maneuvered 350 meeting attendees into position in less than 20 minutes. Capturing the event with multiple cameras including a drone, the moment kicked off 2018 in letter-perfect fashion.
  16. Working in a tropical paradise is not a bad gig! Our Cleveland video production team traveled to The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas over three separate weeks to shoot and edit daily videos of our client’s Incentive Trips.
  17. Sometimes our video production team can get ourselves into quite a tight spot — literally! 2018 saw us using GoPros inside an Apollo capsule to create a museum interactive exhibit. We love to show the world a view they’ve never seen before!
  18. Corporate video production introduces us to new friends and allows us to learn about our client’s diverse industries. It’s always an adventure, and we often find kindred spirits in the most unusual places.

The International Galaxy Award competition honors outstanding achievement in product and service marketing. Eleven major categories include advertising, marketing campaigns, mobile media, video content and websites. These prestigious awards are judged by peers within the profession and each entry goes through a rigorous three-step evaluation process. Only the top third of entries are selected as winners. 

The 2018 Galaxy Award winners were recently announced and Impact Communications, in partnership with our client, J. Walter Thompson INSIDE, a full-service recruitment advertising agency and employer branding consulting firm, received a Silver award in the Video – Employee Presentation category. The video, titled “Make Brighter Moments” was created for Macy’s. 

Two Davey Awards for Video Production

In addition to a Galaxy award, the Macy’s “Make Brighter Moments” video received a Silver Davey Award in the Film/Video-Recruitment for Non-Broadcast category. The prestigious Davey Awards are sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body comprised of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms.  

Working with JWT Inside, our collective team was also received a Silver Davey in the Film/Video-Recruitment for Non-Broadcast Category for the Aspen Dental Employer Brand Manifesto video titled “Lives Changing Lives”. 

This year’s 14th Annual Davey Awards—specifically geared toward smaller agencies who focus on big ideas rather than big budgets, included 3,000 entries from the best small shops, firms, and companies worldwide. 

Check out our portfolio to see samples of our video production work as event production, interactive exhibits, mobile and apps.

Telly Awards, Impact Communications, Video Production, Multimedia Production

The 39th Annual Telly Awards recognized Impact Communications with four of the coveted statues. The Tellys are a premier award honoring video and television programs across all screens and are judged by a group of more than 200 industry leaders and previous award-winning video professionals. Established in 1979, the awards receive over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and across five continents. Typically, only about 10 percent of entries are awarded a Telly. Unlike other competitions, at the Telly Awards, a Silver Award is the highest honor, with Bronze coming in a close second. Impact Communications earned awards this year in a variety of categories including Editing, Cinematography, Recruitment and Motivation.

  • Impact took a Silver Award in the Editing category and a Bronze Award in the Cinematography category for Junior Achievement Kentuckiana , a video promoting the new Business Hall of Fame exhibit at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Impact shot footage and interviews on location at several greater Louisville landmark locations. The exhibit, which Impact also produced and installed, features a program honoring Hall of Fame Laureate inductees as well as six large, vertically-positioned monitors across which is displayed a dramatic skyline of Louisville. Illustrated animations of featured locations invite visitors to touch a screen to hear from local business leaders about how wonderful of an area Kentuckiana is to live, work and play.
  • The ADMI Career Journey video received a Bronze Award in the Recruitment category. The video features a variety of soundbites from executive and field leadership team members, providing a heartfelt and very personal glimpse into why they joined the team and how working for Aspen Dental Management Inc. has changed their lives. Impact shot and edited this recruitment video using two Red Epic cameras, in a straight on view, combined with a behind-the-scenes, side view. Shot on a black backdrop, the viewer is immediately drawn to the interview subject and their personal career journey story.
  • Impact received a Bronze Award in the Motivational category for a video our team shot and edited for Signet Jewelers on behalf of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Each year Signet works to raise awareness and funds in support of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.®  The video, “Cancer Was Just a Bump in the Road,” tells the story of a 13-year-old girl whose positive attitude and determination helped her through multiple rounds of chemotherapy. She is now in remission and living a full and productive life. Impact’s work on the video included research and scriptwriting, shooting and editing the final piece.