Total Brand Experiences Co-Founders Margaret Launzel-Pennes and Jenna Linnekens are out to put the spotlight on the vast talent pool in the events industry. The twist is this is a chance for planners and suppliers to show off their skills beyond organizing conferences and events.
One-minute video submissions can be filed here by May 29 to enter the nationwide talent competition. Judges, including Linnekens, will select 20 finalists, and there will be weekly voting to narrow the field. A winner, who gets $1,000, will be crowned over the July-9 voting.
“This is really a way to allow people to connect in a fun and familiar way, like ‘America’s Got Talent,” says Linnekens.
Launzel-Pennes, the TBX CEO, says while there was some thought creating categories from amateurs and professions, it will be fun to see how they square off showcasing different talents.
While fun, the star search also serves as a platform for performers who otherwise can’t reach an audience, notes Launzel-Pennes. “When you get down the brass tax, these performers rely on events to practice their craft and there is no place to do that,” she says.
Just as a musician Launzel-Pennes may book for an event is eligible, so would a peer in event planning who may secretly be a terrific guitar player.
“So many people in the industry are multifaceted and this is a chance for them to branch out,” says Linnekens, who wishes she could be a singer.
While not the purpose of this effort, the community-building is a chance to also highlight TBX’s offerings. The company formed soon after Extraordinary Events, a company the co-founders worked for, closed in March. TBX is relying on the same virtual events platform it uses for clients, Engagez, for the competition.
Having already produced several virtual events, TBX has developed guidelines and advice for participants to make their performance look more professional. Launzel-Pennes compares it to helping conference speakers adjust to a different platform than a stage. “We already worked all the bugs out and we can apply the same techniques for lighting, hair, decorating backgrounds and experimenting with virtual backgrounds,” she says.
Performances will be “simulive,” says Launzel-Pennes, meaning they will be filmed live but voting will last for two days on Engagez.
“It’s something joyful and celebratory to look forward to and participate in as opposed to concern and unease,” says Linnekens. “There are some people out there who will definitely benefit from the exposure and for others, it’s a chance to have fun and show their talent.”