I sat down with Marketing Academy student Bobby Godbersen, MBA ’15. He took me through the spring trip to Kansas City, MO from March 26-28.
Boulevard Brewing Co.
“A lot of visual eye candy. They only have 8 or 9 people in their marketing department, but they’ve been growing tremendously. A PR employee gave us a background of the history of the company in the tasting room. Then she took us on a tour of the facility. They talked about how they’ve expanded a lot. We got to put on goggles and go through to see where they brewed all the beer, and the fermentation process. Within the last 5 years they built an event space that’s booked out every weekend, every year with weddings, meetings, and other miscellaneous events. You could look down and see their bottling area. They had framed photos of the design process of their labels. You see the different variations and iterations of sketches. They were acquired by a smaller international brewing company. When they sold the business off, the owner reinvested all of the money back into the company. We were able to taste some of the beers they had on tap, one of which you could only get there. It was a unique experience – very interactive and fun.”
“They’re a one-stop advertising/media agency. They have 5 or 6 different floors and they had two sides of each floor. They may have a creative department on one side, and an analytics department on the other. You could definitely see the difference in vibes. On the creative side, they had a Super Nintendo hooked up, and a bags set, and mini hoops – all this fun stuff that people could play around with. On the analytics side, it was a little more formal, structured setting. The building was on the south side, near the Plaza area. It was a pretty cool view of Kansas City from the Executive Level. We talked to an Account Manager in charge of the McDonald’s account. They’re the agency for most of the Iowa co-ops. If you’re heading East on I-80 from Des Moines and Iowa City, there’s a big barn that’s painted with the golden arches and says, ‘What you grow helps us go.’ That was their idea. It created a buzz and they got a great deal on impressions.”
Tippie Table Talks
“There a was a good turnout for alumni – there were probably 50 of them there. There was a really good structure to the program. Each person had a name tag with 4 different numbers on it. The numbers were the tables you’d go to and they did a speed networking kind of thing. You spent maybe 10 or 15 minutes at each table with 1 or 2 alumni. I got to meet people and hear about why they like Kansas City and their career progression. You tell them about your background and have an open dialogue. It was held at Jack Stack, a really good barbecue place near our hotel.”
“They make metal products for commercial buildings, structures, art – stuff like that. Very large and specialized. In Kaufmann Stadium, where the Royals play, they have a big crown scoreboard. They developed the metal for that. There are museums around the country that they’ve developed metal facades for. They took us through a tour of their manufacturing process and all the different phases and steps the metal goes through. We got to see some of the projects they’re working on, including this new online platform called ‘Shop Floor.’ Since they have such specialized processes, only really creative architects or people that have high-dollar budgets usually book them. They want to create more transparency and show that the things they do are affordable for many types of architectural or construction projects. People can custom design metal formations and it gives them the price it would cost to produce. They’ve been working on it for over a year and a half and really think it’s going to help generate more sales and drum up some new business.”
“They had a really nice, large campus. They hosted us in their Executive Briefing Center, and took us through this Hall of Innovation to understand all the different facets of Sprint. They’re not just a mobile provider; they have several other services, like tracking devices for shipping containers. They had a circular room, with a projector screens all around, and a video-cam robot that would come out and wheel around. It could live-link up to the other Executive Briefing Centers across the country. Personally, I’m interested in technology and now Sprint’s on my radar. They’re doing a lot of interesting things – it’s really neat. People in the marketing department said they always have 4-8 phones on them at any given time because they want to have as many eyes on new technology as possible to catch any bugs or flaws. We got to play with the new Samsung Galaxy S5.”