Goofy Faces was recently hired by Lear Corporation to help them celebrate their 100th birthday at their headquarters in Southfield, MI. They requested 2 artists for 4 hours. But they didn’t request traditional caricatures or eSketches™. “We want you to draw on these 4X4 inch cardboard tiles. Our guests love them!” Ok, no problem. Neither of the 2 artists had drawn this way before but they were up to the challenge. The client was right, their guests loved them. They lined up for 4 straight hours. These tiles are basically restaurant coasters; the kind you see when a server places them on the table before setting down your drinks. They respond well to marker and allow you to print a logo or graphic on the opposite side. Not only were these popular but both artists were able to crank out more caricatures per hour than usual. “Because of the reduced size, I was finishing each caricature in about 90 seconds as opposed to 4-5 minutes for traditional caricatures” commented owner and artist, Robert Bauer. “I think we can offer these to all our clients. They are different and definitely fun!”
Perhaps the First Practical Business Application of Live Caricatures
Most people consider caricatures more whimsical than practical. As beloved as the art form is by those who appreciate an exaggerated portrait, it isn’t exactly an integral part of most business plans. Few think a caricature might help land the next big deal, and most business-minded folks consider it a simple amusement that belongs on family trips to the theme park, nowhere near the corporate conference room.
This thinking is rapidly changing, however, as a growing number of businesses are taking advantage of this unique service in a truly practical business application in the corporate world. Live digital caricatures, specifically those performed on-site at trade shows and industry conventions, are becoming increasingly popular as a practical service for generating draw to brand messaging, products, and services displayed in trade show booths and exhibits.
While it may be difficult to see the practical value of this at first glance, it’s difficult to deny once examined. Due to its unique nature, this practical application is also arguably superior to many of the other self-promotional goods and giveaways that corporations and brands routinely spend healthy budgets on when trying to gain attention from prospective customers at B2B events.
According to the 2012 study “The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy” published by PricewaterhousCoopers LLP, there were 273,700 industry conventions and 10,900 trade shows in the United States alone in 2012. The trade show and convention industry is undoubtedly a necessary part of the fabric of B2B commerce in the world, so it’s no wonder that so much money is spent preparing for these events: $280 billion dollars spent in direct spending related to corporate functions in 2012 alone.
B2B is difficult because unlike direct-to-consumer marketing, businesses are harder to advertise to by traditional means. This is why trade shows are so vital. At trade shows, corporations and brands are able to erect temporary storefronts on the trade show floor allowing them to network with their prospects like traditional face-to-face
Common giveaways are mugs, keychains, t-shirts, USB drives, pens and the like. Occasionally, businesses get a little more creative, offering something more exotic like a free back massage. The challenge is finding something that 1) creates real draw to a trade show booth, 2) advertises for the brand, 3) creates a real opportunity for customer engagement (i.e., time), and 4) is personalized enough to create real impact. Live digital caricatures are one of a few services that actually meet all of these criteria.
Last November I attended ISCACON24 which is the annual convention for the International Society of Caricature Artists. I have been going for over 10 years. One of the highlights is a VIP reception for members to mingle with the guest of honor. This time, the guest speaker was Jason Seiler who is a phenomenal painter and artist from Chicago. He decided to do a digital painting demonstration during the reception. Projected up large on a screen was the caricature he was painting while members socialized and drank over the 3 hour reception. Jason interacted with members as he painted. They asked questions and the artist would respond, all while painting a guest who was ecstatic about being painted by him. The atmosphere was very unique and enjoyable. It was from this experience that I came up with the idea to offer a similar service for cocktail receptions, corporate events, fundraisers and other related functions in which an award-winning artist could paint a guest or host while engaging with attendees during the event. Think of it; as an added feature to your hi-end event, an award-winning artist sets up and does a live painting of the host, guest-of-honor or a winner’s favorite celebrity which can then be used for a charity auction once it is finished! 7 months later, we have put the finishing touches on our brand new service with our new web page featuring 6 incredible artists who you can now book for your function anywhere in the U.S. or abroad. I am very excited about this new service and I am looking forward to seeing what these artists can do for our clients. Check out the page and Let me know your thoughts!
In case you haven’t heard, Goofy Faces offers eSketches™ nationwide and they are becoming more and more popular each month. “What are eSketches™”, you ask? Good question. eSketches™ are caricatures that are drawn & colored digitally live at events, trade shows and parties. Our artists use a digital drawing tablet to work their magic in minutes. Guests enjoy watching each eSketch take shape on a nearby large display. Once your eSketch is finished, the artist prints out your very own color copy to take away with you. In addition, we provide all our clients with a link to all the eSketches™ that were drawn during their event. They can share them with their guests and clients as well as post them to their social media accounts like Instagram and Twitter! If you want to add a cutting edge artistic element to your next function or event, give us a try. You can fund an artist and see rates by searching our directory. Watch our sample video below to get an idea just how fun and unique eSketches™ are!
It’s that time of year once again. Each year around November, the International Society of Caricature Artists holds its annual caricature convention. This is the 24th year that it has taken place. This year’s con is at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH. The convention lasts all week long with seminars, competitions, networking and lots of catching up with fellow artists from around the world. This is my 11th convention. Last year was the first time that I missed it in 10 years. As a former board member and president, I have invested a lot of time to help this organization grow and succeed. I am happy to see how well it continues to improve over the years. This year, I am one of the guest speakers. I am looking forward to spending the week catching up with old friends and making new ones. If you care to check out the activities on Facebook or Twitter, look for the hashtag #iscacon24.
Recently Fox Broadcasting hired Goofy Faces to provide artists to help promote their new TV Show, The Grinder, which premiers September 29th on Fox. The show’s setting involves the courtroom, so what better way to promote that fact than to feature courtroom sketches during a recent press event in Beverly Hills, CA? The show stars Rob Lowe and Fred Savage so each star was featured in the sketch along with attendees to the event. Goofy Faces provided 2 talented artists who had to adapt their digital art style to match the existing courtroom sketch. They both drew over 90 eSketches™ in 6 hours each at this unique event which included courtroom props like a witness box for the attendees to sit in while they were being drawn. The entire sketching concept went from idea to execution in under 24 hours! Did Goofy Faces deliver for Fox? Without a doubt, case closed! Thanks to artists Greg & Court for their hard work and talent. More Fox events coming soon!
Here are some samples of eSketches™ from 4 different artists during 2 recent events for a new client. The first event for Hughes took place at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Artists Doug and Stephen enjoyed drawing guests during the reception for 2 hours. The second event took place at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando. Artists Ted and Michael enjoyed drawing guests for 2 hours during the reception. As you can see, styles can vary greatly among our artists when it comes to drawing digitally. However all the guests enjoyed their eSketches™ immensely and got to take home a lasting moment from their event.
Last week, thousands of attendees flooded exhibit halls inside Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas for the annual ExhibitorLive! Expo. This event is the largest gathering of trade show professionals in the nation and Goofy Faces was there drawing guests for 3 straight days. Attendees enjoyed learning about eSketches™ as well as how a caricature artist can impact the amount of traffic they can attract to their booth. Goofy Faces was a prime example of the most basic booth set-up yet we consistently drew more traffic than many booths did due to our talented artists drawing them. Check out photos from the expo and consider adding Goofy Faces to your next trade show event!
Welcome to 2015! January tends to be a quieter month for bookings but there are always a few good ones due to so many trade shows like the CES in Las Vegas, The International North American Auto Show in Detroit. Here are some samples from this year’s charity fund-raiser for the Children’s Center in Detroit called AutoGlow. Goofy Faces was hired to provide 3 artists who drew eSketches™ all night for guests. Passersby enjoyed watching each drawing take shape on a large display monitor while the person being drawn received a final print of their eSketch when it was finished. This event takes place at Ford Field on the same night as the NAIAS Charity Preview Event so many well-dressed A-listers attend both. Here are some samples from the party!