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Wordless Wednesday

Kodachrome SP 2014 - ER (1 of 6)

What MRA Does

If you have been following us for a while or have read the About Page you might know that Josh and I work for a firm called MRA. With so many new followers I thought it was a good time to share a bit about the company. What we do for a living is unconventional so I figured it was time to run a few posts about our job. I’ll start with MRA.

We have been working for this Michigan based firm for going on seven years, all of that as field staff. MRA is a premier provider of experiential tour operations and equipment. They give clients with many options for self-contained marketing vehicles. They provide these services for a wide array of industries and uses. We usually work with educational based projects, which include many traveling museum exhibit project but also our current tour, which is a mobile classroom for a German firm. That is just us; the amount of industries MRA touches sometimes amazes me. I’m still not really explaining it.

Fortinet_3

There are really two things we provide; help with brand issues and the equipment to get right in front on a consumer. Well what the heck does that mean? First of all we build, design and maintain self-contained marketing vehicles. MRA specializes in a double-expanding trailer with nearly 1000 sq ft of usable space. These are pulled by a custom semi-truck that has its own generator.

R&S TEXAS (2 of 6)

This is what Josh and I are with 99% of the time. This is the bulk of the fleet but my firm is innovative and now has a variety of units that serve the needs of customers that want something smaller but will create an impact.

SeaCuisine_1

MRA provides design, staff, logistics and well all kinds of other untold services to aid their clients in creating an impactful marketing tour.

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That is where the second element comes in, branding help. We are here to help our clients with their brand issue, which means everything for correction to awareness. When we were on Library of Congress our job was to inform people of that massive available resources they had free access to. The LOC struggles with people not realizing how much they can get from the digital archives. Our current project is really fun for two marketing people like us; we get to help create a brand image. Rohde & Schwarz has not reached the point within the US where all of their potential consumers have an understanding of the products and services they provide, we get to help make that initial impact. For us that is exactly what we love doing. Fixing a brand image is what most folks like us do, but creating one is what we thrive on.

There are many firms that provide one or more services in the event marketing field but no one does it all and certainly not as well as MRA.

 

This week is not set in stone, for once.  We are staying in Dallas a few extra to finish some truck maintenance and have the remainder of the week to drive to San Diego.  Right now we are planning to stop in Albuquerque and Phoenix but all that can change.  Next week will be split between San Diego and Irvine California.  Looking forward to watching football with family and some scottie visits.  This marks the last month of our tour season with Rohde & Schwarz.  They will be taking the truck down until February.  We do the last tour stops in Silicon Valley.

 

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

 

Song of the week: If I Get Murdered in the City – The Avett Brothers

 

Week in Review: Josh and I are now Texans, having finished changing our residency.  We  also hit up another Best 20 Burger Joint, Keller’s Drive-In.  I’m starting to think this list is a bit off.

 

When in Texas you have a beer with your drive-in

When in Texas you have a beer with your drive-in

 

Kodachrome State Park

Kodachrome SP 2014 - ER (3 of 6)

Utah is a beautiful place; the amount of National Parks should speak to the diverse and captivating landscapes. There are also even more wonderful State Parks, like Antelope Island. When we were passing between Zion NP and Bryce Canyon NP we spotted a sign for Kodachrome State Park. That name alone got me interested.

Kodachrome SP 2014 - ER (5 of 6)

The park does in fact draw its name from the revolutionary film. It is well deserved too, this place is fantastic. It is actually a bit unreal. Kodachrome feels more like a movie set, a bit of all the other parks but smaller. The “sets” are much closer and somehow more intimate than the big National Parks. The colors were brilliant and there was one heck of an interpretive trail.

Kodachrome SP 2014 - ER (2 of 6)

The best part was that this park is dog friendly, so Pippi got to stretch her legs. I would highly recommend visiting Kodachrome after you stop in Bryce Canyon, the two are close together.

Kodachrome SP 2014 - ER (6 of 6)

 

You can see more images on our Shutterfly page.

Kodachrome SP 2014 - ER (4 of 6)

Wordless Wednesday

Bryce Canyon 2014 - ER (5 of 12)

Less Than Glamorous

Since we share on here how much fun our job is and the adventures we have I thought it was about time to let you see some of the sucky parts. When I say we travel I mean it, we are itinerate workers. We do not set our own travel schedule, even though I do the logistics; as I spoke about on Tuesday. We don’t get a choice as to where we go or when we go. This means we often miss seeing people by a day or run into bad weather.

Setting up in the rain

Setting up in the rain

We also miss holidays. This is one reason why we value friendships so much, while we aren’t normally home for the 4th of July we try to network enough to have a place to go and special people to have time off with. We miss birthdays, wedding, graduations and parties. We miss births and deaths. We are also missed by loved ones. Our extended families in Texas and California see us often but the ones in Illinois don’t.

Josh and I do this job willingly, we have many other career options but chose this one. We both love our work and our clients. This is a lifestyle we enjoy but it’s not all fun. We get homesick and heartsick for family. We often get asked how much longer we are going to stay on the road; that’s an uncomfortable question. Honestly I don’t know. There is no desire to leave this behind but I don’t see doing this for 20 more years. For now we are happy and challenged, when that changes I imagine our attitude will as well.

I know Nancy and Emily are going to read this; I adore you gals and love you as a client. You know that!!!

***This is part of a series of posts called “Travel Tuesday“, each covering topics unique to our lifestyle***

We have just a few weeks left with our current client for 2014, hitting two places in the lower central region.  Kansas City then down to Dallas.  The week after Dallas is a travel week to get out to California.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

 

 

Song of the week: Zorba the Greek – Mikis Theodorakis, This week’s selection has led to some of the greatest movie scenes in history.  I am featuring it because last week this song came on just as Josh and I were seated at a greek restaurant.  We both immediately looked at one another waiting for something to happen.  Listen to this song while taking off in an airplane, it’s a fun experience.  A few weeks ago we saw a preview for The Paddington Bear movie, which featured this song.  I’m not sure that it is going to be a good movie but this song in the preview, made us both want to see it.

 

Week in Review: We had a lovely visit with The Campbells, a major reason we like North Carolina so much.   They took us to the Central Carolina Fair, who doesn’t’ like a carnival?!

 

Petting Zoo

Petting Zoo

 

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