A Year in Review 2014

This is always a fun one to share, the year in review.  Sort of gets crazy when you look at some of those numbers.

 

If there is something you are curious about feel free to ask and I will add it.

Countries Visited: Canada

States Visited: 34 plus Washington DC, lifetime total is still 49.

National Parks Visited: Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Shenandoah National Park.

Miles Driven: 50,000

Nights in a Hotel: 340, yup this was a long year.

Tours: Rohde & Schwarz Technology Tour, Con-Way Tailgating Tour, DIA Away and Animal Connection by The Smithsonian Institute.

Best Location: Venice Chalk Festival with Animal Connections

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Favorite New Place: Key West, we had been saving that stop up for a good three-day weekend and got lucky this year.  It is really worth going once.

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Coming This Week: November 11 – 17

This is our last week of touring with Rohde & Schwarz, probably not our last week on the road. We will be in Clifton, NJ and Syracuse, NY this week. After these last two shows the trailer is going to visit Indianapolis for some repairs. We will probably stay with it and also be going back to Detroit over the next month.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Note from last week: One of our stops last week was at the Kennedy Space Center, not the visitors center, we were on the actually NASA facility. Not just that but parked right next to the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building. This definitely makes the top ten awesome event sites.

I loved all the comments from Pippi’s post about Walking the Line, Scotties are funny little critters. A friend of mine, Lauren, shared a hilarious picture of one of her scotties battling the famous grass sharks.

I Heart My Client

I would never say something negative about one of our clients on this blog, but I will share the positive.  We have been with Rohde & Schwarz for almost three months now, traveled about half the country too.  We have visited two of their central offices and met more employees than I can recall.  I’m happy to say that we feel like a part of the family now.

 

MRA (who we work for) has always been a small company where most of us are close friends, but our clients are usually large organizations that you only know one or two departments.

Rohde & Schwarz is actually a family own company and even with 100’s of employees they are a family.  Each region we enter is unique but we are given the full welcome.  Many of the Account Manager, Field Engineers and Technicians we work with on the tour have known each other for years.  Not just at R&S either.  They have migrated from other companies to form strong and resourceful teams.

 

With only one-week left of the initial tour it’s exciting to see what they come up with next.  After our trip to Canada we return to the US and start a different round of educational seminars with them, same truck but different presenters.  This next round of travel will take us back around the country and to a few places that we rarely visit.  Maybe even to your backyard.  As soon as I can post the locations I will.

Our New Tour

Some of you have been waiting very patiently for us to reveal our new client/tour. I wish that there was some exciting reason for waiting but I had to get approval to put it out there. We are excited to be working with Rohde & Schwarz a German based test and measurements company. This is a huge departure from our usual assignments in the pubic forum.

The trailer is a double expandable, the usual, but it is set up as a classroom. Well a very chic and clean classroom. The use is for local Rohde & Schwarz reps, tech and engineers to be able to host seminars covering topics covering a variety of relevant topics, yep this stuff is way over my head.

We will be traveling the entire country with this one! So that means I will get to see many of you, maybe not this first run but defiantly this year. This is a great opportunity to learn a new style of tour.