National Sales Meeting Motivates Sales Force



NSM is a chance for our biopharmaceutical client to celebrate its sale representatives and their accomplishments as well as introduce companywide goals for the year. We knew just where to start – the patient.

To create a memorable and uplifting experience, we pulled our event theme from the company’s tagline – as a hashtag. For the first time in the event’s history, the theme became a conduit to audience interaction during the meeting, as representatives were encouraged to share their thoughts and actions onscreen in a comments feed. Most importantly, the theme allowed us to introduce patient stories to show how the company impacts real patients. Our opening speaker, a 15-year-old heart transplant patient sharing her incredible story, was the clear highlight of the event. She was charm, confidence and charisma personified, and her message touched every person in the room. She also served as the emcee for the other patient presenters to tell their emotional stories of recovery and wellness. It was an emotional high point, from the opening session through departure, and reinforced the core mission of the business.

Biopharmaceutical Company National Sales Meeting

Biopharmaceutical Company NSM 2014 photo

Attendees: 300
Location: Hyatt Regency, Huntington Beach, CA

This biopharmaceutical company’s 2014 National Sales Meeting (NSM) represented several notable “firsts.” On our side, it was InVision’s first project with them. On theirs, the meeting was an inaugural address to the sales team on the heels of a recent acquisition. In the course of several months, we all learned a lot about what’s at the heart of the company’s culture, no matter what changes they face – and even more about the wide horizon of opportunity ahead of them.

Know Your Audience and Objectives
Their organization is different. It’s widely admired for its products, people and unique culture. So the acquisition by a larger company brought about a lot of questions for both employees and our project team – especially since it was announced midway through our planning process. To establish clear, collective objectives, we organized a half-day work session for all key stakeholders, locking ourselves in a room to map out the core messages for the event. Together we arrived at a singular, critical takeaway: that while there’s change ahead, the culture and values are still essential, and that the days to come will be filled with incredible possibility.

Design with Purpose
We handled everything from signage and logistics up through messaging and presentation development, integrating the theme throughout the event from top to bottom. That theme, “Our Journey Forward,” didn’t end with guest speaker Allison Massari’s personal path from a near-death experience to life as an artist. It also came to life in the opening media module, the highly visual presentations by execs from both franchises, the awards night, the many concurrent breakouts (18, at one point!) and the in-between messages delivered through InVision’s proprietary E3 mobile app. That customized app – which had a phenomenal 90% of attendees as active users – offered pre-communications, onsite surveys, in-session polling and a competitive Scavenger Hunt that kept attendees engaged and kept “Our Journey Forward” top of mind throughout the experience. The meeting culminated in a live performance by Train, including a special VIP backstage experience for the E3 mobile app competition winners.

Measure for Success
Because our direct clients were the top execs, we were very hands-on throughout the entire process and quickly became an extension of their internal team. They expressed gratitude at every stage of the planning process through onsite execution. With the audience, the verbatim speak for themselves. Our attendee survey came back with quotes like, “One of my favorite meetings of all time,” and “Motivating, interactive and inspirational – a great way to start the year.” And, since we developed the presentations, messages and content, we were absolutely thrilled to hear this: “Excellent meeting, with tight, to-the-point presentations.”

Shaklee Live Global Conference

8785 Shaklee Global Live


Attendees: 4,000
Location: Long Beach Convention Center, CA

Our client is passionate about their business – and Shaklee Live is their chance to build on that enthusiasm and motivate their sales force for the year ahead. The annual, global conference brings together distributors for four days of celebration, recognition, training and networking. InVision was chosen to elevate the experience to a whole new level.

Know Your Audience and Objectives
In early 2014, we competed with several alternative vendors and ultimately earned the business, replacing a 10-year incumbent. While we have deep institutional knowledge of the direct selling world from a number of our senior executives, it was important we understood clearly Shaklee’s unique direct selling business and their distributor audience. Our diligence was fast and thorough with our Account Manager actually becoming a Shaklee representative to experience life as a distributor.

While Shaklee is a new client and direct selling is a new market for InVision, it was even newer for key members of their senior management team. The President had come from outside the industry and had been there just a year. The CMO also came from outside the industry and had only arrived a few months before the event. And, our primary VP contact, while experienced in the industry, was new to the company as well. All of us locked arms and thoroughly embraced the challenge – teaching, supporting, advising, guiding and executing the strategy, content, creative and production processes.

Many distributors had attended Shaklee Live for decades, but with the company starting to attract newer, younger yet equally passionate distributors, it was our job to create an event that resonated with every Shaklee Live attendee regardless of age or tenure.

Design with Purpose
2014 was an exciting, building year for our client. During the event they introduced four new products and were committed to WOWing their distributors; it was the tenth anniversary of their change in ownership and both sales and spirits were soaring. To support their ambitions we introduced a number of new elements, which included transforming the enormous convention center arena into a compelling, interactive environment. The 100-foot-wide screen featured larger-than-life graphics and used iMag to enhance speaker presentations and create a powerful attendee experience.

As CEO Roger Barnett entered, we introduced him with his go-to song, “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones…with a twist. His son Spencer performed the iconic, opening strains live on-stage, which set an electric ambiance that carried throughout the event. The entertainment was also a big hit, with performances (and a sing-a-long) from recording artist, Jewel and an uplifting appearance by journalist and former State of California First Lady, Maria Shriver.

Measure for Success
We’ve had a great relationship with our clients from day one, and the success of this year’s Shaklee Live solidified our bond. The sign up rate for our proprietary, Shaklee-customized mobile app was tremendous, and higher than expected – nearly 3,000 of the 4,000 attendees signed up to participate and gave us 31,000 “likes” during the four-day event.

Anecdotally, our clients were thrilled with the outcome and our management of a very tight budget. CEO Roger Barnett even thanked us from the stage, and the follow-up feedback summed it up nicely: “Many thanks for your team’s efforts to deliver with excellence. We appreciate the expertise and all of your support in delivering our best possible ‘Live’ experience!

InVision Communications Acquires PS Communications

(01/29/15) InVision Communications (IVC) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Burlingame, CA-based PS Communications (PSC) as of January 1, 2015.

Formed in 1992, PSC develops and produces communications programs for some of the world’s leading companies such as Clorox, Brocade, Treasury Wines and Rohde and Schwartz. Projects typically include staging, video and digital media.

Formed in 1991, IVC creates engaging experiences that inspire lasting results for their clients. Services include strategy and content development, creative and technical services, digital and social media development and production support for some of the best known and respected brands. IVC’s partial client list includes: Oracle, Genentech, EMC, Caterpillar, Shaklee and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

“The acquisition of PS Communications allows us to strategically broaden our client base and grow our revenue with a small, yet highly successful company with which we share many common values, but focuses on smaller projects that it executes very efficiently. This synergy will allow InVision to pursue larger scale projects, and refer smaller ones to PSC, where they will be handled expertly,” said Rod Mickels Co-founder and CEO of InVision.

“The decision to become part of InVision allows us to extend to our clients a broader array of products and services, while still providing the highest level of personal attention that they have come to expect from us. This truly a win-win for PSC and our clients,” added Phil Schwenk, Founder and President, PS Communications.

PS Communications will operate as a branch of InVision and will retain its offices in Burlingame, CA in order to ensure complete continuity of operations and services.

For more information, please contact:
Keith Harband, Marketing Director, InVision Communications
Direct: 925-280-7893


Freescale Technology Forum (FTG) Americas


Attendees: 1,800
Location: Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, Dallas, TX

Freescale has a vision for a world of connected intelligence and their annual Freescale Technology Forum is one way they’re working to make that a reality. In our eight years of working on the event, InVision has helped reinforce their position as a true thought leader and collaborator in the embedded semiconductor industry space.

Know Your Audience and Objectives
This developer’s conference gathers imaginative minds for four days of accelerated learning sessions, inspiring content and collaboration. The attendees are inventors, both independents and employees of companies who use embedded semiconductor chips in their products – so this is a heady group, always thinking and searching for new ideas. In this environment, Freescale has the opportunity to reach these developers directly, Freescale offers technical training, introduces their latest innovations and showcases their newest product success stories in industrial, consumer, and automotive technologies.

Design with Purpose
At the Freescale Technology Forum, content is always king. While Freescale developed creative for this year that would compel and excite, we worked closely with their internal team to accomplish feats of production that made it all hit home. The theme was “Making the world a smarter place.” To that end, we cooked up some smart technology of our own to help showcase theirs, including a projection-mapped screen surface and a series of automated trolleys that transported demos on- and off-stage for their reveals. Staging and clever camera work also kept up interest during product demonstrations, as did roving reporters.

Measure for Success
A milestone for the FTF’s short-term success is social media, which is monitored during and after the event – and the results were great. The spirit of the conference continued online, with numerous tweets from attendees sharing ideas, demos, interests and event highlights. After the conference, Freescale expects to see a boost in the use of their products, as a part of their longer-term event measurement.

In the short-term, we wrapped up the event with an engaged, enthusiastic audience and a happy client – and we’re all looking forward to translating the FTF experience for China and India.

Cisco Consumer Electronics Show (John Chambers) 2014

Cisco CES 2014 - John Chambers

For this high-profile electronics and technology trade show, Cisco needed to create a compelling presentation for CEO John Chambers that made Cisco stand out as a non-consumer electronics company. Cisco needed a team that understood its culture in order to excite a different audience than usual. The presentation also needed to deliver a relevant and engaging message to a large collection of these consumer electronics professionals.

Know Your Audience
Cisco, as a non-traditional consumer electronics company, needed to make a major splash. CES was their opportunity to get in front of a highly discerning audience: major companies, industry professionals and the press. We knew that both the message and the delivery method were critical, and went straight to work.

Set Objectives
After many years of working with Cisco, we feel like an extension of their team. Cisco and IVC, as well as IVC’s sister company CXG (Collective Experience Group), came together to devise a highly effective approach.

We collaborated with Cisco at every stage: presentation strategy, messaging, creative development, content development and creative direction. The result: an outstanding and highly informative and entertaining presentation that was the talk of CES.

Design with Purpose
We devised a robust communications strategy in order to make the idea of “The Internet of Everything” (IOE) understandable and relevant to the common man. We created a visual presentation that used humor, storytelling and walk-ons to tell the story of how “The Internet of Everything Changes Everything for Everyone.”

Live walk-ons included actress and comedienne Sarah Silverman, author/photographer Rick Smolan, Vice Mayor of Barcelona Antoni Vives and ATT Mobility President Ralph de la Vega to convey and reinforce the message.

We also developed an opening video that showed off “IOE” and how it will affect the average person in the future. The video starred Sarah Silverman as her future and current selves.

The stakes were high and the messages were big. The presentation addressed Cisco’s leadership and innovation, capitalizing on future growth, strengthening partnerships and more.

Measuring for Success
From an external standpoint, the presentation was clearly the hit of CES, garnering tremendous positive press for both Chambers and Cisco. Internally the halo effect of success was equally strong. The Cisco Communications and Strategy team won the John Chamber’s Chairman’s Award for what we collectively contributed to CES.

“Among the 2014 keynote speakers, one stood out as offering valuable lessons for anyone who wants to improve their very next presentation or to become a better public speakers: Cisco CEO John Chambers.”  −

Williams Sonoma GMC 2013

Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Attendees: 1,000

Location: Scottsdale, AZ


In all of our work together, it’s the longevity of our partnership with Williams-Sonoma, Inc. that we cherish most. We’ve built an incredible level of trust in that time. Some members of our team pitched to their executives 22 years ago; those members are still an integral part of the team today, and have cultivated that relationship to encompass the ever-growing Williams-Sonoma, Inc. family. Every year, we grow together, as we celebrate the company’s past successes, challenges and future ambitions. This year has been one of Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s strongest, with their highest stock price to date – so there was great cause for celebration.


The meeting’s mission is to motivate, educate and recognize. Year after year, it retains an element of consistency; while Williams-Sonoma, Inc. stays fresh in retail, they need a reliable, stable show as an anchor – and that’s one of the ways our long relationship comes into play. Our challenge is to take that tried-and-true format and infuse it with new life, adding a unique “little something” to reinvent it each time. InVision has built a strong and trusting relationship with the executive teams because we do just that: we understand their essential template, and can layer in elements of surprise and delight to keep it new. As for the audience: retail is detail. Like leadership, they are precise, sophisticated and exacting, so it’s all about perfecting the details – and about embracing the unparalleled, playful energy they bring into the room time and time again.


The client provided this year’s theme, “Bring It Home,” to unite their entire franchise, from West Elm to Pottery Barn Kids – and they trusted InVision to bring that theme to life. Each of their 5 brands focuses on key parts of the home, and at the heart of them all, a simple mission: “improving customers’ lives at home.” That needs to be intimate, it needs to have personality, it needs to have charm, from the staging for general session presentations, to parties, to an elegant evening award gala. With a staging update complementing this year’s logo design, and a challenge for each brand to develop a personalized aesthetic for home style, we created an environment and an experience that helped the attendees learn about the brands, the products, connect with each other and – most importantly – have fun!


A successful show is a flawless one. Last-minute presentation support, high energy perfect timing and true partnership – each of these made ours a home run. An on-stage DJ welcomed the attendees to the general session, to drive enthusiasm and open the event. Video interstitials provided transitions and reinforced the overall theme. Large screens featured the videos and oversize graphics drew in the audience, from the opening message to the closing session, and gave the entire show a star-studded feel. Best of all? It didn’t stop there. All of the meeting content was repurposed into DVDs so that the message (and the celebration) can continue on…  into the field.

“I think it’s always about the people with whom you work. I have always felt that InVision is an amazing group of people who I consider to be an extension of our team rather than a vendor. The passion you all show for every detail and commitment to presenting the very best show with the very best content makes me feel like there’s nothing we can’t do.”

-Ruth Kennedy

Vice President, Store Operations, Williams-Sonoma Inc.

EMC World 2013

Attendees: 15,000
Location: The Venetian and Sand Convention Center, Las Vegas

In 2013, we produced our third annual EMC World: a weeklong user conference with an audience of 15,000. EMC World is a world-class event that helps to educate and inform both clients and partners on the latest and greatest that EMC has to offer.

EMC is a highly innovative company, who is constantly up-leveling their products and solutions. It’s not uncommon for them to release 40 new products in a given year. We’ve worked with them on past meetings to showcase their products and messages in extremely creative ways, and EMC World 2013 was no exception. Each year they want to be BIGGER – and better – than the last.  This year, we heard that charge and answered it with the creation of beautiful and bold 400-foot graphics, live performances and powerful presentations.

This year, they wanted to explore a theme to really increase the energy and inspired a sense of potential: classic superheroes. “Lead Your Transformation” and the superhero motif was a great way to tell that story. Using animated video installments, a mild-mannered main character transforms into a super force, à la Superman. To begin the experience, we choreographed a small army of performers who brought those video characters to life. While the attendees were entering the convention hall, our costumed performers battled good against evil – all choreographed by our Broadway award-winning stunt coordinator.  This set the tone for a powerful conference where we maximized the screen space, engaged the audience and supported the presenters.

Through our collaboration, we were able to repurpose the scenic from the previous year, while giving it new presence and purpose. The 400-foot-long, 23-foot-tall screen was created by blending white scrim-like screens, while 11 stacked projectors managed the visuals. This seamless, curved surface lent a staggering effect to videos, stills, and the presentation slides. The 15,000-person audience was drawn into the sheer presence of the environment, while the extraordinary design and video work captured every set of eyes from start to finish with visuals that covered almost 10,000 square-feet.

The evening culminated with a standout performance by Bruno Mars. InVision used sophisticated lightning to transform the main room from a meeting space to a concert hall. At the conclusion the CEO was overheard saying, “That was the best EMC World ever!” Then again, he says that every year.  Here’s to 2014!

Symantec Worldwide Sales & Marketing Conference 2013

Attendees: 4,300
Location: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV

It’s a new day at Symantec. The next generation of leadership – including a new CEO – has introduced a venturesome plan to transform the company. In this moment of change, InVision locked arms with our long-term client to help them drive that message home – not only for their employees, but their customers and stakeholders.

Times of change mean shifting targets. In this seminal moment, Symantec needed from its agency what it was asking of its employee base: agility, focus and conviction. Working closely with our clients, InVision maintained calm in the storm and adapted to an evolving brief and key messages. By listening to and understanding each step of the way, we established a strong and trusting relationship, and helped them to demonstrate (rather than declare): at Symantec, we need a cohesive team that’s poised and ready to do business in a different way.

The client came to us with a theme in hand. Our task? To make it sing, based on their brief. Naturally, as their key messages evolved, so did the brief. At the core, the need was to introduce the new leadership team and the new direction in the right way; the takeaway was about making a strong personal commitment to the company as it took its next steps forward. InVision worked hand-in-hand with our client to listen and adapt to nuances in the overall message and weave them through experience. Using our proprietary mobile app-based E3 solution, we crafted a strategic plan that allowed leaders to connect with the employee base before, during and after the show: pre-meeting communications, onsite messages and networking, and post-event follow-ups kept the message in mind from start to finish – and metrics close at hand. Onsite, each leader gave a highly personalized presentation to help them connect to the audience. And of course, our environment reinforced the sense of change and opportunity ahead…

When the show began, each detail of the experience signaled that there was a change on the horizon: a shift from the usual to something fresh and fun.  The simple, clean environment featured a dramatic 110-ft LED backdrop panel, a circular stage to foster open conversation, and clean, elegant lighting throughout. During the walk-in and opening experience, an on-stage DJ spun a soundtrack to keep the audience in the moment. Transitions used a new rule of threes: a crisp 3-bullet approach delivered by a 3D map, to keep eyes (and minds) focused on the real message. And the proof was in the pudding. The event came off with a powerful sense of enthusiasm and possibility – and our strong, strategic partnership with the clients has brought us back to the table, to explore those possibilities together.

Biopharmaceutical Company NSM 2013

InVision and our biopharmaceutical company client came together under the best possible circumstances: a recommendation. With our inaugural event, we built a relationship from the ground up, and moved at high speed to learn the ins and outs of their operation. With a groundbreaking product on the horizon, our biopharmaceutical company client was poised for the biggest celebration in the company’s history. They needed to inspire and excite the sales force – and so they needed a partner who truly could help them up the ante. With fresh eyes, we provided a creative approach that met their call; as the brief evolved over time, so did our solutions. Now, three events later, we’re both looking forward to the possibilities to come.

This event needed to set a new standard, and the InVision team dove right into the brand and the world of MS. We all know digital tools have revolutionized business, but nothing quite replaces face-to-face meetings. We set a schedule for regular in-person work sessions with the dedicated team and met with our clients’ employees at all levels, from the CEO down. Through this process, and the course of our research, two things happened: InVision came to share our clients’ passion, and grew to be an extension of the biopharmaceutical company’s team; and we developed arresting creative that not only connected with the company culture, but had deeper ties the to the themes of the MS community. The result? A creative platform that lived far beyond the first meeting…

When it all started, we had one meeting with a dual purpose: a National Sales Meeting and a landmark product launch. Over time, the launch was delayed, and one show became two… so our creative and budgets needed to get a little acrobatic. Even with two meetings, it was an exciting time for our biopharmaceutical company client, and that sense of momentum needed to come alive in each event. With a little wizardry and a lot of teamwork, we developed a suite of themes, tailored for specific portions of the audience, that kept the core of the original creative – and still delivered a wow, on time and on budget. “Passion Lives Here” formed the unifying idea that carried across both meetings – and all communications thereafter – while “Lead Boldly” and “Ignite The Path” became the inspiration and calls-to-action for individual product teams.

The onsite experience was the moment of truth, and together, we created an immersive, powerful environment that signaled a new day for the biopharmaceutical company. The set was deceptively simple on paper… but at key moments, it transformed into a high tech, expansive backdrop that layered 2D and 3D and used projection mapping for larger-than-life, color-rich presentations – and conveyed an awesome sense of scale and possibility. Meanwhile, an audio soundscape delivered a moving narrative of a woman being diagnosed with MS, a touching reminder of the difference the product teams can make in the lives of patients.