Genius Progetti featured into the Magazine E20 by ADC Group

Genius Progetti: keeping it Local to go Global

The E20 magazine by ADC Group dedicated an article to Genius Progetti and its peculiarity: to act on a global level while remaining local. Read the article below or download the .pdf version.

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Interview with the CEO Matteo Giusti and the Business Developer Angela Nardiello

‘Do you have an office in Milan?’, that’s usually one of the first questions we get asked” admits Genius Progetti CEO Matteo Giusti. “But the decision to keep the corporate HQ and operations office of the live communication and events agency in Sassuolo was a strategic one.” He explains it in this interview, together with the business development manager Angela Nardiello.

Why Sassuolo?

(Giusti) “Our decision to keep the agency in Sassuolo, which is only 15 minutes away from Modena and half an hour from Bologna was based on where the majority of our clients were historically based and the desire to offer a service that goes above and beyond that of an external agency. Our account managers integrate directly into the marketing departments of our local clients, in this way we’re able to offer unparalleled service by being as flexible, dynamic and agile as possible. Solving issues and being creative on the spot also saves us time and removes bureaucratic limitations.

By integrating our Account Managers directly into our client’s marketing teams we offer operational and strategic support that allows us to interpret their business objectives and goals and deliver a completely customized solution which delivers the results that help our clients reach their business objectives in a creative and cost effective way.

From local to global. What are the main stages of your story?

(Giusti) “Genius Progetti began with humble roots, offering exhibition stands and event services to the companies that surround us in an area of Italy known for its important economic contributions. In fact, in 2018 the province of Modena was home to 7,767 active companies in the ceramic, agricultural machinery, pharmaceuticals and of course luxury automobiles industries among others.

“We’re proud to have built a loyal client base over the course of our 25 year history and our 19 million euros in gross revenue is thanks to them.” Confirms the company’s Business Development Manager, Angela Nardiello, a Canadian professional with 20 years of experience in international Marketing and Sales. Nardiello continues, “Let’s say that we decided to Act Global, Stay Local before it became a trend.

We recognized that if we wanted to be a truly agile agency we had to be physically present in the territory where the major part of our clients were, and that was a key factor to our success and gave us the groundwork to be able to grow and branch out internationally. Now our client base is all over the world from Japan and Dubai to the UK and the rest of Europe, but we continue to offer a very personalized service that remains true to our beginnings.

How important is it that the agency remains localized in Sassuolo?

(Giusti) Well, it is still important to a certain degree. One of our biggest clients’ is located just five minutes away in Maranello and we’ve collaborated with them for over 10 years of hundreds of projects all over Europe. We are always physically in their Corporate HQ so that we can discuss, plan and develop our activities and this has been essential to our combined success.

Any plans to open an office in Milan?

(Giusti) We are not excluding the idea of setting up a satellite office in Milan but the intention is to keep our headquarters in Sassuolo where we share our office space with a communications agency and an architectural studio and together we are a 40 person team that is able to deliver on all aspects of a project from concept to execution.

Recently Genius Progetti has extended its network on an international scale and inaugurated a new business branch...

(Nardiello) Over the last two years Genius Progetti has really expanded our international client base and we’ve opened a new branch of the business: Genius Eventi, a boutique agency focused on private events such as luxury weddings but also fashion clients. We just had our opening party last summer and our calendar is filling up with private events. That is another example how we’ve gone local to better serve our customers. Our new office is located in the heart of Florence, which is one of the most desirable locations for luxury weddings and many international brands host events in Florence thanks to Pitti Immagine which has made the city a Global fashion capital.

What are some of the events you’ve created for local clients?

(Giusti) We have been offering tailored solutions to our international and local Ceramic industry clients for 25 years during Cersaie, which is a tradeshow that we know like the back of our hand. It is also one of the most important sales funnels for our clients who host their distributors from all over the world, so Cersaie really becomes a showcase not only for new products and innovations but to create brand authority and positioning and strengthen those relationships that ultimately lead to sales and growth.

Just this last September, during Cersaie we created a completely interactive Anniversary celebration for Atlas Concorde, a long time client of Genius Progetti and Exprimo Communications our branding and communications partner. The event was a celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary and also inaugurated their new Corporate Headquarters.

We organized a branded shuttle service from the Fair’s location in Bologna to Fiorano Modenese, where guests were treated to a tech-enhanced tour of the factory and a chic dinner at a private villa in the hillside. We set up a fully branded marquee and guests were treated to a world class dinner and guided tour through the company’s history with a 360° video presentation that highlighted and paid tribute to its many successes.

The evening was replicated three times for three different segments ranging from staff, to VIP clients and distributors for a total of 1,400 guests. The weekend after Cersaie we hosted the company’s Family Day welcoming over 700 guests with activities like an outdoor BBQ, marching band, children’s play village and factory tours. It was a lot of fun and really emphasized that Atlas is one big family.

Covid-19, new services and digital formats of Genius Progetti

Just like every other company in the event and experiential marketing industry we have seen a significant shift in the way we do business and the types of solutions we’re presenting to our clients. Strangely enough, although many events have been postponed or cancelled our relationships with our clients has not been impacted. We have set up daily calls to stay connected so we can offer them more support in developing solutions and strategies for a future that is rapidly changing.

Instead of fighting this change we have decided to embrace it because we believe interpersonal interactions don’t necessarily need to take place in person. If this global pandemic has taught us anything it is that now, more than ever, community and relationship building is key.

Initiatives activated and those designed for the future

We have put together a task force of professionals in our account management and new business departments that have become experts in digital event solutions. Our solution is an in-cloud event management platform that can adapt to any size event. This is different than live streaming because many of our corporate events are often exclusive and invitation-only, so we needed to find solutions whereby brands could present information to their distributors, network or VIP clients in a digital format that was secure.

In these last few weeks our team has really embraced remote working and our taskforce has developed creative, secure and easy to implement digital events by finding the best tech partners in Europe and offering virtual and hybrid events that can replicate any in-person event such as a dealer annual meeting, new product presentation, distributor meeting or even a private product viewing.

New ways to engage clients in online and hybrid events

Engagement is key so we’ve put the focus on how to help our clients explain their products through digital modelling, holographic content, video production, and professional broadcast quality live feeds, while also enabling the opportunity for them to create workshops and participant chats so dialogue is possible.

We predict that hybrid events will be come the “new normal”, with physical and virtual content that are equally important to create and manage so that no matter where the participant is – in the room or at home watching from their living room – they get the best experience possible. Although no one can predict the future we are staying positive and looking to evolve our way of doing business to stay relevant and so far the results have been positive.

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