The 30th edition of the annual Dallas 100™, presented by the SMU Cox School of Business’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, was quite literally unlike any in the event’s history.
The Dallas 100™ celebrates the fastest-growing, privately-held businesses in the Dallas area, coming together to count down from No. 100 to No. 1 and highlight the passion, ambition, and entrepreneurial spirit that are so uniquely Dallas.
But, this year, it faced unique challenges.
Dueling Disasters: COVID-19 and Historic Winter Weather Threaten the Dallas 100™
With COVID-19’s continued impact forcing the organizers’ hand and the decision to take the event fully virtual, the organizers had to quickly pivot and find a way to deliver the same exciting, engaging experience the other 29 years had – without a single attendee in the same location.
Though one of the Dallas 100™’s own would step up and deliver a winning virtual event, more challenges reared their heads before all was said and done. Namely, the week of the event, the state of Texas experienced winter weather and freezing temperatures the likes of which hadn’t been seen in decades, driving statewide power outages.
As the event drew nearer and production forged ahead, rolling outages and other disruptions continually threatened the already tight timeline. Would the event make it to the (virtual) stage?
MarketScale Steps In to Help SMU and the Dallas 100™ Deliver
MarketScale, No. 71 on this year’s list, provided the tools and partnership needed to get the event over the finish line.
Recognizing that the organizers had the vision and drive needed to make the event happen, but not the tools, MarketScale offered its industry-leading live production capabilities to the event.
“They were trying to do a virtual event, but had no idea where to start,” said Josh Brummett, MarketScale Senior Director of Video Production. “Many companies have issues with that. [Our CEO, Ben Maitland,] said, ‘We do this all the time. This is something we’re used to doing. We actually did an awards show not long ago, and can help make sure not just that this happens, but that it is a memorable event. We got this.’”
MarketScale helps B2B brands build their own media channels with marketing content, and that ownership has become critical in a year defined by transformation and new, virtual ways of reaching audiences. That expertise played a large role in MarketScale’s ability to aid SMU in taking a powerful virtual event from idea to execution in the face of an extremely accelerated production timeline.
The pain points were numerous, though the largest was the sheer volume of participants and viewers that needed to virtually gather for the event. Between hosts, organizers, the top 10 companies being officially numbered on the night of the celebration, and viewers, that number added up quickly.
Putting on a Memorable Event Worthy of a 30th Anniversary
Brummett and MarketScale’s extensive team of hosts, videographers, producers and editors worked tirelessly over the course of two weeks to facilitate remote and in-person recordings of key individuals and presenters, engineer pre-recorded elements to help the live show go off without a hitch, and produce a winning broadcast on Feb. 18.
“It was really awesome because the Dallas community really came together,” Brummett said. “We were able to see a lot of perspectives from a lot of different people.”
Though the timeline from initial outreach to going live was several weeks, the actual editing process was essentially condensed to one week leading up to the show’s air date. A timeline that short is extremely out of the ordinary, but MarketScale’s talented professionals were able to collaborate – and overcome the elements – to make it happen.
The final program featured powerful reactions from the top 10 and the overall winner, Clavis Capital Partners, engaging narrative pieces about other inspiring companies outside the top 10, and more.
“Being one of the top 100 fastest-growing companies is a huge cause for celebration, and a lot of these companies are so proud of that. For them to not be able to do anything in-person was disappointing, and they wanted to carry on the energy that this provides the area,” Brummett said.
“It was a perfect show. … They already want us to plan and help produce next year’s show, and we can’t wait to do it again.”
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