Billy Boughey, Founder and President of Elevate Experiences, was interviewed by Adam Torres on Mission Matters Marketing Podcast.
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Business event planner Billy Boughey talks with Mission Matters about leading Elevate Experiences and shares his techniques to make virtual events more engaging. He also discusses his first book and the inspiration behind it.
What mission matters to you?
Boughey believes everybody is born with an innate desire to be great, and through Elevate Experiences, his team inspires people to elevate their own lives. “Our mission is to help people get that one percent better in what they do,” he says.
Driven to build a brand on a foundation of internal and external trust alike, he recalls the moment he realized his inclination toward the events industry, remembering the setup of a Janet Jackson concert. Since then, he says, he’s been on a mission to create experiences, both live and virtual, that elevate people.
Tell us more about your path to founding Elevate Experiences.
Boughey says his beginnings were humble, DJing at weddings and gradually learning the art of engaging with people, which eventually led to bigger projects. “Elevate has been built on this idea that there is creativity around every single corner, and that the storytelling that you can do at your event experiences inspires your team members to do better… and inspires customers to pay full price,” he laughs. Today, Elevate Experiences is an agency that plans and produces in-person, virtual, and hybrid events for businesses and nonprofits.
Losing a significant amount of revenue from planned in-person events when the pandemic hit, he says he was forced to see things from a new perspective. “Being a person of faith, it felt like God spoke to me and gave me this idea of CPR,” he says: C standing for ‘cancel,’ P standing for ‘postpone,’ and R standing for ‘reimagining,’ or innovating and driving out solutions to combat the challenge. That third component, he says, is where virtual events came vividly into the picture.
You were on TV with Jimmy Fallon. What was that experience like?
Recalling the day he was selected to participate in an audience interaction segment of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Boughey describes its legendary house band, The Roots, as being “entirely off the charts” and cheerfully recounts the moment he started freestyle-rapping with the band.
The experience positively impacted the trajectory of his business, and when asked what rearview advice he could give as a result, he says, “You all are gonna have your moment to do something that’s sort of (an) out-of-body experience, and you never know the fruit on the other side of that.”
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Tell us about your book, Culture Reconstructed.
Boughey says he was inspired to write a book after people nudged him to put his experiences to paper. As a result, Culture Reconstructed highlights how to rebuild a successful workplace culture. A key takeaway: “I just put in place the freedom to let people be the best versions of them(selves), challenge them, and help them grow.”
Of the challenges of the past two years, he shares, “The first thing we did when the pandemic began is started taking all of the interactive games, called ‘moments of engagement,’ and creating a YouTube channel around it. It’s all about ice-breakers that you can do virtually and in-person.”
What’s next for Elevate Experiences?
Continuing to organize events through the holiday season and into 2022, Boughey says he looks forward to hosting more hybrid events with both virtual and in-person components. He also shares his plans for an NFT project called Elevator Labs and a creator currency called Elevate Coin.
“We’re just going to keep plugging (away) and loving people and keep making the best next decision that we can,” he says.
To learn more, visit Elevate Experiences.