Live events are back and better than ever! I just had the pleasure of serving as the professional event emcee for UniGroup at their first ever in-person meeting in two whole years. By the looks and sounds of it, everyone was incredibly excited to gather to network, recognize company achievements, and of course, have some fun, too! And I was thrilled to help move the event along.
As the event emcee, it was my job to keep the 2022 UniGroup Learning Conference on time and on task — but also to make sure everyone had some laughs along the way. I was able to chat it up with UniGroup’s President and CEO as well as their Board of Directors Chairman, capture fun moments with audience members in a “man on the street” style video, and provide some entertainment.
For the 411 on the latest UniGroup Learning Conference, just keep reading!
The UniGroup Agency Family Anyone Would Be Lucky to Join
UniGroup is a national organization with several umbrella companies, including Mayflower Transit, Trans Advantage, and Allegiant Move Management. Rather than refer to themselves as a co-op business or parent company, UniGroup refers to its robust roster of employee and leadership teams as an agency family — and folks, this is one family you’d be happy to join.
Over the course of a few days, I was able to meet and mingle with the operators of various UniGroup businesses along with their staff, and everyone was a total joy to be around. The theme for this year’s UniGroup Learning Conference was “Together, Moving the World Forward” and a strong sense of unity could be felt across the entire conference hall.
I had the opportunity throughout the conference to hear stories about how the pandemic brought unique challenges to the UniGroup doorstep, but also learn about the work done to overcome those challenges. I was happy to interject a bit of laughter into the event as the entertaining event emcee, and bring a sense of comedic relief to such a hard-working, dedicated agency family.
Entertainment Spots and Moderator Duties Galore
I had the pleasure of hosting three general sessions for the fantastic folks at UniGroup, morning and afternoon on Wednesday and a fun closing session on Thursday. The rest of my time was split between breakout sessions and providing entertainment spots to keep the morale and energy in the room high. When I wasn’t busy entertaining, I was putting back on my moderator hat.
In case you missed it, I also served as the panel moderator for as the event emcee for Comerica Bank. At this week’s UniGroup Learning Conference, I moderated a chat between Board of Directors Chairman, Mr. Charles W. McDaniel, and UniGroup’s President and CEO, Jason Mills. True to the conference theme, the three of us dug into how UniGroup was able to move forward together during the trying times of the pandemic.
It was incredible to hear how these two navigated such a dark period — a trying time not just for the company, but for the world. Charles and Jason revealed how they led through the inevitable change the first year of COVID, and then answered audience questions that centered around their future vision for UniGroup and action items to make 2022 the best year they’ve had yet.
Always a Man (Or Entertainer!) On the Street Somehow
There’s an ongoing joke here on the blog that I’m always a street entertainer somehow, someway… this time in the form of a man on the street! If you’re not quite sure what I mean, my background and a bulk of my professional skills were learned on the streets of Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs). So, it felt fitting to make a “man on the street” video for this UniGroup event!
Rather than approach random people on the street, I took to the floor at the UniGroup Learning Conference to capture content take-aways and fun moments with attendees. I was able to roll the footage at the end of the conference — which people loved! —but even better, UniGroup now has a professional-quality video to share with agency family members who couldn’t attend or even to use for next year’s marketing.
All around, it was awesome to serve as the professional event emcee for UniGroup, especially knowing the team had not gathered in person in years. I was able to break up the conference material with much-needed laughs, re-energize the crowd, and even hand out $50 Amazon gift cards to any agency family member who participated in my games and entertainment bits!
The Ideal Location for an Explorative Event Emcee
I don’t always give the conference hotel or location a shout-out in my event recaps, so when I do, trust that it means the area in question was phenomenal! Now, I’ve been to St. Louis before for event emcee roles — I was actually just there a few weeks ago to the virtual emcee for MFK Haiti! However, I never had the pleasure of checking out the St. Louis Union Station hotel.
This hotel was beyond cool, and was originally a historic St. Louis train station that was repurposed to include hotel rooms, a conference hall, a lakeside restaurant, and even an aquarium. Between the vintage stained glass windows and the gym (which had its own “ticketing area”!), the historic signage and the sculptures, I truly have never stayed somewhere this unique for a long time.
Of course, one of my favorite things to do while traveling is to experience the local cuisine. So, I hopped on one of the city’s motorized scooters to Salt and Smoke for some good ol’ St. Louis BBQ. But then I fell so in love with the scooters, that I also headed over to the iconic St. Louis arch, visited where the Cardinals play, and even zipped out for some sun during a conference break!
Reignite Live Events with a Professional Emcee
As a professional emcee and corporate entertainer, it’s been so exciting to see live events come back in full swing — not because I necessarily prefer live events over virtual (which I might a little bit!), but because it’s fantastic to see people network and connect in real life again. For the UniGroup agency family, who hadn’t gathered in over two years, it was amazing to see them in-person again.
I’d love to help your company or organization gather in-person, too. As your professional event emcee, I can help facilitate everything from the show production to the run of show. I become a true event partner, so we can reignite live events for your staff. If you’re ready to start planning a live event, do yourself a favor and send this event emcee a booking inquiry today!