Bill McGlade of Victory Productions: “We create a single source digital application and that is our main differentiator”

We create a single source digital application and that is our main differentiator. As a result of this, we serve secondly as an event app, but most importantly as a community app, which carries directory listings, loyalty coupons and we can even livestream several events. The telephone totally revolutionized the way we could communicate with people […]

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We create a single source digital application and that is our main differentiator. As a result of this, we serve secondly as an event app, but most importantly as a community app, which carries directory listings, loyalty coupons and we can even livestream several events.

The telephone totally revolutionized the way we could communicate with people all over the world. But then came email and took it to the next level. And then came text messaging. And then came video calls. And so on…What’s next? What’s just around the corner?

In this interview series, called ‘The Future Of Communication Technology’ we are interviewing leaders of tech or telecom companies who are helping to develop emerging communication technologies and the next generation of how we communicate and connect with each other.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bill McGlade who is the CEO of Victory Productions.

Bill McGlade is a growth architect helping organizations fine tune their brand and processes in order to scale and grow. A leader with over 12 years of revenue driving experience, McGlade is a firm believer in creating agile and flexible sales teams in order to create empowerment and winning mindsets.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I had started out at Etrade and Enterprise Rent a car and fell into events technology where I have lived for the last thirteen years. I had a hand in enhancing a2z — a cornerstone technology of the event world — raised top line revenue growth and brought it to profitability before it sold. For Victory Productions, we begin our story with the Bee Better Way of eventing for consumers who experience them. This means taking our colony, our members and event audience, and having them thrive not only at our “live” events for 3–5 days a year but delivering them immense value and true engagements throughout the year, simply by adding a 6 to the 3–5 mindset….365 mindset or as I call it.”

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Maybe not the most interesting but one I remember clearly. One of my past positions I ran the sales team and we brought on a new hire that was eager and had a ton of experience. That experience was very much in your face sales approach. That type of sales didn’t work in the event industry (at that time) and it took a bit of coaching and grooming in order to show that sales representative the power of relationship sales. He clearly didn’t believe in it, but by the end of that year he hit his numbers based on relationships and his eyes were open. Now the moral of the story is it took a blended approach of in your face and relationship sales to hit his target so it was not only a learning experience for him, but more importantly for me as well.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I am a huge Gary Vee fan and he said many things but most of them can be wrapped up into something along the lines of, “Be yourself and don’t let anyone’s words or negative thoughts own who you are, matter because in the end, your happiness is about you being you.” Years ago when I created Sales’d It! (my book) it was all about embracing your weirdness in sales and marketing. This was before being funny was cool in marketing.

COVID-19 has given everyone a new perspective on life. People were forced to stay at home and their daily lifestyle was completely changed. This damaged many businesses, as the only people going into work were front line workers. While some people were defeated by this new challenge, others took this as an opportunity to create something new.

I could not let COVID-19 get in the way of this new creation. I describe the pandemic as “a blessing and a curse.” This is the new motto, also a life lesson that we live by. So what exactly does this mean? Before COVID-19 many people did not think about the big picture. In terms of community forums and conventions, presenters were focused on how they could make an impact in those few days, but did not take the future into perspective. COVID-19 taught people that there is an opportunity to extend the life of an event. The virtual environment delivers new value, a higher retainment of information and can boost content. Interaction and engagement can occur at any time throughout the year. COVID-19 has shown that instead of reminiscing about better times, looking toward enhancing the future is more important.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am especially grateful towards my parents. A very personal story near and dear to myself that possibly at a later time I can share, but what I will say is that my parents completely changed my life for the better.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Yes! We are a cause company. Of course we do need to bring in profit to give to our causes but I will say the first goodness was having the ability to hire our Director of Sales, Jeffrey Heckard who had recently been hit by the impact COVID played out on our industry. I think Jeffrey Heckard, our Director of Sales, expressed it best when he said that he looks forward to expanding upon Victory Productions’ top-notch meeting solution services, to provide integrated solutions ensuring clients who are also meeting planners, can receive the highest possible return on their investment. Says Heckard, “if your organization hosts trade shows, conferences, sales meetings and/or incentive travel meetings, let Victory become an extension of your team, utilizing my years of hospitality experience to anticipate, understand and exceed client’s expectations and restrictions while saving them time and money.”

Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about the cutting edge communication tech that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

Community is the future of events. Community involves a combination of virtual, hybrid and in person opportunities created by common interests and goals. Community allows business to grow and fosters meaningful relationships with consumers. As a result of the pandemic, there has been a greater need for virtual meeting spaces in order to protect and promote the safety of others. This led me to create Hyvve. Hyvve is the newest community marketplace and event platform that produces a single source digital environment. It is a quick and efficient way for companies to connect with their consumers, with the advantage of everything being on a single platform. Hyvve has almost everything that a company needs with the click of a button.

How do you think this might change the world?

I believe technology should be affordable. In the association and event space, that has not always been the case. Many larger organizations have had greater opportunities to grow and expand their audiences due to their larger budgets. Hyvve changes this and creates a paradigm shift to focus on smaller organizations in a very budget friendly way with immense thought leadership backed to help them grow their communities and revenue at the same time. By creating Hyvve, we have taken a fragmented user journey and unified it creating a seamless experience for our customer’s audience. Literally today, I went on to an organization’s site that we sponsor an event for and could not find the details I needed for the start time of the event. It was hidden behind 8 clicks. With Hyvve, these simple questions can be easily answered with a less frustrated experience. 😊

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

Black Mirror is a popular science fiction drama television series that was released in 2011. The television series features single episodes, examining modern society and the potential consequences to technology. The show is thrilling, but also disturbing in many ways.

Keeping “Back Mirror” in mind, I would say the downfall in which I hope to not perpetuate is the constant immediate gratification of information we can obtain right in the palms of our hands via our phones. Yes, we took a mobile first approach because that is where users engage on social media and communities. However, as a cause organization we believe in mindfulness. We will be showcasing in the near future some mindful aspects in order to help users put down their phones and communicate with each other face-to-face. Nothing trumps the power of face-to-face and we believe Hyvve can help extend those F2F conversations digitally.

Hyvve introduces a virtual meeting space for the digital community. It is a single platform that incorporates all aspects of a meeting convention. With the pandemic and a limit to the number of in-person gatherings this is an extremely helpful tool; however, will it change the way of events forever? What if the Rib Fest organizers couldn’t gather? And if people see how easy it is for their work to be conducted online, from the comfort of their homes, then why would they want to commute a long distance? This eliminates commuting time and effort that can be put toward greater use.

On the other hand, can the work be effectively completed the same through these virtual platforms? This introduces the concept of face-to-face interaction versus virtual interaction. Virtual interaction removes an interpersonal connection. Through the computer screen it is very difficult to perceive body language. You are only able to see a small portion of a person’s body, and that is if their camera is on. If their camera is off, they may be performing other activities and not attentive to the conversation. Additionally, speaking in a virtual space entails a level of awkwardness. With internet lag, sometimes it is difficult to determine when someone is finished speaking and people may talk over one another. The entire conversation depends on internet connection and if that is lost then the conversation cannot take place. A virtual meeting environment in some circumstances may be easier, but it proposes many challenges that must be taken into consideration.

Furthermore, the virtual environment may change the way of life. People may be glued to their computer screen for hours on end and have a limited source of human interaction. People may rather want to be on their computer than with other people and this changes the way people interact. For example, if this was the plot to a Black Mirror episode, people would live their lives through their computers. All shopping, communication and games would be conducted online. The only aspect of life that would not be done on the computer would be sleeping and cleaning habits. This would be a harmful reality that would damage social interaction. Ultimately, it is important to be aware of advanced technology because it can both be beneficial and detrimental to society.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

With lockdown restrictions, a greater emphasis had been placed on association and event worlds to come online. Face to face events have always had greater value, we know this is true, but there are also value points populating the online communications space today. The sudden shift presented a rife market and a red ocean of competition to dominate the space and so greater emphasis on technology for us, became paramount.

Our key differentiator is that we wish to extend the life of the event through engagements and interactions throughout the year. This helps people retain, incite new reach and helps you to boost higher value content.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

Greater visibility is what we are seeking and so we are especially grateful for the work from our publicity team at Zebra Public Relations, David Liu, Yitzi Weiner and the Editors at Authority Magazine and for sharing our work. We are a mobile first platform as well as a progressive web app or the web version of it.

The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we behave. One of them of course, is how we work and how we communicate in our work. How do you think your innovation might be able to address the new needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic?

We are native iOs or android. It means on the mobile browser, it looks exactly like the app which means people don’t have to download the app if they don’t want to. We feel that the market is in the mood for a fairly priced community marketplace and event app platform at a 6,000 dollars rate for the year.

We create a single source digital application and that is our main differentiator. As a result of this, we serve secondly as an event app, but most importantly as a community app, which carries directory listings, loyalty coupons and we can even livestream several events. If you have some other technology platform, you can pull it into our platform. We have added a ton of other features that extend the live event experience.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Never step off the business development peddle. Taking the foot off the gas even four days from your marketing engine could mean a dry pipeline instead of a bevy of clients to work with. Not having the knowledge base killed me when I was building Hyvve and we had to learn very quickly what would work well for our clients.
  2. There are more expenses than you originally think there might be. You have to think to yourself that there may be a laptop expense or a software expense at any time. I wish someone had told me to spend time on correct accounting practices. I have had to spend a lot of cash fixing accounting mistakes.
  3. You’re not going to grow as fast as you would like. It’s the 1% of the 1% that scale to the seven figures and beyond. Sometimes we forget this when we observe successful people on television. The American Dream is still alive and well and building a seven figure business takes time and a lot of grit.
  4. Never stop writing content. I took a break to start working on the tech side of it and we lost a lot of direct traffic because of that.
  5. Bootstrapping is incredibly hard. If you are going to bootstrap, make sure you have a significant other that can help you. Wins and losses are part of the deal and you need someone while you are an entrepreneur who can ride out the peaks and valleys alongside you.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Stories. As a writer of fiction and non-fiction, I love stories and believe in the power they have to help improve human behavior. I would start a movement of stories that shows how to lift each other up and empower one another to be better than we are and through those stories, true heroes would arise. .

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Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.

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