Benjamin Miller is an accomplished General Manager, Executive Producer, and Program Manager who has worked in the entertainment, marketing and XR industries for over 10 years. He is currently the General Manager, Executive Producer and Head of Strategy for several interconnected LA-based companies: Fever Content (a digital marketing company servicing the film and music industries), Filmatics (a film and television production studio), and Primer VR (an immersive healthcare software organization).
Benjamin is a digital content creation expert who has worked on 40 different entertainment projects, led over 20 immersive projects, and crafted over 15 different marketing experiences and campaigns including the BAFTA nominated Global Resistance, Alien AR experience for CES, and multiple mobile AR experiences for live events. In addition to his deep product experience, he has 9 years of experience building organizations from the ground up. From 2011 to 2015 he transformed WEVR from a small virtual world startup into a mid-sized award-winning VR production and technology studio (+$25M evaluation). After WEVR he joined Fox’s internal VR studio as their inaugural hire and, in less than two years, he helped grow the organization 400%, published multiple multi-million dollar VR games, and developed over 15 different XR & marketing projects.
In his spare time, Benjamin teaches intro to Game Design at Gnomon and consults for several small indie game & VR developers.
- How long have you worked in the events industry and what keeps you interested in it?
I’ve worked at the intersection of entertainment and technology for over 10 years creating digital and location-based entertainment experiences for a wide range of platforms. I’ve focused on building experiences and running events for a variety of clients for about 4 years.
The challenge of building a strategy to properly market a live event from announcement through post-event follow-up is a constantly motivating factor for myself and the entire team at Fever Content.
Successfully supporting virtual or hybrid events requires a holistic approach that is as creatively rich as it is technically sound. We love, and excel at, solving hard interdisciplinary problems which is, in our opinion, very much the heart of the events industry. It is a natural fit for our talents and interests and something we find continuously motivating
- Best (and worst?) moments working in the events industry?
That is a great question! One of the best moments working in the events industry has been guiding clients through the pandemic as they transition from in-person to virtual or hybrid events. It was not only exciting as we were collectively deploying solutions to never-seen-before problems with our clients but it was also incredibly rewarding to have been able to help these brands connect with their community and keep their annual festivals alive during a time where, we all, desperately needed the social connection usually provided by said events.
I’m not sure about “worst” moment working in the events industry but one of the most challenging was (this happened before my time at Fever Content) related to an immersive demo at CES. I led the development, production and deployment of a location-based experience at CES that revolved around an unreleased pair of AR glasses. Let’s just say that we had to come up with some unique demonstration userflows because the glasses were so “hot off the presses” they were still being soldered together in the room next to the demo station 🙂
- What was the last event on which you worked?
Our last event was the Miami Film Festival where we helped create a multi-channel marketing campaign to promote the annual festival as it adopted a hybrid format for the first time in its 30+ year history. We loved working with Jaie Laplante, the Executive Director, and his amazing team. The culture, energy and life of the festival was palpable, even across the United States! We were thrilled to have helped them grow their audience this year to all 50 states.
- From your experience, what’s the best way to utilise tech at an event?
The best way to utilize tech at an event is either to amplify an existing user experience, reach new audiences, or streamline some aspect of the management/operations. Some examples include:
- In the last year, we’ve deployed streaming technologies to help clients reach new nationally-based audiences
- In the past I have utilized AR technology to create low-cost, high-impact insta-worthy location-based experiences within existing sports arenas
- This year we deployed a customer service process by combining Slack and Airtable to reduce the operations cost and increase velocity of response times
- We all learn from our mistakes! What was the biggest lesson you learned from a mistake since being in the industry?
Wow. That is a hard question to answer considering the ridiculous number of lessons learned I have catalogued over the past 10 years of projects/events.
I guess the one that immediately comes to mind (which I will touch on in my talk) is to build and continuously keep in mind the end-to-end user/customer experience. From first impression through ticket purchase through event entrance and beyond. In my opinion, creating, communicating, building and iterating on this user experience (especially online) is arguably the most important activity an event team can spend time working on for an event that has a digital/virtual component. Carving out time to monitor, iterate, and adjust your online user experience can end up having a massive impact on metrics like sales.
- What are you most looking forward to at Event Tech Live?
Meeting new potential collaborators that we may be able to help navigate these crazy times and connecting with like-minded event professionals to share best practices.
- What do events, such as ETL, mean to you?
They are a great way to connect with other professionals working in the events space and partake in the communal sharing of best practices to help the entire industry thrive.
- What can our delegates expect to take away from your session at ETL?
An actionable list of 10+ best practices that they can use to plan, manage and execute future virtual or hybrid festivals.
- Which one piece of tech couldn’t you live without?
Laptop! I can’t imagine living without one.
Join Benjamin for his session: Best Practices for Developing
Digital Marketing Campaigns for Virtual and Hybrid Film Festivals
at ETL US & Canada on June 9th on the Omni Stage – Book your ticket here