In Any Event 

M&M Productions puts spotlight on events

Mike Brown of M&M Productions USA makes adjustment at the Knoxville Area Urban League Equal Opportunity Awards Gala.
Mike Brown, president and CEO of M&M Productions USA, makes adjustment at the Knoxville Area Urban League Equal Opportunity Awards Gala.

The value of M&M Productions USA is embedded in its experience and expertise. To find out more about what the full-service production company can offer to event planners, we talked with Mike Brown, president and CEO.

“Anyone can buy equipment,” Brown says. “But experience and expertise make the difference.”

M&M Productions USA, the in-house services provider for the Knoxville Convention Center, has plenty of equipment to offer turnkey solutions for planners, including lighting and stage design, video and audio production, digital signage, webcasting, virtual conferences and live broadcast services, to name a few.

 

 

 

But it is the staff behind that equipment – and the tremendous work behind the scenes – that has led to local, regional and national success for the Oak Ridge-based company. Not only are employees technically proficient, but they also are experienced in event planning and project management.

Every event is assigned a manager to oversee all aspects of the production. The company’s extensive audiovisual inventory, which is the largest in the region, means one-stop service instead of having to contract with multiple vendors. That greatly reduces stress on event planners.

Brown believes what sets M&M Productions apart from competitors is his company’s infrastructure. The audiovisual and planning experts on the ground can dedicate themselves to the ongoing needs of the client, while company headquarters provides administrative and office support to handle all other requirements.

Mike Brown, M&M Productions USA president and CEO, left, presents the Texas Telly Award at DECA’s Chartered Association Management Conference to his clients, Sandra Hinesly, Texas DECA executive director; Erica Marshall, Texas DECA board member; and Leo Saenz, Texas DECA board member.
Mike Brown, M&M Productions USA president and CEO, left, presents the Texas Telly Award at DECA’s Chartered Association Management Conference to his clients, Sandra Hinesly, Texas DECA executive director; Erica Marshall, Texas DECA board member; and Leo Saenz, Texas DECA board member.

The internal and external staffing in place at M&M Productions keeps crew members from trying to fill too many roles and ensures that clients get full focus where it is needed – at the event venue.

The company received national recognition for its work by becoming a bronze winner in 2014 at the 35th Annual Telly Awards for its production of “The Stars of Texas DECA” promotional video. With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, the recognition established M&M Productions as a worldwide industry leader in video production.

The Stars of Texas DECA video featured the story of five DECA alumni who credit their success to the experience in DECA, which prepares high school and college students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

The video can be viewed by clicking HERE.

“The original business plan for M&M Productions was borne out of my involvement with DECA in high school,” Brown said. “Winning a Telly on this project brings our story full circle.”

M&M Productions, which is a client of Moxley Carmichael, helps to create memorable gatherings back home, such as a reception for Butch Jones after he was named head football coach at the University of Tennessee. The reception room for Jones took on an orange tint for the orange-and-white supporters.

M&M Productions USA handled the lighting for the Butch Jones reception, including the Power T and Twitter images on  the walls at the Knoxville Convention Center.
M&M Productions USA handled the lighting for the Butch Jones reception, including the Power T and Twitter images on the walls at the Knoxville Convention Center.

The company also turned the Convention Center red for a holiday party, adding another layer of fun to a festive event.

M&M Productions USA turned the Knoxville Convention Center red for a holiday party.
M&M Productions USA turned the Knoxville Convention Center red for a holiday party.

While fun and festive are usually the intent, the company also places an emphasis on safety at all events for crew members and attendees.

“You can’t compromise on safety for an event,” says Brown, who noted his company is manufacturer- and industry-certified in all areas, including rigging, and M&M is the only production company in the area with a Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace certification.

Brown says it is vital to make attendees feel safe at all times, especially at an outdoor event. For example, the day before an event the trusses of a large tent were swaying in high winds. While the tent remained structurally secure, attendees could be unnerved by the sight, so changes were made to stop the swaying.

All of these details combine to produce a successful event. The effort behind the scenes has as much influence on the outcome of an event as the parts that the attendees see and hear.

The actual event brings together all elements and forms a cohesive message.

“You want to create an atmosphere that communicates that message,” Brown says, “and do so in a memorable way.”

Arsenio Hall Franklin, an intern at Moxley Carmichael, is earning his master’s degree in public relations at Kent State University. He is neither a comedian nor a talk show host, though his parents were true fans. When not watching the NBA, Arsenio gladly encourages his wife while she works on the couple’s truck.

 

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