ELA: Tell us more about what you do and how you got involved in the events/experiences industry. What drew you to the industry and what are some of the things you like the most about what you do?Jeff Consoletti (JC):
In short, I get to have fun every day! We get to dream up creative and unique ideas that try and elevate brands and drive excitement around anything from a premiere party to a product launch to a concert or festival, or other types of fan experiences.
I come from a big agency background in the advertising industry right around the time when words like “experiential” and “activation” were just becoming a thing. I was a fast-tracked young leader, working my way through the ranks quickly until the economic meltdown of 2007. I was an easy target to let go. I've always been tenacious to find new opportunities for myself, so I didn't let the setback affect me too profoundly. I had experience working with big brands such as Sprint, Turner Classic Movie, Kathy Ireland Home, CBS/Paramount, and others, and reached out to that network to get started. While new jobs were hard to come by, many of my former clients did have one-off projects for me to supervise; from running up-fronts and planning, to executing creative design at trade shows and exhibitions, JJLA was born. At about the same time, I had sought-out a volunteer opportunity with Christopher Street West (CSW), the non-profit responsible for producing LA PRIDE. The show needed a revamp, and I was able to pitch myself on getting a small contract to help align them. CSW and the LA PRIDE event would become my longest client and remains one of the most significant projects of our year.
When I started my business, I found a niche in live events by helping clients and brands with either brand new experiences or launches or helping to invoke change around something (be it a show, or product, or set) that simply needed to be refreshed and reinvigorated. I've always found this as the strongest and most defining differentiation between JJLA and other agencies and continues to remain true today. We want the challenging work that allows us to dive deep with our clients to come up with the most innovative and fun and attention-grabbing solutions. This remains one of the best parts and certainly the most favorite aspect of my job.ELA:
Mac. Cadillac. Madonna. JJLA has had the opportunity to produce quite a lot of great experiences! What have been some of your favorite experiences to imagine and bring to life?
JC: It sounds so cliché, but there is truly something special that comes out of every show we get to produce. You'll notice I like to describe everything we work on as a “show.” Be it a corporate dinner party for 40 to a festival for 40,000, people are coming to experience something new and unique. You want them to leave with that same feeling a rousing round of applause gets after an incredible concert. That's my approach to creating experiences that are memorable and invoke emotion to those who get to attend.
We produce close to 100 unique events every year, but there are certainly a few that stand out as some of my favorites, or just simply plain cool opportunities that I feel fortunate to be a part of:
- We were sought-after to produce the live-concert scenes for Bradley Cooper's acclaimed film “A Star is Born.” As concert producers, our team was responsible for recruiting fans to attend shoot days at venues like The Greek Theater and Shrine Auditorium all the way to a week's worth of shoots out at Coachella. The filmmakers turned to us since they truly wanted us to recruit fans, not just film extras, and each of the concert scenes was indeed shot with the energy of a live show behind them. It was thrilling to see our work on camera in the finished project.
- For about three years, we worked with our dear friends at Epic Records and music industry pioneers LA Reid and Sylvia Rhone to create EPICFEST. The event was known as a flagship party during VMA's weekend, with a star-studded guest list and incredible performances. During this time, it was when I really started to see JJLA take off. We would be sitting in planning meetings with these industry powerhouses, and Justin Timberlake, J.Lo or Kelly Rowland would just pop in the meeting to say hi. The event was a mini-festival, featuring a full line-up of performances, and we had the opportunity to produce shows for amazing artists including Future, Travis Scott, Meghan Trainor and Ozzy Osbourne. I wish I could share some of the BTS of getting artists like Ozzy or Travis on stage, but, that's another story... ;)