We are excited to shine a major spotlight on a special group. A group of influencers, entrepreneurs and creatives locally as well as across the country that just make this city…cool. These men and women are masters of ideas and curation; they are our tastemakers, our thoughtleaders. They are the kings and queens of influence and originality and because of that, we call them The Influentials.
In this edition of The Influentials, get to know Dallas event producing maestro J. Damany Daniel.
GameChanger: An experienced, award-winning event producer, J. Damany Daniel (the “J is silent) has planned scores of events for clients across the U.S. and always brings a unique flair to everything he touches. An avid student of emerging trends in technology, this Dallas-based event nerd firmly believes that technology can do more than just amaze people at events. If used properly, technology can and does provide opportunities to connect people, extend the reach of events far past the closing curtain, and create immersive experiences that have guests and clients alike connected with the cause and experience in ways they never thought possible.
Damany was also honored to be selected as one of Special Event magazine’s 2012 “30 Under 40,” is a Texas Star Award Recipient, a board member of Digital Dallas and the SEARCH Foundation, and actively involved in mentoring within his community.
What is The Event Nerd? We’re passionate about not just providing cool tools, but providing the right digital and technological strategies and solutions for our clients.
We are Event Curators.
We work to create strategies that deliver measurable results, not just occasional interactions, with a focus on metrics and engagement. For us it’s truly about turning events into experiences, and we realize one of the most effective ways to do that is through technology. We’ve been fortunate to be able to work on some absolutely amazing projects over the years, ranging from product launches and reveals, to galas and conferences. Whether you need help with elements of your production infrastructure, or a fully immersive strategy utilizing the best, and most effective technologies available, our team of Experience Architects is ready to assist you.
When did you get in the events industry?
I produced my first large event at 13. Somehow, I convinced my father to let me plan his citywide block party, inclusive of vendors, police presence, and closing down multiple city streets in New York City. I had never done anything close to it, but he trusted me and we made it happen. What was funny was that, whenever I’d call the city to check on permits (this was WAY pre-internet) they would say, “yes ma’am we can check on that for you.” I hadn’t hit puberty yet, so…it made it a little awkward.
I’ve tried other things and they never clicked the way events have. I love the energy of bringing together disparate parts, and the look on people’s faces when they connect with things in ways you thought they would.
What’s been your biggest career success so far?
Probably the time when I realized that what I was doing could provide for not just me and my family, but for others as well. When I got to say to a long time friend that I wanted to hire him full time, it was a bigger moment than any event for any number of people I’d ever done.
Any events trends that professionals should be aware of or keeping their eye out for?’
The biggest thing is connection and engagement. People don’t want disconnected technology experiences, they want to have their tech immediately available to them and working (like they have at home) and want to make their technology feel interactive and tactile. Buttons that push, projection that recognizes you, and things that make the experience more personal are all huge trends this year.
Your 4 biggest tips for producing a great event?
- Have a vision- it’s about more than just doing an event, it’s about telling a story. Remember that people can be impacted by your events, so give them opportunities to be changed by what you do
- Have a team you trust. Working with the same vendors from program to program means not having to explain your expectations over and over and delivering above and beyond to your clients
- Breathe- If you have a team you trust and a vision that you believe in, it’ll happen. Not saying you don’t need to plan, but stressing about it won’t make it happen any faster. It’ll just make you and everyone you work with miserable
- Document everything- If it can’t be measured, it doesn’t matter, so measure everything. Capture as much data as you can to help prove how well your event went for you and your client. Have pictures of installations and use those to inspire you from one year to the next.