Welcome to the Bow & Arrow Blog.

In archery "The Nocking Point" is where the Arrow meets the Bow. Our blog is where we meet you — we tell our story, talk industry trends and share some laughs. Drop us a line, we'd love to hear from you!

If You Build It....

Pat Tierney - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

You’ve searched high and low & coast to coast, but sometimes finding that perfect venue in just the perfect spot requires a little creative thinking. As the classic movie line goes: If you build it, they will come.  

Recently, we wrapped a project that included building outdoor space for over 2,000 guests to enjoy a plated dinner and then an additional “outdoor theater” space where the guests would be treated to the company’s awards presentations & a headliner performance.  

Much like building a city, we transformed an empty public space into a once-in-lifetime event experience for the guests.  

Enjoy a quick time-lapse of the outdoor theater transformation and don’t forget to dream big about your next event and endless possibility of locations.


Interactive Events & Design: The Iowa State Fair

Pat Tierney - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Designing events is about a lot more than some bright lights or a couple of flashy “looks"  -  we believe in designing an experience. Which is why when Simpson College came to us with a challenge to put together their debut at the Iowa State Fair in 2013, we accepted.

And this year we were back with a booth that was bigger and better than ever!   While not a traditional business meeting or even traditional corporate event we were excited to help bring the Simpson Experience to life!  

With the state fair touting attendance of more than a million visitors each year we knew we had to design an interactive space that would stand to the test of thousands upon thousands of visitors, draw attention quickly, and produce on the goals set by the college.  

After a series of meetings, drawings, renderings, and some great collaborative brainstorming sessions, the Simpson booth was created.  


The Booth featured an open and welcoming concept anchored by a bar-height table for conversations and 12’ panels that strongly presented the Simpson brand to the world. Flat panel screens showcasing images and video of the college provided a more in-depth look at Simpson for those that stopped to enjoy the “Simpson Experience.”  

An interactive highlight of the booth was the “NoBooth” photo booth – where visitors could have their photo taken and then digitally apply custom designed props such as Simpson T-shirts, hats or pennants. The photos were then uploaded to the college’s Facebook page and it generated record web traffic to the college’s social media after the state fair was over.  

The end result produced an engaging and interactive space that promoted the brand and had great take always for both the college and participants alike. And our team at Bow & Arrow was proud to produce not just an event but an experience.

Dog Days of Summer

Pat Tierney - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

With company headquarters in the heart of the mid-west, when July & August roll around, we know we’ve hit the dog days of summer.

However, lucky for us, the “dog days” tend to happen all year.   We have written about this before, but Fox Business recently posted an article that long enforces what we at Bow & Arrow have known for awhile– simply put, dogs make the office better.  

And there are a couple of four-legged friends at Bow & Arrow who always make our office just a little brighter… Katie & Maggie.  


They provide constant companionship when working on late night projects, their endearing looks are sure to brighten up any day, they can ease the most stressful situations, help generate the most creative of ideas and they are by far the best listeners around!  

And let’s not forget they have official duties. Squirrels haven’t attempted to visit our office for over 5 years and every visitor is welcomed with a wagging tail.  

Katie (head canine of our creative division) and Maggie (head canine of the technical division) will continue to make appearances here on our blog & social media. And if you are ever near our offices – be sure to stop in and tell them hi! 


2014 Special Olympics USA Games | Opening Ceremonies

Pat Tierney - Thursday, June 26, 2014


Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

I think it is safe to say that these 15 words have had an immeasurable impact on all of us at Bow & Arrow Productions. This year we were honored to produce the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, hosted in New Jersey, where we heard thousands of Special Olympics Athletes enthusiastically repeat this oath.  

Nearly a decade ago, we were honored to produce the first National Special Olympic Games. As with the traditional Olympics, these games are held once every 4 years in different cities across the United States. A new team of dedicated professionals in the hosting state, is tasked with the responsibilities of creating these games for nearly 4,000 competitive athletes from across the United States.  

After a review of companies from across the country, the 2014 games organizers selected Bow & Arrow to produce what they called their “crown jewel,” the 2014 Games Opening Ceremonies at the Prudential Center in Newark. Led by this fantastic organizing committee, these games promised to be bigger than ever before and as with past Special Olympics events, they quickly became a labor of love for all of us at Bow & Arrow.  

As soon as our selection was announced we immediately began planning for these landmark games – and plan did we ever.  

We immediately jumped into writing scripts and putting together show flows, contracting entertainment & speakers, creating custom videos and music scores, designing all of the graphics and “looks” for the ceremonies, handling the logistics of a live show with nearly 4,000 Special Olympics Athletes involved, and all of the technical production for an arena show with over 18,000 spectators as well as an “at home audience” watching on TV or online.  



After months and months of planning and creating, thousands of miles in travel, and countless hours of rehearsals, the Opening Ceremonies commenced in true New Jersey fashion – an over the top celebration of the 2014 USA Games and the Special Olympics Movement.  

The opening ceremonies began with a performance of a custom song developed by Bow & Arrow titled “Heart of a Champion” preformed by Billy Joel Band Member and Leader of Big Shot (the official Billy Joel Tribute Band) Michael DelGuidice. You can hear that song in the recap video of the games at the end of this post.   The parade of athletes followed, introducing each of the states and all of the athletes. Part of our business-winning design included 4 satellite stages that gave each athlete their moment on stage as they were introduced.


The evening then continued with star-studded entertainment and speakers including Glee’s Jane Lynch, Model & Actress Brooklyn Decker, NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter Williams, Jack Ford, Broadway’s Jenniffer DiNoia, David Garibaldi from America’s Got Talent, Oprah’s Pop Star Challenge Winner LaShell Griffin, WWE Superstars Big Show & David Otunga, Rutgers Coach Kyle Flood, Basketball Star Kevin Laue, and a host of dignitaries and special guests.  

As we put together strategic messaging and show flows for this event, a key goal was to always make the athletes the stars. And they were the biggest stars there that night! We were proud to put athletes on stage, introducing delegations & sharing their inspirational stories.  



A particularly moving part of the evening was a piece called “The Making of a Champion.” Written & Developed by Bow & Arrow Executive Producers Mike Mars and Chris Mars, this piece utilized multiple presenters from athletes to parents, sports stars and two celebrity narrators (Jane Lynch & David Otunga) which collaboratively shared the journey how each of the athletes in the arena became champions.  



The evening concluded with the raising of the Special Olympics Flag and the presentation & lighting of the 2014 Caldron (produced by Bow & Arrow). The games were officially declared open by Tim Shriver.  



The opening ceremonies proved to be a powerful evening that we at Bow & Arrow were truly humbled and honored to be a part of – but most all we were proud to help reveal America’s Champions.


For more information about the Special Olympics Movement, be sure to visit them online



Heart of a Champion Special Olympics "Games in Review"

Video & Music Produced by Bow & Arrow Productions.

Song: Heart of a Champion

Performed by: Mike DelGuidice

Theme song for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games

Creative Excellence = Creative Collaboration

Pat Tierney - Friday, March 16, 2012
As we get ready for an action packed spring, filled with some big shows across the country, we find ourselves working to bring creative excellence to each and every one of our clients.

It may sound simple, but we believe that creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum – creative excellence happens through late nights and early mornings at the office,  site trips, drawings, designs and most importantly collaboration. At Bow & Arrow we’re fortunate to work with an incredible team and work with some incredible clients. Collaboration leads to those inspiring conversations, ideas, concepts and projects that help create incredible productions.

And as we gear up for this exciting spring, we can guarantee we'll be working hard to bring creative excellence to every project we work on!

Stay tuned and look for updates on these projects this spring! 

Site Visit For Upcoming Show

Spread the Word to End the Word

Pat Tierney - Thursday, March 08, 2012

We rarely get “political” but on this topic – we’re more than happy to jump in.
It’s been a proud week for Iowans when both the Iowa House and Senate passed legislation striking the term “mental retardation” from Iowa Code.

As proud producers of the 2006 and 2010 USA National Special Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, we have truly been privileged to work with thousands of Special Olympic Athletes, their families, and coaches. Each athlete always seems to bring a sense of enthusiasm and zeal unmatched by anyone – and always are a true inspiration.

 Knowing no limitations – these participants give it their all every step of the way, truly defining dedication and courage. For each of us on the production team, there always seem to be moments that stand out most. Whether it was the moment when the Special Olympics Flag was raised, the instant the cauldron was lit, or perhaps the moment that thousands of athletes, spectators and fans stood cheering a fellow participant, we all leave the event a little changed and with a gentle reminder that anything is possible if you put your mind and heart to it.

For all of us at Bow & Arrow, there is no doubt that the National Special Olympic Games will always hold a special place in our hearts. This week, we couldn’t be more proud of the state we call home in their effort to take a step forward to show each and everyone of these incredible individuals the respect they deserve.

For more information on how you can get involved visit the Special Olympics site or to learn more about the “Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign” visit their site here.

2010 National Games

Year in Review

Pat Tierney - Tuesday, January 31, 2012
2011 was a one of a kind year with one of a kind shows. From the beautiful shores of Maui to the electric pulse of Vegas, the breathtaking foothills of Austin to the historic halls of Washington D.C., we traveled the country focused on one goal; communications fulfillment. 

Our team worked hard this year making ideas and concepts become beautiful realities that motivated, inspired and pushed businesses and organizations to constantly reach and exceed their goals. 

At Bow & Arrow we believe in producing more than just good audio, video and lighting - we believe in producing an integrated communications package - one that will most effectively share the message of our clients. We understand that budgets are always a concern, and that's why our unique approach also guarantees to give our clients the most value in the market for their communications and production dollar. 

In 2011 we developed innovative and creative ways to effectively and passionately share our client's messages and produce their events from coast to coast… and in 2012 we plan to do it all again. 

Enjoy just a few highlights from last year and from all of us at Bow & Arrow, we hope your New Year is off to a GREAT start!

Hunting for a Cause

Pat Tierney - Wednesday, November 23, 2011

At the beginning of October, we had the opportunity to volunteer our services with the North Branch Wildlife Foundation to help with their annual Whitetail Challenge. The Whitetail Challenge is an event dedicated to allowing disabled hunters the opportunity to experience hunting in some of Iowa’s greatest hunting grounds. Over a dozen hunters joined friends, family, guides and volunteers just outside Earlham, Iowa for a weekend of hunting and hospitality.

The weekend began with an opening dinner and program on Friday night followed by 2 days of early morning and dusk hunts. Each hunter was paired with a guide that would assist during these hunts. The Whitetail Challenge is also equipped with handicap accessible blinds and lifts, including a hydraulic lift that would carry hunter (wheelchair and all) and guide nearly 30 feet in the air giving them perfect position for both morning and evening hunts.
The 2011 Whitetail Challenge also hosted the inspirational archer Matt Stutsman, an internationally known armless-archer, who broke the world record for longest accurate shot in September of 2011.  The weekend was topped off by several demonstrations from Matt.

Matt Stutsman

Bow & Arrow Productions is proud to volunteer for events such as the Whitetail Challenge. For more information about the Whitetail Challenge or how you can get involved visit www.northbranchwhitetails.com/hunts 

From Texas to the Windy City

Pat Tierney - Wednesday, November 23, 2011
In mid October, as temperatures were falling in Iowa, we welcomed the heat of Texas with open arms, as we headed south for an exciting new show.

Texas brought incredible views, a serene venue and a dynamic and informative show, as we produced the 2012 Kia Motors National Press Introduction. Nestled in the hills outside Austin this show took place at Travaasa Austin, a resort overlooking Lake Travis. As luck would have it, the drought stricken state got rain the first two days we were there, making outdoor rehearsals a challenge. In typical Texas form, however the rain stopped and we were back to business.

While working in a variety of buildings and locations around the property we incorporated the beautiful scenery into almost everything we did. From the set design in the business meeting, to staging the outdoor car display, we truly embraced our surroundings.

Working in such a serene environment brought the challenge of not disrupting the resort atmosphere. As one can imagine, semi trucks, loads of lights, speakers, sets, and computers, as well as a full production staff, aren’t always staples of a resort experience.  We creatively found ways to fit technical gear into the landscape for outdoor events, move in and out of the show venues during off hours and create beautiful events around the property in a quiet and discreet manner.


While half the team was in Texas, the other half of the Bow & Arrow team was in Chicago and hard at work preparing a two day business meeting for over 600 participants. The show brought together a dynamic set, striking visuals, and a variety of presenter formats.

The Chicago show highlighted our commitment to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to communication and production. Everything from the set design, graphic design, lights, audio and video, as well as the show execution and management fell under the Bow & Arrow umbrella. We understand the importance of a company's ability to effectively communicate their message to both internal and external audiences, and all of us a Bow & Arrow are dedicated to making that a success. 

Kicking Off the Fall Show Season!

Pat Tierney - Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Hard to believe that fall is officially here! With fall comes a show we do every year with one of our oldest and very valued clients, the Iowa Bankers Association.

It’s great to see how this event has evolved since we joined them nearly 15 years ago... from a small production, to the elaborate sets, sophisticated video pieces, and dynamic speakers of today.

This year, our client was celebrating 125 years of their convention, so the set combined relics of old photographs, with new and modern pieces, creating an innovative and exciting platform for presenters and entertainers alike.  This set played home to some exciting presentations from speakers including best selling author Dan Clark, the always exciting and extremely entertaining Dr. Lowell Catlett as well as an inspiring story from Richard Picciotta, Chief of the New York Fire Department on 9/11.

Dr. Lowell Catlett presents
It’s always great to do shows right here a “home” and equally as great to have such a terrific and long lasting partnership with a great client. Congratulations to The Iowa Bankers Association on 125 years of successful conventions - it’s been our honor to be a part of them!