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!

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

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. 

Sacred Acre Book Release

Pat Tierney - Saturday, August 27, 2011
A week ago today our staff had the opportunity to work on a very unique event in small town rural Iowa.  If you are not familiar with the Ed Thomas story, I encourage you to take a minute to watch this short video on Ed's life.


This tragic event shook the Aplington Parkersburg community but as Coach Thomas taught them, you have to get up and dust yourself off to move forward.  With an incredibly resilient spirit, the community has come together and rallied after this tragic event, led again by the Thomas family.

Coach Thomas’ life and legacy has now taken another step towards being properly remembered in a book titled the Sacred Acre.  The book captures the story of Ed Thomas’ life and the remarkable path of forgiveness and grace which the Thomas family and the community showed after this tragedy.

Last week we had the opportunity to produce the national press event and official book launch of the Sacred Acre. It was truly an honor bringing together family, friends, government leaders, local and national celebrities, former players, NFL standouts and community members into a powerful night, launching the book and celebrating the legacy of Coach Thomas. 

Sacred Acre Book Launch

We we're also joined by an artist we absolutely love working with, Michael Sarver, who performed 3 powerful songs for the event.

Michael Sarver

Coach Thomas' life work lives on in every member of the community. From the moment you drive into town, Falcon Pride is as strong as ever and the values and lessons Coach taught for so many years are present throughout the town.

While getting ready for this event we had some time to visit main street of Parkersburg where we were welcomed like it was home. Going in and out of local stores, visiting with store owners, residents and a few town guests, you couldn't help but be floored by strength, resilience and warmth of this small Iowa town. In almost every person or family we met, we hear a story about Coach and the lessons and values he taught.

Parkersburg, Iowa

A common theme among Parkersburg residents was that they were better people for knowing Coach Thomas.  We couldn't agree more. What an incredible town, incredible story and incredible event. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have spent time in the A-P community and with the Thomas family.

For more information about Coach Thomas or to learn more about the foundation his family has created in memory of him click here.

And be sure to order or pick up your copy of The Sacred Acre today!

Working Backwards

Chris Mars - Tuesday, June 07, 2011
It's been a busy couple weeks and we're gearing up for another great event in Washington D.C.  Part of my preparation process is reflecting on the challenges our team has encountered in the past month and evaluating our performance.  This post will highlight our approach of "working backwards," allowing us to better serve our clients in all areas of business.

Chairman's Conference,  Maui
Many people, in almost every industry, get stuck focusing on the little details of a project. This keeps them from seeing the big picture and ultimately, hinders creativity.  As a rule of thumb, our staff starts with the 5,000 ft approach and drills out the little details as the project progresses.

By doing this, our staff avoids a monotonous routine, and instead are able to think outside the box when facing even the simplest challenge.  Doing this while keeping the client's goals in mind allows us to keep and open, creative mindset to provide a superior service.

Load-in at Diamond Cross Ranch
As a plan begins to develop and take shape we allow ourselves to be driven by communication. Letting our client's message drive our focus allows us to take a unique approach to the way we run a show, and ultimately our business.  The creative material we develop, the staging we build and the gear we buy are all driven by the needs of our clients and the direction of their business.

Being a smaller, boutique company who deals with large corporations means we must focus on how we can best serve our clients, yet continue to stay cutting edge. This may not mean buying the latest and greatest gear, but instead buying the necessary tools to deliver the message.

The result is a tailored and extremely unique product for our clients to take their events to the next level.  We've essentially avoided the "fat" of the business world all together to provide lean, more focused and extremely competitive service.

Over the last few months we've worked on the beaches of Maui, a beautiful horse ranch in the Teton Mountains and a major conference center in Orlando. Our ability to stay extremely flexible has proven to be a key to our success as we look forward to another great event in Washington D.C. this weekend.

-Chris Mars

Communication Manager Update

Chris Mars - Saturday, March 05, 2011
By: Chris Mars

As we reflect on the first two months of 2011, I've been updating our communications pieces and took step back and evaluate the work we have done so far.  A new version of our website should be sent live in the next few weeks with an updated portfolio and the addition of some video elements we've completed in recent months.

Along with these updates, we are currently working to better describe our Mission Statement, Creative Excellence Through Effective Partnership.  This new material should be helpful in describing what drives Bow & Arrow Productions and separates our company from the competition.

As I work on these updates I began to think about the mission of this blog and how it can benefit our readers.  As a staff, we feel this can be a tool for our readers to get a sense of who we are on a more personal level, highlight the business relationships we develop, and the struggles and successes we have along our journey.

In the next couple weeks we will be updating this blog in hopes of giving you an insider look at what makes Bow & Arrow Productions unique.

Special Olympics Promotional Videos

Chris Mars - Wednesday, March 02, 2011
This past week we've been working with the National Special Olympics Organizing committee on promoting the 2014 National Games to be held in Princeton New Jersey.  
We've developed a great relationship with this group so it was nice to touch base with some familiar faces.  The request came in to produce two promotional videos which would highlight the athletes of the National Games and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.  

This was a great opportunity for our company to stay in the loop with Special Olympics and take on a project most would turn over to someone other than a production company.

As part of the 2010 National Games we produced a series of videos highlighting Special Olympics Athletes from around the Nation and the Legacy of Eunice Kennedy Schriver.  These videos were played during the Opening Ceremonies to help share the message of what it meant to be a part of the Special Olympics.  

We took the same approach to these promotional videos in hopes that we could convey the energy at the National Games and the true passion of the Special Olympics organization.  The videos were extremely well received and we hope they continue to be a tool for Special Olympics to use into the future.  

With the trust of the Organizing Committee and solid understanding of the desired message, we were able to take the creative lead on the project's direction.  We feel this is a true testament of our mission statement "Creative Excellence Through Effective Partnership." 

Living by this motto has opened doors for our staff to grow into more diverse roles than simply production.  In this case, promotional material for the Special Olympics Organization.  

New Trend in Trade Shows

Chris Mars - Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Today, webinars are growing quickly,  and possibly taking place of trade shows. This is for good reason, they cost significantly less and are much less time consuming than a traditional trade show. With the increase in web technology and user friendly applications, our clients have expressed their concerns when discussing the lack of energy and interest for their trade show.

Normally, selling space in a trade show would provide funding for the national seminar. As we've seen a decrease in the effectiveness of the trade show, the funding they generate has started to slip. The new challenge is to draw the advertisers and create energy and interest within their trade show and ultimately, their meeting. We found a solution in a new Virtual Expo format, a hybrid of sorts.
The hybrid trade show consists of a smaller meeting room conveniently located away from the general meeting sessions. Lets face it, the new library is your local Starbucks or coffee shop. It's the place where people go to relax, surf the web, study and connect with others. These are very important elements because they provide many different things but relate so closely.

At your typical trade show, you have a large space with cold looking booths dressed up in an attempt to make you feel welcome. We flipped that idea on it's head and put the consumer first. Our goal was to emulate the inviting atmosphere of a Starbucks, allowing the consumer to be relaxed and the seller a comfortable setting to pitch their product.

To the right you see a rendering for an upcoming show.  This set up was designed to emulate the client's branded office. Upon show day, we brand the rest of the room with advertising material.

The vendors benefit from video screens around the room playing their videos as the consumer sips coffee and reads the latest trade journals. The walls are decorated with frames of the vendor's latest poster, graphic or other artwork and when the consumer sets their coffee cup down, it's on a vendors coaster.

To cater to the consumer we provide tables and computers with internet access along with couches and chairs. Of course, when they open the web browsers they are directed to the vendor's homepage. This allows the consumer a chance to search on their own terms and the consumer a chance to see what works on their web page.

The most important aspect of this hybrid trade show is the consumer doesn't know it's all a sales pitch. They believe they're getting a free cup of coffee and a break from the meeting. All the same information from the vendor is strategically spread around the room just as you would find in a normal trade show.  But this set up allows a more comfortable atmosphere in a condensed area, costing the vendor less and making the consumer more at ease. It may not work in every application, but our clients are raving about this new concept.

Visual Appeal

Chris Mars - Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Lets be real, smart phones and laptops make it way too easy for audience members to space off during presentations. What we have found is that it's important to keep them moving, not physically, but mentally through different mediums. We combined this set with the Encore Edge Blend video system and six smaller viewing screens on stage. Talk about giving your audience something to look at!

We combined this set with an interactive meeting format and panel discussion. The key is in weaving video elements and advertising material the client has already created to give breaks in the action. We've only scratched the surface with the potential of this meeting medium but have had great success thus far!