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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.

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

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!

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!

What's new at Bow & Arrow

Pat Tierney - Saturday, August 27, 2011
It’s been longer than normal since we’ve given you an update on our blog and for very good reason.  In the past few months we’ve literally traveled coast to coast having the opportunity to work in some amazing venues.  In this post we’ll highlight some of our summer travels and preview a few new things coming to Bow & Arrow this fall.

Line Leaders
The summer season started in Orlando with a week long corporate forum event.  These meetings are extremely content heavy so our clients rely on our staff to help them incorporate their content into the technical aspect of production.  For us this is more than clipping on microphones and playing videos.  Many times we are working through speeches, powerpoint presentations and print material. We enjoy this process because it gives us the opportunity to assist our clients in creating a lasting impression on their audience.  This event was also the first time our Aluminum Frame set which will be previewed in our next blog post.  
In the first week of June we held an event in historic Union Station just blocks away from the White House in our nation's capital.   As you can see, the beauty of the venue made our job extremely easy from a scenic standpoint.

Union Station, Washington D.C.

We also had the opportunity to bring in one of our favorite bands, Big Shot. We absolutely love working with these guys and would recommend them to any of our clients. 

Big Shot performs in Union Station

Big Shot

President’s Conference
In July we headed to San Francisco for an event in Davies Symphony Hall.  This had been a huge technical undertaking and took many months of collaboration between our staff, the venue and the headline artist, Carrie Underwood.  Jim Jacobs, Davies Symphony Hall Technical Director, who has been with the venue for over 20 years said our event was by far the biggest production the symphony hall has seen to date.

Stage for the San Francisco Symphony Hall
Bow & Arrow Producer Mike Mars with headliner Carrie Underwood
Set pieces on the San Francisco Stage

SGA worked with our team to develop custom stairs for the client's recognition ceremony.  This is the second time we've had the chance to work with Corey Ploetz of SGA.  Corey will be highlighted in our next edition of the Quiver, our Bow & Arrow Newsletter.  

SGA's build of the stage. 


Our staff can't thank our clients enough for giving us the opportunity to work in these beautiful venues and the chance to travel across the country.  Of course, our vendors continue to be exceptional extensions of the Bow & Arrow staff and we cannot thank them enough for their support.  We look forward to an exciting fall and winter events season and some new materials to further help our clients with their events.  

This summer has also been an opportunity for us to use utilize some new scenic pieces.  In the photos below you will get a glimpse of these new pieces which are all designed to fit in many different venues.  We now have three new scenic looks that can be mixed and matched to create different combinations and figurations to fit many different venues.  We're extremely excited about presenting these pieces to our clients and discovering new and innovative ways to communicate their message.

Check the summer edition of our news letter for more on some of our exciting new sets!

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!

Maui 2011

Chris Mars - Friday, April 22, 2011
Our latest journey took us across the Pacific to the island of Maui for a gala event and headline concert on the Kaanapali golf course.  In 2007, we produced a similar show which is still regarded as one of the most impressive events ever produced on Maui.  This year's event was a great opportunity for the new staff members at Bow & Arrow to prove their skills on the island.

After months of coordinating, conference calls and planning, it was finally time to let the ship set sail as construction began April 10th, 2011.  The event was located on the 5th hole of the Kaanapali golf course which sets directly between the ocean and the beautiful Honoapiillani Highway 30 ocean drive.  It didn't take long before the island was a buzz with excitement to see a major production back on the island.

After six days of load-in and smaller events on the island, we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful sunset as 1,800 guests enjoyed dinner in anticipation of the headline act.  Just as the sun tucked away for the night, one of America's great rock & roll bands, Huey Lewis and the News took to the stage and put an excellent show capped with fireworks synced to custom music.  

Producing a show of this magnitude can be a daunting task with so many moving parts and uncertainties.  We are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work on these extraordinary projects with great team members from everyone involved in the event.  Be sure to sign up for our next newsletter for a full recap and photos from our ten days in Maui. 

Fast Start to a New Year

Chris Mars - Saturday, March 05, 2011
The new year has been extremely busy for our staff here at Bow & Arrow Productions. We started  with shows in Chicago, Orlando and two events in Las Vegas in the months of January and February.

One of the Vegas events gave us the opportunity to spread our creative wings and work with a new client.  The event was for Sealy Mattress Company and their Global Sales Meeting.  The goal was to launch their new Posturepedic mattress line and advertising campaign developed by the Leo Burnett Advertising agency.

We bid on the event 2 months out and put the show together in just over 3 weeks time. For a show this size, we normally bid the show at least six months in advance and work with the client's on messaging for three to four months before the event.  In years past, these meetings have been your basic production with little excitement or energy.  It was our job to take the event to the next level and give Sealy's new product a proper launch.

With limited time for planning, Sealy turned to us to bring the event together and support their messaging.  We produced several custom videos showcasing the rich history of Sealy and blending in their new marketing campaign.

This meeting would be the first time attendee's would be able to view the new Posturepedic line and Marketing material.  Sealy is the number 1 mattress company in the nation, yet they haven't done any marketing or promotions.  The sales representatives were dying for a new product and the tools to sell the product.  What better way to present a new product than put it front and center throughout the entire show?

Our staff worked with the Sealy Research and Development department to implement the new Posturepedic into our set.  We were able to shoot branding and video onto the surface of the mattresses, a simple design with unlimited capabilities for sharing Sealy's new Marketing materials.

Attendee's had the opportunity to preview new marketing material, hear from company officers and get to view the product first hand.  In a three day span, they were given the tools to fully understand the development, special features and how to effectively position the new Posturepedic line.

The event concluded with a recognition dinner and closing comments from Sealy's President and CEO, Larry Rogers.  The product launch was a huge success on multiple levels, from Marketing to Product Development and Sales.