Location Scout: Los Angeles

The 411 on our favorite places to activate in the 310 & 818.

While we are toughing out winter over here in NYC, our hearts & minds are in the warmth of the (310). Los Angeles. Sighhhhh. As an experiential marketing mecca for many lifestyle & entertainment brands, LA is our home away from home. Especially this time of year, when we tend to hide out there.

Ever notice that somehow sitting in traffic on Broadway is not as cool as sitting in traffic on the 405? Perhaps it would be if we called it, The Broadway?

But we digress. Here’s a look at our top 10 favorite spots to activate in sunny SoCal.

1. The Grove

With its perfectly manicured grounds (and customers), this promotionally friendly hot spot is so much more than a mall. There are so many ways to activate here – plus they have a robust calendar of annual programming with sponsorship opps galore.

Driving tune-in to the series premiere of Grandfathered on FOX via our pop-up barber shop.


2. Hollywood & Highland

For mass national and international reach, visit the tourists trafficking Hollywood Blvd. This legendary Los Angeles locale delivers the added footfall of hip industry folks who all live, work and play in the area.

Guests continue to wait for gourmet s'mores from the Summer Camp S'mores Truck along Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
Serving up gourmet s’mores for the series premiere of Summer Camp on USA Network.


3. LA Live

Experiential marketing belongs at a lively venue – and that’s what you get in downtown Los Angeles at LA Live. In addition to their expansive footprint, LA Live has a ton of digital billboards onsite which can be seamlessly integrated into your event.

4. Abbot Kinney

No experiential campaign is complete without a visit to Venice Beach. Perfect for the unassuming pop-up, Venice provides visibility to tourists and locals alike. Plus the friendly and honest locals are a great sounding board for up & coming brands

Providing the local community with a high-touch retail environment through the Intel Experience Store.


5. Third Street Promenade

Home to some of our favorite Los Angeles activations, this Santa Monica sweet spot promises consistent foot traffic for your marketing initiatives. It’s especially great for filming flash mobs or social media content, since the street is open to pedestrian foot traffic only.

A pop-up clothesline containing branded pairs of underwear tagged with information about City of Hope’s The Underwear Affair, a race whose proceeds go to fighting cancers below the waist.


6. Farmers Markets

Los Angelenos love their greens, as evidenced by the more than 50 farmers markets happening each weekend in LA county. Most are open to brand partnerships and provide an organic (pun intended) opportunity to sample products to a receptive audience.

Street teams infiltrating Farmers Markets with branded eco-totes in a FYC campaign for USA Network.


7. Universal CityWalk

Awesome for screening events, the CityWalk has a giant multimedia screen and tons of integration opportunities throughout.

Teen Nick’s Party with Degrassi Tour – a sneak peek screening of the new season complete with thousands of screaming teens.


8. SoHo House

Eternally cool, the SoHo house in LA maintains its cache year after year. ‘Nuff said.

Pivot’s inaugural (and bi-coastal) Upfront – live streaming New York’s presentation to attendees in Los Angeles.


9. Huntington Beach

Let’s talk the OC for a hot minute. Head South for a beach community that welcomes brand-sponsored entertainment and family programming.

TripAdvisor’s Traveling Movie Tour – hitting the beach (among many stops).


10. Americana at Brand

So often we forget about the Valley and the plethora of purchase power found just north of the Hollywood Hills! This mall, sister “brand” to The Grove, offers great activation choices.

Next week, we’ll detail our favorite places to tie one on in LA following a successful experiential marketing campaign!

The michael alan group is a full-service experiential marketing agency & event production company. Check out our work and our team, and drop us a line to chat about planning the perfect LA activation.

How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love the Female Boss

I have an admission to make. I was once an anti female-bossian.

For those already confused, this is a (potentially grammatically incorrect) term I’ve coined for people who are opposed to female bosses. Based on a paltry two experiences at former companies, I had decided that female bosses are mercurial, illogical and (in some instances) capable of flat-out cruelty. Of course, the illogical one here was me.

I came to this “conclusion” based on two samples and luck; I had simply never had a male boss who had behaved this way, even though the examples of misbehaving male bosses are legion.

My reasoning was of course inane, but others share the sentiment. Though the reputation of female leaders is improving, a Gallup Poll conducted in 2014 shows that, when evaluating a new job, 33% of Americans prefer a male boss, 20% prefer a female boss and 46% have no preference. Okay, not terrible – but here is the data I found most surprising – while women are more likely than men to be “pro female-bossian,” women still prefer male bosses overall.


(Aside: Is this really 2016? The role of women in the workplace, the gap between how female leaders are expected to act and how they should act to get ahead and gender politics – all of this feels so far from where it should be. But I digress.)

Reader, I’m here to tell you how I learned to stop hating and love the female boss. How did this happen? Easy. I started working for a veritable utopia of female-bossianism: the michael alan group. While our fearless leader and CEO is a man, our COO, Senior Vice President and Vice President are all women and this has a massively positive effect on the work culture.


When producing and nurturing are part of the fabric of the organization, nobody’s losing by helping others. In fact, it pays off in dividends with the work we produce.

From my first week at MAG, when I had two weeks to produce a mobile tour, I was met with endless support from the entire company. Everyone, from the senior leadership on down, was tireless in answering my questions and providing me with helpful contacts, knowledge and advice. Nearly five years later, that continues to be the case. There is a genuine feeling of community here, and when you are faced with a task that you have no idea how to tackle, you know that a senior or a peer will always have time to help you.

The amazing part about this? Eventually you realize that you can solve the problems yourself, and help the next generation of MAGsters along.

While this ethos was originally instituted by our (male) CEO, Jonathan, I don’t see how this could be implemented so pervasively if we didn’t have so many women around us. I recognize that this is a dangerous line of thinking. As a recent NYTimes Op/Ed reminded us, in many places the expectation for women to be nurturing is a double edged sword – they must act this way, yet it is at their own expense.

But therein lies the secret sauce of MAG. When producing and nurturing are part of the fabric of the organization, nobody’s losing by helping others. In fact, it pays off in dividends with the work we produce.

Others have noticed. In the past year, our female leaders have been recognized for kicking butt at what they do and being awesome leaders. Our COO, Erin Mills, was recognized as one of Event Marketer’s Leading Women in Events, our Senior Vice President, Jill Brand, received Min’s Rising Star Award and our Vice President, Elizabeth Walker, received the Rising Star Award from Cynopsis Media.

From left to right, COO, Erin Mills, participates in Event Marketer’s Leading Women in Events Roundtable, Senior Vice President, Jill Brand, receives Min’s Rising Star Award, and Vice President, Elizabeth Walker, receives Cynopsis Media’s Rising Star Award.

I end this with this statement: I now recognize the error of my old beliefs. I am now strongly pro-female boss, and while other work environments may not experience the same utopian benefits, I’m optimistic that we will all get there regardless of the gender breakdown in the office. Until then, I will feel lucky to be surrounded by such amazing women each day when I come to the office. And so, as we celebrate women’s history month, I am reminded that here on West 38th Street, the sisterhood has carved out a slice of strength and support, and when that happens – we all profit.