EventSpeak Profiles: Kozmo
Kozmo has been working in event marketing for over 12 years. A voice over artist, producer and tour manager, Kozmo brings extensive hands-on experience to the world of experiential marketing along with a ‘get-it-done’ attitude that consistently achieves results.
With a talented portfolio of top 100 companies under his belt, Kozmo has worked with many of today’s largest names and brands, helping them to get their messages out to the masses.
I caught up with Kozmo recently in the great city of Los Angeles to talk about promotions, voice-over work, and what it takes to engage a crowd.
So where are you originally from?
I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up in the south gave me the strength and confidence I needed to tackle many of the tough choices and decisions I would have to make later on in life. My move to LA was one of those choices.
I can still remember coming here as if it was yesterday: burning rubber across the west Texas desert. I had no connections and only a few personal items to my name.
I can still remember my car, on a hill just outside Palm Springs, overlooking my destiny. In the distance, the dark clouds were swirling around LA. It was a beautiful moment in my life.
How long have you been in event marketing and what got you into it?
I’ve been doing experiential marketing for over 12 years. I was involved in event production in college and got a degree in theater arts. After college I did some work in television, with a passion for voice-acting and voice-overs.
I came to Los Angeles for voice acting. Already having my background in television and live entertainment, experiential marketing was a logical choice. Promotions gave me money and a flexible schedule, so I had plenty of time to go to voice auditions. The money I made in event marketing was crucial as I maneuvered my first steps in Hollywood.
I even did some time as a studio carpenter, helping to build movie sets; heck, that’s how Harrison Ford got discovered.
Guess I’m still waiting for my Millennium Falcon.
What was your first event marketing job?
I was a brand manager for the Truth tobacco campaign. I had to manage a team of BAs as we got our message out to the public. I really had a knack for it, and found out that I was a real people person.
Whether I was traveling by plane, on a long-drive to Las Vegas, or getting a last minute call to travel by night to Texas, I realized that I truly was an ‘on the go’ kind of guy. No matter how sporadic the event marketing industry may be, my organizational and time management skills always kept me above the competition and kept the agencies calling me back.
Any specialties that marketing agencies request you for?
My greatest asset is my voice. It commands attention and I can infuse a crowd with enthusiasm at the drop of a hat.
I have stage presence and know my way around audio visuals, in case I’m doing some off-stage work. When you can multi-task, clients love you for that. Anyone who can get the audience in the palm of their hand has the easiest time of delivering the client’s message. I guess it’s called job security.
What places have you traveled while working experiential marketing?
I have traveled to 85% of all major markets in the US – and even a few places that can’t be found on a map. Hawaii or Alaska – not yet.
I really enjoyed San Diego. The city is as beautiful as its women. It is culturally diverse, easy to get around, and just has a real good vibe. I stayed there for a month while working a beverage campaign.
A good chunk of event marketing work consists of standing and talking. How do you handle the long hours?
I get plenty of rest and always start my mornings with a good breakfast. Stretching helps both before and after an event.
Plus I don’t pay attention to the time. My focus is always on the crowd in front of me. A good crowd keeps me energized. When I’m enjoying the day, time is never an issue.
After a long day, how do you usually wind down?
A hot shower is good for the body. Hot tea with honey is good for the voice. I have to keep the vocals in check. Besides my charisma, energy and charm, my voice is sort of my livelihood.
You’ve been doing promotions for a long time. As any promotional veteran knows, there can be some crazy things that happen when you’re out in the field. Tell us one of the crazy things that happened to you on the job.
I was working for a well-known soda brand on a national campaign. Our event had a crowd of people lined up to receive a free T-shirt. One lady wanted to exchange the free shirt she was given because it was not in her size range. I told her that we only had one-size shirt.
The lady went ballistic and threw her cup of soda in my face! She started shouting non-sensical gibberish at me and my co-workers, held up the line, and made a huge scene in front of everyone.
Keeping my cool, I walked up to her and, through a fake smile on my face, politely told her that if she didn’t leave now, the police would be called and she could shout at them too.
The woman left, my co-workers were relieved, and the crowd of onlookers even applauded me for standing my ground. Not my greatest achievement, but keeping your cool at events is never easy.
At least the soda as my favorite flavor!
Where do you want to go from here? What are your long term goals?
I want to have a career doing voice acting and voice over work. Whether it’s animation or movies, commercials or radio, I know that I’ve been gifted with this fabulous voice for a reason.
Event marketing, private events and promotions have been a great launching pad for my future. It has helped me to hone my skills and really eliminated any sense of shyness I may have once had.
I want you to hear what others have to say. I want to influence others. If my voice is the voice you hear when you make your next purchase or decision, I don’t think there can be any greater joy.
If you would like to contact Kozmo, he can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org