Case Study

NMSDC's Minority Business Economic Forum

Hybrid Summit

Chicago, Illinois

May 2022

A Big Congrats on a phenomenal event! I was just so inspired and amazed at all the wisdom and support shown by the speakers and attendees. It was a room full of giants and trailblazers! Felt so privileged to be there. An absolutely moving experience.



Key Results

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The Challenge

NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Council) is the longest-operating business growth engine for historically excluded enterprises, businesses, and suppliers from Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American communities. Their mission is to correct the access inequity to wealth-building opportunities.

Their inaugural Minority Business Economic Forum 2022 was inspired by the prestigious World Economic Forum in Switzerland, and powered by NMSDC’s bold call to action for $1 trillion in annual revenue for MBEs (Minority Business Enterprises).

The goal of the Forum is to bring together leaders in business, government, academia, and communities to re-calibrate the MBE narrative to be an integral part of the American economy, to rally around that $1 trillion goal, and to shape minority business development for the next 50 years.

NMSDC partnered with Happily for the complete strategic planning, executive production and broadcast of this two-day hybrid event. The premium onsite experience would be held in Chicago for a curated list of guests from across the country. The principal event of the Forum would be followed by an awards celebration for NMSDC’s Equity Honors to acknowledge equity leaders in this space. Onsite guests would also enjoy exclusive satellite events and networking opportunities to compliment their experience. All the presentations, panels and interviews from the main stage would be broadcasted live to a virtual audience, as well as exclusive online workshops and speaker Q&A content.

 NMSDC's Minority Business Economic Forum, Chicago 2022

The Solution

All of the Happily Teams - Strategic, Broadcast, Expertential, Creative, Web - were activated for this massive hybrid production. From mainstage presentations, intimate private events, transportation, catering, sponsorship strategies, live broadcasts, a lot of tech equipment, musical performances, and so much more - this production had a lot of moving parts and various areas of dedicated Happily specialists.

A Happily Executive Producer co-created the whole experience with the NMSDC team, and oversaw all the components of this production. A Happily Producer managed all team meetings and schedules, ran rehearsals, and oversaw all operations across departments. The large operational requirements across the event’s program items were also handled by an Assistant Producer, Associate Producer, Production Assistants and an Event Coordinator.

The welcome activities on the first day included a golfing session, a Community Day, a reception at The Chicago Club, and a private visit to the Frida Kahlo Immersive Experience at the Lighthouse ArtSpace. The ticketing structure was divided into Virtual, VIP and Premiere, each giving guests different levels of accessibility to various events across the two days.

NMSDC happily events

During the main Forum and awards ceremony, our broadcast team kept all program items on a track, ensuring that all the moving components of the mainstage flowed insync. A Stage Manager managed the movement of speakers from the greenroom to the mainstage, along with several Talent Wranglers. A Registration Manager and a Registration Concierge handled the comprehensive check-in process of the hundreds of onsite guests.

Together with NMSDC, Team Happily strategized and coordinated the 40+ sponsorships for this Forum. Sponsors included such high-profile brands as Coca-Cola, Dell, Google, Walmart, Target, Toyota, General Motors, IMB, JP Morgan Chase, McDonalds, Microsoft and many more. Sponsorships were structured into five levels - Founder, Legacy, Presidents, Landmark and Heritage - with each sponsor having a physical activation, onsite content integration, or a virtual activation. From Team Happily, a Sponsorship Concierge and Sponsorship Concierge Assistants facilitated all the sponsorship activations across the various days, formats and locations.

Our Happily Broadcast Team was in charge of creating a professional online experience for the virtual audience. Apart from the livestream of the Forum’s Main Stage and awards ceremony, the online experience also included 9 virtual workshops and exclusive speaker Q&A content broadcasted from an onsite Happily Pop-Up Studio. A Happily Technical Director designed the technical workflow of all the necessary equipment and troubleshooted any issues, while a Director of Photography supervised all camera and lighting operations for a cinematic and polished final visual result. The reminder of the Happily Broadcast Team included Camera Operators and several Livestreaming Engineers across various stages, events and platforms.

NMSDC Speaker Q&A Stage

Our Happily Creative Team ensured an elevated and refined experience both onsite and online. A Happily Creative Director, along with a Happily Production Designer, collaborated with the NMSDC team on the overall look and feel of the event's design elements - including set design, branding, marketing material, and graphic design. A Happily Scriptwriter wrote and polished all the spoken word material for the Forum and the Equity Honors. A Video Editor, Presentation Graphic Designer and a Motion Graphic Designer all created custom visual assets and materials for various uses across the mainstage, onsite signage, web, broadcast, ect. A Happily Composer created custom music and sound design for the onsite and virtual experiences. A Videographer from PCD Productions and Still Photographer from Powell Photography were there to capture the event for marketing and post-event distribution.

FIDGET, the B2B growth marketing agency, teamed up with us as a critical partner in elevating the overall branding, communications, and the custom microsite for the Forum.

NMSDC's Minority Business Economic Forum 2022

The Results

The NMSDC Minority Business Economic Forum was wildly successful in elevating the NMSDC brand as a thought leader and generated millions for the MBE community. There was a sweeping sense of motivation, support and celebration of minority business, leaders, programs and entrepreneurs from all over the country.

Here are a few memorable moments from across the two-days:

  • NMSDC’s CEO & President, Ying McGuire in conversation with Pete Buttigieg, United States Secretary of Transportation
  • The private Premier Reception at the Frida Kahlo Immersive Experience in the Lighthouse Artspace Chicago
  • Chicago’s famous improvisational comedy troupe, The Second City, hosting and performing at the Equity Honors Awards Ceremony
  • The showcase of musical performances across cultures and communities to open the Equity Honors Awards Ceremony; Meher Dance Co., Chicago Korean Dance Company, Kolaam Dance Company and Cica Dance
NMSDC Sponsors
NMSDC's Minority Business Economic Forum, Chicago 2022
NMSDC's Minority Business Economic Forum, Chicago 2022
NMSDC's Minority Business Economic Forum, Chicago 2022

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