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Memories are the New Wealth: How Robin Fisher & her Brand Blace Have Led the Way in the Experience Economy

It's a Hollywood Affair

The lights twinkled, the red carpet rolled out, and the room filled with glamour and glitz. Robin Fisher and her team host the premiere of their trailer, illuminating the future of high-end real estate and the Experience Economy. Blace pulled out all the stops, from the red carpet to the rolling champagne dress to the sushi bar. They opened up their NYC doors, and you entered another world. 

In today's fast-paced world, tangible possessions have taken a backseat. The new wealth lies in experiences and memories that last a lifetime. It's less about what you own and more about what you've lived. This shift in societal values has given rise to the Experience Economy, where businesses thrive by offering unique and memorable experiences to their customers. This trend is not exclusive to hospitality companies or theme parks. Major brands and large corporations are investing heavily in customer and employee experiences. There is a chasm of a difference when it comes to an event planned by HR versus hiring a professional experience company. Enter Blace, an event company that took over New York City and recently splashed on the scene in Los Angeles. They master the three "V's" of events: vision, vendors, and venue. They are thriving because they have an exclusive network of unattainable venues acquired through twenty years of commercial real estate brokering. They aim to be the premiere event company in every major metropolitan area in the world. But can they pull it off?

Rise & Current State of the Experience Economy

Robin Fisher Blace docuseries

The modern business owner invests in customer experiences, and recent data underscores the shift. A comprehensive survey cited in Forbes, involving 2,000 businesses revealed a telling insight: nearly half (46%) of these businesses predict customer experience will eclipse other competing priorities in the next five years. A staggering 86% are convinced customers are ready to pay a premium for superior experiences. Forbes amplified this sentiment, predicting that the defining factor for brands won't be price or product but the quality of their customer experience. Product is being redefined, and so is marketing.

Event Marketing is Underserved 

Event marketing is a pivotal strategy for businesses to capitalize on the preferences for rich experiences. Digital marketing channels have their merits, but there's an undeniable power in the personal touch and direct engagement of events. This is especially true when considering that events provide an immersive platform for brands to showcase their identity, values, and offerings in real-time.

Whether it's a product launch, a conference, or a gala, the event becomes a tangible representation of the brand's essence. A survey highlighted that a staggering 93% of consumers felt that live events had a more profound influence on them than traditional ads. Events that resonate with attendees can lead to lasting loyalty.

Moreover, events serve as a potent tool for lead generation. Bringing together multiple members of a target audience in one venue gives brands a unique opportunity to engage, inform, and inspire. Direct interaction in events often leads to a higher propensity to purchase. A study by Event Track revealed that 98% of users felt more inclined to buy a product after attending an activation.

Companies creating memorable experiences are not only external but internal as well. High-quality events are a pivotal selling point in talent acquisition and a key factor in employee wellness and retention. Post-pandemic, companies realize that to attract and retain top-tier talent, they must foster a culture where employees feel valued, engaged, and connected. One significant way businesses are achieving this is by reimagining corporate events. Gone are the days of mundane group gatherings in a beige hotel ballroom with an ugly carpet and a cringey speaker. 

Today's forward-thinking organizations are curating high-quality events with thoughtful gifts, luxurious catering, and immersive team-building. The organization tends to perform better when employees feel their personal and professional growth is celebrated and nurtured. Exceptional experiences held each year cultivate a loyal workforce.

How can a company create a profound memory?

Extravagant party dress

Envision this: the sun is setting on a brisk New York City evening. A leading tech company chooses a speakeasy-inspired venue called "The Mailroom" for its annual gala. Each attendee is equipped with a password and is immediately prompted for it when they approach the entrance. They walk through an old door and a burgundy velvet curtain to find a massive built-in bar tended by tuxedoed gentlemen. The soft yellow glow of the mid-century modern light sconces sets a warm and inviting ambiance. Hors d'oeuvres accommodating vegans and carnivores whisk around on brass trays. In front of the wood-panel walls adorned with gold mailboxes are rows of interactive booths offering the company's latest technological innovations.

The juxtaposition of New York City's vintage charm and the company's futuristic technology sets the stage for a rich and stimulating event. The evening culminates in a surprise performance by a renowned DJ, and the Mailroom's disco ball illuminates the smiles on the dance floor. Each guest leaves with a curated gift bag that exemplifies the evening's experience. This is what builds a brand or retains and recruits the best talent. The question is, can HR employees pull this off? 

Bridging the Gap in the Experience Economy

Enter companies like Blace that treat venues like a canvas to paint an unforgettable experience. Their specialization lies in their extensive network of exclusive venues that many don't even know exist. They built a platform that gives businesses access to premium venues, vendors, and visionary event packages. The Mailroom described above was not a hypothetical venue but an actual event space in their arsenal. For Blace, it's not just about providing companies with great spaces to hold events; they ensure that every aspect of an experience, from the ambiance to the catering, aligns with the brand's vision and the desired outcome memory. In a market where uniqueness and authenticity are paramount, Blace's offerings are indispensable, especially for large brands and movie studios aiming to leave an indelible mark. To understand how Blace can meet the exploding event demand with premium-tailored solutions, it is important to look at its founding story.

What Makes Blace Stand Out?

Blace's distinctive advantage in the event planning sector is built on twenty years of experience working in commercial real estate (CRE) in New York City. Founder Robin Fisher worked as an office leasing broker in NYC's CRE trenches. She helped building owners make significant money and earned respect. She stood out because of her deal-closing acumen, work ethic, and professionalism. She was also part of the one percent - the one percent of women who work in her field. As any good broker would, she kept her attention focused on opportunities in the market. She pinpointed a crucial gap in the market: a stark scarcity of creative event spaces. Identifying this inventory issue set the stage for Blace to become a disruptive company.

The demand was palpable. Brands, production houses, and individuals constantly searched for unique venues for brand pop-ups, film shoots, product launches, and other events. But supply was extremely limited. Robin knew she could leverage her extensive CRE connections - she helped many building owners make a lot of money, and it was time to capitalize on those connections.

Blace was not Robin's first initiative after her CRE career. It was born out of a previous venture, a start-up Robin co-founded that focused on short-term space brokerage. This first company gave her a glimpse into the potential of repurposing spaces for events. Inspired by the growth she witnessed in her brokerage and driven by a desire to build something of her own, Robin decided to found Blace.

Robin's vision for Blace was clear: to bridge the gap between the events/production industries and landlords looking to monetize their vacant properties. Blace aimed to revolutionize how events were conceptualized and executed by centralizing the booking process and offering exclusive venues.

Blace's unique proposition was its blend of real estate acumen with an understanding the hospitality industry's needs. Instead of merely offering spaces, Blace aimed to create inventory for the hospitality sector, catering to film and television, milestone celebrations, and corporate events. The emphasis was on quality over quantity, ensuring that each venue was not just a space but an experience.

All good origin stories are fraught with challenges in the beginning. Convincing building owners and space providers to partner in the early days was daunting. To build the Blace inventory, Robin had to persist through hundreds of hours of phone calls, intense negotiations, and the refinement of her clear vision. But Robin was no stranger to challenges. She proved her mettle as one of the elite operators in the office leasing field. She leveraged her reputation, and landlords slowly started to sign on.

New York City Takeover: Establishing a New Norm

Blace event presentation

The adage goes, "If you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere." The market is often hostile to newcomers, but Robin was up to the task, and Blace began to grow. The need was evident: there was a glaring shortage of diverse and creative event spaces in Manhattan. Traditional venues were often booked months in advance, and brands, production houses, and individuals were clamoring for unique spaces that could offer a fresh perspective. Blace's strategy was to tap into this unmet demand by leveraging underutilized real estate properties. The goal was not just to provide a venue but to offer an experience, a memory, a story.

Blace's approach was methodical. The focus was on quality over quantity. They opted to acquire rights to exclusive venues, ensuring that each space met the high standards set by the company. They hosted the listings on the Blace website for a premium. They could charge a premium price because competitors could not access their inventory. They stood out because they did not flood their clients with countless options but instead curated only the best. Blace accumulated agreements with some of the most luxurious spaces in New York City. Their portfolio boasted venues like the Chelsea Pier, the Tribeca Rooftop, Gotham Hall, and other iconic New York City establishments. These are not just empty spaces but memories ready to be written. From historical landmarks to modern architectural marvels, Blace acquired the rights to rent.

Venues were the cornerstone of Blace's beginning but not their only offering. Robin decided to provide an end-to-end event solution and built a network of premium vendors, from caterers to entertainers. This curated solution helped Blace quickly establish dominance in New York City. Over five years, they grew into the go-to platform for companies looking to create memorable experiences. Their exclusive inventory attracted their first customers, but their comprehensive model solidified their position in the market.

Los Angeles Expansion: Answering the West Coast Call

As Blace's reputation grew, so did the demand for its services beyond the East Coast. Many of Blace's New York City clients began expressing a need for similar services in Los Angeles. Recognizing the potential, Robin and her team saw an opportunity to replicate their NYC success in the world's entertainment capital.

The move to Los Angeles was strategic. Several New York City contacts facilitated Blace's entry into the Los Angeles market, giving them a head start. The city, known for its film and entertainment industry, presented many opportunities. Los Angeles is a city that likes to party, from movie premieres to music album launches.

Blace's expansion strategy in Los Angeles was aggressive. While it took them five years to build their New York City portfolio, they managed to create a similar-sized portfolio in Los Angeles in just six months. However, the move was not without its challenges. The Los Angeles venture began just three weeks before Hollywood's writer and actor strikes. Robin's resilience shone through Blace. Despite the initial setbacks, their Los Angeles pipeline quickly grew.

The Los Angeles expansion underscored Blace's vision of reimagining event spaces on a national scale. By establishing strong footholds in New York City and Los Angeles, Blace is forming a movement and changing how people book events. New York City and Los Angeles are the proving grounds, and Blace's growth strategy is ambitious. Robin is working to build relationships in the world's most iconic cities. Blace's success is a testament to Robin's vision, determination, and expertise, but she wasn't alone. Her capital partners at Star Strong Capital were key players in Blace's meteoric rise.

More than Money: Blace & Star Strong Capital's Relationship

Robin is elite at building relationships, but she chooses her partners carefully. She required that her funding partner share similar values and have a proven track of successful and hands-on investing. Enter Spring Hollis and Rache Brand of Star Strong Capital.

From the outset, Star Strong Capital recognized the potential in Blace. They saw a platform for booking event spaces and an end-to-end solution that they believed could transform the event industry. Their early and steadfast support showed their belief in Blace's mission.

While vision and strategy are essential, financial stability is the bedrock on which successful businesses are built. Star Strong Capital's investment in Blace helped to ensure that the company had the necessary resources to claim a significant position in the New York City market and expand to Los Angeles. The financial backing was particularly crucial during the early days, allowing Blace to focus on growth without being burdened by financial constraints.

Are you Blace's Next Investor?

In the modern era, experiences have become the new wealth, and companies like Blace are redefining how companies create those memories. With a foundation built on exclusive venues, premium vendors, and visionary planning, Blace's meteoric rise in both New York City and Los Angeles showcases the power of relationship building.

As the Experience Economy continues to flourish in a world that increasingly values the intangible over the tangible, events will continue to shape our social fabric. For those seeking to be at the forefront of this evolution, Blace offers not just a service but a revolution in how we perceive and prioritize experiences. The future of events is here, and it's reimagined.

The performance quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Not all investments made by Star Strong Capital LLC should be expected to be profitable.

The information and opinions provided herein should not be taken as specific advice on the merits of any investment decision. Investors should make their own decisions based on such investors’ own review of publicly available information and should not rely on the information contained herein.



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