Veteran Planner Enjoys
Firm’s Young Vibe
Megan Barry (MPI St. Louis Area Chapter), a meeting industry veteran and vice president of travel operations for Fusion Marketing, believes the success of Kegs With Legs illustrates the benefits of a work environment where employees are
encouraged to make full use of their talents, regardless of job title.
The fact that Chelsy McInnis is not a professional meeting planner did not hinder her efforts
to find support among co-workers and management for executing the event, Barry says.
“Each person here wears many hats,” she says. “If you want to run with something, you’ll get
the backup and support to give it a try. There’s a lot of opportunity to be creative.”
Barry’s background includes 15 years with Maritz, where she focused on supplier relations.
While she enjoyed her years with the far larger company, she says she now appreciates the
more intimate and less formal atmosphere of her new firm, which has about 100 employees in its locations in St. Louis and Dallas.
While Fusion Marketing has a mix of generations and experience levels among its ranks, Barry likes the fact that the perspective of Millennial
employees is seen as a valuable resource.
“There’s a fresh, young vibe here, which makes working with the Millennial market one of our strengths,” she says. “We have a great team
here that does a lot of research into what is trending, including with social media.”
While McInnis got things rolling, a variety
of people throughout the company contributed
“Our entire event team made it happen,”
she says. “People on our experiential market-
ing team helped with the concept. I helped pro-
mote it and wrote the copy that was needed.
Our designers did the signage and other art-
work that we put up to set the mood.”
With its tight timeframe and budget of less
than US$10,000, the event team decided to
save on venue rental by using a space within its
own of;ices—the ;itness room.
“The room was completely transformed
into an arcade—no one could believe it was
our gym,” McInnis says. “You de;initely didn’t
feel that you were in someone’s of;ice. It really
showed that you don’t have to have a fancy ball-
room for an event.”
The gym equipment was stored behind
black curtains to make way for a variety of
games, including a ping-pong table, a foosball
table and all sorts of arcade favorites. Attend-
ees could try their hand at Ms. Pacman and
GORF, along with playing classic games from
Nintendo and Sega on emulators.
To let the fun continue long after the party ended, the company created Super Fusion
Brothers, a photo booth with props such as
Mario hats and Princess Peach gowns that enabled participants to create pixilated images
of themselves as Super Mario Bros. characters.
Guests were given a code that enabled them to
play Super Mario Bros. with their own images
inserted into the game.
“We had a big screen outside the booth, so
you could play the game with your image right
there,” McInnis says. “Or you could play it again
Another highlight was an old-fashioned
Claw Machine where users manipulate a me-
chanical claw device to pick up prizes piled up
within a glass box.
“We had all kinds of joke prizes in the ma-
chine, like cans of soup,” McInnis says. “People
loved it. For many, it was something they hadn’t
done since they were kids.”
Among those who were impressed by the
event was Ken Earley, a copywriter for Atom-
icdust in St. Louis.
“I’d seen their space before—and this was
a total change,” he says. “It really felt like an old
arcade in the mall, which was great.”
Noting that Kegs With Legs events are de-
signed to promote networking, Earley says
Fusion’s arcade theme proved to be an ideal
“It facilitated networking without making it
the only thing to do,” he says. “One thing I liked
is that Fusion spaced things out enough to give