Hardcastle-Geddes, Polito Buy Marketing Design Group

October 8, 2012

Marketing Design Group was bought by its executive vice president, Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, and Vincent Polito, president of VP International, for an undisclosed sum.

Hardcastle-Geddes has taken on the president role at the company, and Polito, who runs an events portfolio, will be collaborating with MDG to achieve key organizational objectives and capitalize on new market opportunities.

"I've been impressed with MDG's work for many years; my clients have been thrilled with the results, and I think the potential is unlimited,” Polito said.

He added, “Throughout my career, I've tried to align myself with visionaries and leading organizations and with Kimberly and the entire team at MDG, I am able to do both."

The San Diego-based company will keep its focus on its core competencies – increasing trade show attendance through innovative, strategy-driven marketing and public relations campaigns.

“The results that our campaigns have helped garner over the past few years have received major traction in trade show and industry press, won awards for marketing and design excellence and have helped elevate the positioning of a stellar agency that had been flying under the radar for quite some time,” Hardcastle-Geddes said.

She added, “We’re uniquely poised to build on this foundation and achieve even greater success for our clients.”

MDG founder and outgoing president, Denise Paccione, will remain with the company as chief creative officer.

“Kimberly has been MDG’s driving force for many years and has earned a reputation as a marketing innovator. Stepping into the presidency will bring to the forefront her expertise and heartfelt commitment to helping clients achieve their attendance, sales and revenue objectives,” Paccione said. “I’m looking forward to working with Kimberly and industry icon, Vinnie Polito, in this new capacity.”

MDG works with several 2011 TSNN Top 250 shows, including The NAMM Show, AWFS Vegas, The SEMA Show and other shows such as The Every Building Conference + Expo and Total Energy USA, which is part of VP International’s portfolio.

Kimberly-Geddes said the company will continue to evolve, particularly through technology, to attract even more attendees to the shows they work with.

“Over the past few years, our fusion of strategy, creative and technology has become more heavily weighted toward the technology end,” she added. “There’s a growing emphasis within MDG on identifying, delivering and managing new digital solutions that enhance audience engagement throughout a show cycle.”

To that point, Hardcastle-Geddes said one of MDG’s clients, Pivot Conference – which focuses on the business impact of social media - tasked her company with helping them connect to hard-to-reach executives from top brands and agencies, without going through traditional media.

“To reach our prospects, we worked closely with the event organizers leveraging platforms such as Klout, Kred, Appinions, Compass Labs, Mass Relevance, eCairn and Social Chorus,” she added.

Hardcastle-Geddes said, “We also developed an Ambassador Program using several of these tools to recruit and leverage evangelists that could help spread the word to their expansive networks.”

Looking to the future, Hardcastle-Geddes and Polito will collaborate on early initiatives that will focus on strategic partnership opportunities and further enhancing the level of service for current clients, particularly those on the East Coast.

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