Behind The Sampling with Shannon Romano

Behind The Sampling with Shannon Romano

Shannon Romano’s Journey from Promo Specialist to VP 

Sampling programs aren’t always as smooth as shaken martinis, but when executed well, they are one of the most powerful ways to create memorable consumer experiences.  

With Shannon Romano, VP of Field Services, leading the way, the bar is set even higher.

From Promo Specialist to Marketing Pro 

Shannon Romano was recently promoted to her current role, but she has been with TEAM for over 12 years. Starting off as a promotional specialist, she has worked her way through various departments in the field, making her way to the top.  

“My passion has always lied in the field and with sampling, it is where I grew my roots,” Shannon says. From the BET, trade advocacy, helping roll out the BAM program, and client services, Shannon has seen it all and made it look easy. 

The Power of a Great Team 

According to Shannon, it’s teamwork that makes it all possible. With proficiency, perseverance, and proper mentorship from leaders, the sampling program continues to thrive. 

“Sampling is sometimes an unappreciated role, and I want to make sure people understand how hard of a job it is and they are the first line of defense out there for our clients, trade, distributors, and the supplier,” she says. 

Shannon is not the only one who has climbed the ranks within the team. The department values growth and provides ample opportunities for career advancement, leading to seven other team members who began as promotional specialists now holding leadership roles. 

Sampling Spontaneity 

“Every day is a challenge, there is no day that is the same,” Shannon comments. 

The sampling program pushes through any circumstances, but that’s what makes the team so good at what they do. In her new role, Shannon says that she wants to bring awareness to the hard work the sampling team puts in behind the scenes. According to her, the team is the first line of defense for consumer communication, selling the product, and bringing great knowledge of consumer feedback back to the clients. 

This year, Shannon’s focus is to identify and understand the analytics from each sampling program, learn from what worked well and focus on those aspects to make the next project even better. 

Congrats to Shannon on her recent promotion to VP of Field Services! We can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next.  

SXSW 2023: Tech, Culture, and the Art of Storytelling

SXSW 2023: Tech, Culture, and the Art of Storytelling

SXSW brings the global creative community together to set the tone for the year ahead. The festival, a convergence of tech, film, and music, invited an estimated 300K attendees to explore cultural trends through the streets of Austin, TX. Some of this year’s highlights revolved around AI, Immersive Experiences, Civic Engagement, recent tech industry disruptions and more. Here’s where TEAM geeked out most. 

The Power of Fandom
Coined “revenge live experience,” there is an overwhelming urge for people to attend live experiences in a post-COVID era. Considered through the lens of fandom, there lies an opportunity to create true fan experiences and a sense of belonging. Marketers challenge themselves to create a “lean forward” vs. “lean back” digital experience – getting the fans as close to “live” as possible, without replacing the desire to be at the “real” experience. 

Roku blended the two flawlessly with their popular Roku City , which transformed its screensaver into an immersive experience at SXSW. Having taken a life of its own, the Roku City screensaver is a relatively popular topic on Twitter and guests were invited to experience the whimsical city for themselves. They interacted in familiar spaces with characters that any true Roku City fan would appreciate. 

Everyday AI 
While a human wrote this article – it’d likely be crafted by AI within a few short years. As AI remains top-of-mind, it has disrupted almost every major industry and this new era of innovation will be felt across nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Sessions explored the impact of generative AI on the corporate world, ethical guardrails, leveraging AI to combat climate change, and the possibility of AI being sentient. What we know for sure is that AI is no longer an idea for the future, it’s already here.

Building a more equitable future
An underlying theme across various tracks and areas of interests was the desire to build a more equitable future. Whether through civic engagement, tech, immersive experiences, and even comedy – cultural leaders urged one another to move from good intent to intentional innovation. The Smithsonian and Wikipedia collaborated to dive into the importance of information access and open knowledge. Others, like comedians Sam Jay and Abbi Jacobson, used comedy as a catalyst for change as they discussed breaking up the “boys club.”

Street Smart  
Outside of the hundreds of sessions, experiences and shows at SXSW, the streets were buzzing with today’s most intriguing cultural conversations. TEAM was on the scene – diving into the insights of marketing execs and leaders alike. Check out what SXSW speakers had to say when asked about the most important drivers of fandom here.

CES 2023: We’ve Seen the Future of Marketing

CES 2023: We’ve Seen the Future of Marketing

Our Takeaways from CES 2023

Technology is transforming how marketers create more impactful experiences for our audiences, and few events are more eagerly anticipated than CES. This annual event has become a proving ground for breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations. In recent years, however, the conference has transitioned from the place to debut new news, to a showcase of iterative tech developments that set the tone for the year ahead. With over 3,200 exhibitors covering almost 3 million square feet of show floor, CES covered all aspects of consumer technology, but there were a few notable themes that emerged over the course of the event. 


AI is getting smarter
In the world of AI/Automation it’s all about simplexity – use of complex tech to simplify experiences. Chat GPT was definitely the most talked about disruptor, and its technology garnered a whopping $32 billion dollar valuation virtually overnight, but it wasn’t the only player worth noting.  AI-powered creative – as popularized by the recent Lensa phenomenon, frictionless voice activated devices, and lifelike AI-powered holograms were all on a path to drive personalization at scale.

Robotics Were Everywhere
Robotics were front and center, showcasing product innovations designed to support all aspects of work and life – serving drinks, cutting grass, taking care of pets, tackling chores in the home and a multitude of other tasks.  These advances in the space have definite implications on how we build and activate experiences, and even rethink resourcing, though we don’t see the producer role filled anytime soon.

Reimagining The Metaverse
Though the “metaverse” was one of the buzz words of 2022, it was less about entering a separate world at CES, and more about making the real one more impactful – through richer experiences, more personalization, scale, and enhanced ROI.

The Future Looks Bright
It’s never been a more exciting time to be in the experiential space. The creative canvas has never been larger.  The ability to scale and connect has never been greater.  And the opportunity to drive meaningful impact has never been more important. CES, and the innovation it highlights, without a doubt sets us up for an exciting start to 2023 and beyond.

Check out our team’s view from the floor of the show as we built and activated the Stagwell Group booth and content studio.