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Entertainment gurus rely on tradeshow roots

CEO Shawn Garrity highlighted Circle TPR’s new 40,000 square-foot facility in Las Vegas with excitement pouring from his every being. He had long chucked his suit jacket as he enthusiastically discussed the wild ride it has been for the multimedia agency.

Circle TPR-designed booth for a client at Global Gaming Expo 2014
Circle TPR-designed booth for a client at Global Gaming Expo 2014

A group of senior business partners opened Circle at the end of 2013, departing from the structure of the traditional exhibit house. The company grew to include experts in festivals/live events, exhibits and retail, among others.

2014 alone was a whirlwind for the partners. Not only did they expand their operations from Chicago, Detroit, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but introducing their new Las Vegas facility in November 2014 was only the tip of the iceberg.

Circle’s leaders craved more, so they extended their reach – as the “R” in their company’s name indicates — to provide integrated solutions and work in diverse areas.  Their expanded service offerings earned them $8-10 million worth of restaurant and bar business, and booth design-builds for clients exhibiting at Global Gaming Expo 2014 and NY NOW.

ECN 012015_FTR_Entertainment gurus rely on tradeshow roots_Rock in Rio promo guitars_Circle TPRAdditionally, a steady stream of projects from MGM Resorts International kept the team busy and more united than ever. As Garrity explained, there is no separation between the company’s departments or the city in which a partner works — this is a team who collaborates from coast to coast.

“We like coming up with ideas and shopping it to partners,” Garrity stated.

Circle gained MGM’s attention after pitching an event associated with reality TV personality Sharon Osbourne. Impressed with the company’s presentation, MGM executives hired Circle to produce other events on a project-by-project basis, according to Garrity.

The company kicked off its run with the iHeartRadio Music Festival in September 2014 at the MGM Resorts Village, a 15-acre outdoor event space across from the Mandalay Bay and Luxor.

By November 2014, the company had four MGM festivals under its belt with several other projects in production. Circle also continued its active involvement in Rock in Rio USA. Taking place on the 45-acre MGM Resorts Festival Grounds near SLS Las Vegas and Circus Circus, the major music festival will attract 300,000 people over two weeks in May 2015.

No stranger to understanding what it takes to plan large-scale events, Garrity pointed to CAD drawings showing the prep work he and his team had already done. The company also expanded its inventory in Las Vegas and lined the grounds of the property with 40 tractor trailers. Circle also helped with marketing the festival – its master sculptor created two 30-foot guitars around Las Vegas and is building another in Los Angeles.

In the midst of this, the company also delved back into its roots in the tradeshow industry.

“We love tradeshows. It’s a big part of the business. Fifty percent of our employees have experience in the tradeshow industry,” added Garrity.

Garrity is a more than 20-year tradeshow industry veteran and co-founded MC2 (MC squared), but for the last 12 years, he has worked on project-based solutions. The company brings all of Garrity’s skillsets full circle.

The CAD drawing for the iHeart Radio Festival.
The CAD drawing for the iHeart Radio Festival.

He and his team are continuing to grow their diverse business interests. They partnered with a vodka company, transformed an outdoor space for an ALS fundraiser and worked on bringing a Christmas tree lighting festival to the West Coast.

They also found time to customize their Las Vegas facility, seeing the opportunity to expand it by 45,000 square feet in the future.

After such an action-packed year for Circle, 2015 seems like it will also hold a multitude of opportunities and possibilities.

Circle TPR (Talent, Production and Reach) opened in December 2013. It reunited many longtime veterans in and outside of the tradeshow industry.

To learn more, visit http://circletpr.com/.

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