Our Founder and CEO, Anders Boulanger sat down with 680 CJOB recently to talk about our upcoming partnership with Microsoft Azure.
Take a listen,
Interviewer 1: Joining us on the phone is Anders Boulanger, who is the CEO of the Infotainers. Good evening. Thanks for doing this.
Anders: Hey, no problem. Thanks for having me.
Interviewer 1: So, you’re originally from Wawanesa, Manitoba.
Anders: I am, yeah, born and raised.
Interviewer 1: You said you started your business in the basement.
Anders: Yeah, well, I started doing birthday parties when I was about 12 years old, doing magic at birthday parties. And then, you know, that evolved, paid my way through university, doing magic, got a physics degree. And then, you know, ran a small business out of here, in Winnipeg, out of my basement, and now we’ve grown into buying our own space and having staff and being able to do, you know, businesses with much larger companies.
Interviewer 2: Well, talk about that much larger company.
Anders: Well, yeah, we…just feathering our hat. We just started working with Microsoft.
Interviewer 1: Who?
Anders: So, their Azure division which is their cloud. So, we’re actually flying down Sunday to do that show in Las Vegas. And so, we’ve been working with tech companies since about 2009. And this is kind of, whenever I talk about it, because we use magic in our entertainment skills to communicate complex messaging in a way that people can relate. And we create engagement and trade show booths. So, that’s how we use our background in entertainment. And that’s the Infotainer, so the information with the entertainment. And usually the companies we talk about, no one outside of tech knows who the heck they are, but, you know, fortunately, Microsoft’s big enough that, you know, we can actually say that people get it.
Interviewer 1: Yeah. And we joke with you when we say who because, I mean, this is a huge coup for you. And how did you go from magic and a physics degree to saying, “Hey, I could, kind of, you know, put this magic into such a way that tech companies will wanna work with me?”
Anders: Yeah, well, it’s actually the idea of trade show magic and we’ve kind of taken it past just doing that with the company, but that idea has been around since the ’50s. And there was guys who started using magic as a metaphor for symbolizing, you know, a value proposition or the benefits of working with a company. And so, I trained with a guy, my mentor named Joel Bauer in 2007, and he kind of showed me a new and better way of doing that, that really elevated, you know, how we go about doing that, and then we’ve kind of added our own spin and take on it above and beyond. So, it’s just we’re finding, nowadays, that there’s a lack of engagement, you know, because of technology almost. You know, people are on their phones, their heads are down, things are automated. And so, we’re able to create, you know, these live events in a trade show booth that demands attention and creates interaction and a unique experience.
Interviewer 2: So, do you make something or someone disappear? I love that part.
Anders: Classic magic cliches. No, that’s good. Yeah, we do sometimes do that. Things change, things move. One of the classic things that I do a lot of the time is I’m changing, you know, $1 bills into $100 bills, right? And we’re talking about a return on their investment…
Interviewer 2: Great metaphor.
Anders: …or savings of money. Yeah. So, and that’s quite, you know, an easy shot. And sometimes it’s maybe more subtle, but the idea that people have been PowerPointed to death, you know, especially at some of these shows. So, having something where maybe we’re explaining how to backup your data, and we’re using a rope that keeps changing links and sizes. And at first people look at the ropes and go, “I don’t see the connection,” but once they start understanding how we’re telling a story, it becomes so much more memorable, and it becomes almost like a post-it note in their memory, because it’s a peak experience we’ve created. And so, companies, they are increasing their leads, and we keep careful track of that, and we have an average of a 54% increase for the companies we work with. So, it makes it easy to bring on new clients when we have a strong value proposition.
Interviewer 2: Now, this is a big break, but I also believe in sometimes it’s luck, sometimes it’s being at the right place at the right time. But I also believe you make your own breaks. At what point did you realize that this can take off in a big way?
Anders: You know, it was a while back, there was a time where I wanted to be, you know, the next Copperfield. I wanted to do the, you know, wind in your hair and smoke and be on stage and look cool, and that kind of thing. And then I got to a point where I realized that’s not really my speed, that’s not doesn’t fit me. And I’ve always had a love of marketing, and I’ve always had a love of performing. And when I was able to, kind of, combine those two and realize that, you know, you could be part of a team and really contribute to a company’s impact at a trade show, that’s really, you know… And the fact that I got really good at it, realized that, “Yeah, this is my thing.” So, just kind of came together.
Interviewer 1: How did they find you? I mean, I think, you know, as Winnipeggers, we tend to be kind of understated and that kind of thing. When this multinational, huge company says like, “Hey, Anders, like, do you wanna come and work with us and explain to people what the heck the cloud is?” You know, that had to be surprising to you.
Anders: Well, it’s yes and no. And part of it is we’ve been doing shows, you know, that Microsoft’s been at for probably the last nine years or so. So, in that sense, we’ve kind of been in this…sharing same space. And it was last year we were at the same show that I’m going to on Sunday, we were at a smaller show where the company I was working for had a much bigger impact because it was a small show and having us there. And so, they really took notice, and so this year, we’re actually still working with the other client as well. And then I’ll be working in the Microsoft booth so that we just, kind of, penetrate into the show since we, kind of, add on clients.
Interviewer 2: Well, congratulations, and continued success.
Anders: Well, thank you very much. And thank you for having me on and allowing me to celebrate this win with you and everyone.
Interviewer 1: Well, Anders…
Interviewer 2: Oh, go ahead and ask him. Ask him.
Interviewer 1: Ask him what?
Interviewer 2: Well…
Interviewer 1: If he can make you disappear?
Interviewer 2: I knew it.
Interviewer 1: I wasn’t gonna do that.
Interviewer 2: Yes, you were.
Interviewer 1: Call me later.
Anders: I can but it’s gonna cost you, yeah.
Interviewer 1: Oh, he’ll pay.
Interviewer 2: Well, I’m not gonna pay him to make me disappear. You have to pay him to make him.
Interviewer 1: He’s so good. He will make you want to pay to make yourself disappear.
Interviewer 2: Thanks, Anders.
Interviewer 1: We’ll talk. Keep in touch.