News / Events

April 2014
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Brightline’s Erik Muendel to talk Converged Media, Corporate Communications at JMU’s SMAD Day 2014

Erik Muendel, CEO and CCO of Brightline Interactive, will deliver remarks to James Madison University (JMU) students during SMAD Day 2014. Erik will speak during the Converged Media panel for the school of Corporate Communications, In addition to reviewing students' resumes for summer employment opportunities.

SMAD Day is an all-day event that invites students to explore opportunities following college. The day features careers sessions for each concentration of the school, as well as sessions on resume reviews, interviewing tips, and portfolio reviews. Led by SMAD alumni and other working professionals, these sessions are important in developing networking connections that may one day lead to internships or jobs.

"Brightline has attended SMAD Day for several years now, and each event, we are blown away by the future generations of talent in the digital space," stated Erik, adding, "I'm a proud JMU alum, and thrilled to see such creative and passionate minds to watch for as technology continues to expand as an opportunity for professional and community growth."

Erik has been a national leader in the digital marketing industry for over 17 years. Since founding Brightline Interactive, Erik has provided the creative direction and technical understanding that has established Brightline as a national leader in the digital and experiential marketing space. Erik's leadership and vision spans across multiple platforms, including digital experiences and custom applications for major events, providing award-winning solutions for clients and brands like 5-hour ENERGY, the National Guard, AT&T, Pepsi, and the National Park Service.

Erik's panel will begin at 10:30 AM in Harrison Hall 0118. Brightline Interactive is currently filling positions for summer internships. For more information, see their website.


Brightline Interactive Sponsors First-Ever DC Ops Meetup

Brightline Interactive has partnered with members of DC's vibrant tech community to sponsor the DC Ops Meetup. The first of its kind, this networking and educational event will feature remarks from Michelle Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman CFO Consulting, about common financial missteps that small businesses take that hinder their ability to grow during periods of growth or hiring.

DC Ops was started by Joe Corbett, COO of nclud and DC tech advocate. The meetup will also be a partnership with fedscoop's Greg Poersch to leverage expertise in events catering to programming professionals and their career development.

"The reason I started the DC Ops Meetup is rather simple: Wanting to be the best COO and all-around "ops guy" I can be, I decided I needed to meet more COOs so I could readily draw on them for advice and guidance," stated Joe, adding, "I started a meetup where operations-minded people could meet and learn from each other."

The event is targeted to those interested in learning how to operate a small- to medium-sized businesses, though it is open to people of all titles and industries. Sponsorships and donations will benefit Byte Back, a nonprofit computer and job training center that serves over a thousand low-income adults each year.

"We're proud supporters of Joe's endeavors to grow the operations side of the thriving DC tech community," stated Curt Seiss, VP of Operations at Brightline Interactive. "As businesses expand and grow at the rapid pace of our industry, Operations professionals benefit greatly from hearing from others' ideas and educating themselves on best practices."

For more information about the DC Ops meetup, RSVP here.


Alessandro “Sam” Santarelli Fully Intends to Drop It Like It’s Hot at ad:tech

Sam Santarelli, EVP at Brightline Interactive, will speak at ad:tech in San Francisco on March 27th. In "Overstimulated: Winning over the Jaded Audience," the seasoned advertising and digital expert will advise attendees about integrating advanced technology to create lasting brand impressions. The session will take place at 1:15 PM at Moscone Center West.

All marketers today face a common concern: how to capture the attention of a consumer increasingly bombarded with messages and images. So many brands leverage social media and digital strategy to attract users, but what makes an event or experience truly memorable? Sam will present case studies that outline the impact of experiences that engage users both on and offsite. Brightline layers in advanced technology like networked touch, sensor integration, and custom game apps to provide an integrated marketing experience that has helped brands remain relevant in the fast-changing world of technology, social engagement, and advertising.

Following the session, attendees will know how to outshine competitors, dominating heavily-attended events with unique and impactful branding and messaging. Through this process, a brand cultivates brand evangelists, who then carry that message beyond the footprint.

"Audiences like ad:tech's are the some of the brightest and most inventive minds in the industry," stated Sam, who previously spoke at ad:tech in New York last year. "The questions and sessions presented there inform the future of digital marketing and advertising, bringing to life advanced ideas and creative concepts."

Sam has been a player in the digital marketing industry for over 12 years. Since joining Brightline Interactive in 2007, he has provided creative direction and established business relationships that have helped cement Brightline Interactive as a national leader in the digital event marketing space. In his previous life, Sam produced historical documentary films, including the Emmy Award Winning PBS documentary, "The Cultivated Life: Thomas Jefferson and Wine." He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Virginia.


Brightline Interactive Makes the Birthplace of Country Music Come Alive

Brightline Interactive is collaborating with Hillmann & Carr Inc once again to design, develop and install digital experiences in a high-profile museum setting at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (BCM) in Bristol, VA. Continuing their long-standing partnership, Brightline Interactive and Hillmann & Carr combine their expertise in delivering fun and engaging content to a wide range of museum audiences. A suite of experiences that engage visitors about the early days of country music will provide a compelling view of the history and importance of Bristol where the earliest commercial hit recordings were made in 1927.

The museum is set to receive seven new, permanent touch-screen experiences: the Bristol Wayback Machine shows the unexpectedly bustling Bristol of the early 20th century; at six in-depth exploration stations users can listen and learn about all the major recording artists; with a virtual music mix board users can custom re-mix Bristol songs; visitors might try yodelling at the interactive video sing-a-long booth; at other stations users listen to artists of the 20th and 21st century who have covered Bristol songs; a final kiosk invites visitors to send a customized digital postcard from the Birthplace.

"We've learned to rely on Brightline's creativity and vision to ensure that our projects breathe life into history, and tell an interesting story to the visitor at museums like BCM," began Al Hillmann of Hillmann & Carr Inc, adding, "We look forward to working with Brightline again for this project, applying their dynamic technology in an educational space."

Brightline has partnered with Hillmann & Carr on many other museum and visitor center projects, including Sunnylands in Palm Springs and Fort Henry Discovery Centre in Ontario. Brightline Interactive ensures the latest technology and techniques are being utilized by pulling on their experience in the commercial world, including work for the Super Bowl and World Series.

For more information about the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, visit its website,


Gearing Up for Global Game Jam, Brightline Interactive Hosts Unity3D Meetup

Brightline Interactive will host a Meetup of Unity3D users Tuesday, January 21st at 6:30 in the Digital Exchange.

The event will bring together the members of the Meetup group "Washington, DC Unity3D Users," and will include a workshop followed by networking. This event is ideal for those who are interested in learning Unity3D, helping others learn Unity3D, and Unity3D best practices and/or game development. The Meetup group helps members become better Unity3D users and game developers through face-to-face meetings, round tables and lectures. This month's Meetup will be focused on preparing for the Global Game Jam, which will be held January 24-26.

Brightline has recently incorporated Unity into more of its social digital experiences. The gaming development tool was integrated into an experience created for the 2013 World Series, as well as a digital out-of-home interactive experience displayed in the NYC Subway for a major commercial brand.

"We're dramatically increasing our usage of Unity in digital experiences this year because of its rapid development process and vibrant community," stated Jason Powers, Chief Creative Technologist at Brightline Interactive. "Unity's scalability and versatility of integration with external hardware and software fit seamlessly with Brightline's experiences for sporting and entertainment events."

The Meetup will take place at The Digital Exchange, Brightline's studio annex across the street from the office's headquarters in Old Town Alexandria. The location is a 10-minute walk from Braddock Road metro, and ample parking is available on-site. To schedule a visit to see Brightline's recent work on display, email curt(at)brightlineinteractive(dot)com.

Brightline Interactive Announces Collaboration with ClarkPowell Audiovisual Technologies and Systems

Brightline Interactive has teamed up with ClarkPowell to showcase state-of-the-art interactive technology at the Digital Exchange, a demo space in Old Town Alexandria. The audiovisual professionals bring their expertise with interactive digital displays to the experiential agency's office for a collaborative effort between creative and first-class technology.

"Our partnership with ClarkPowell elevates our commitment to being at the forefront of technology," began Erik Muendel, CEO and CCO at Brightline Interactive. "ClarkPowell's knowledge of audiovisual applications adds a new dimension to our high-end experiential offerings, and allows our digital experiences to truly engage the user in new ways."

ClarkPowell and Brightline Interactive have come together to merge the most innovative technologies with effective content to raise the bar of digital experiences on display at the Digital Exchange. ClarkPowell will also be in the area supporting its key vendors during the kick-off of GovComm, to be held December 4th and 5th in Washington, DC.

The Digital Exchange, a studio annex across the street from Brightline's Headquarters, is located at 816 North St. Asaph Street in Old Town Alexandria. The location is a 10-minute walk from Braddock Road metro, and ample parking is available on-site. To schedule a demo, email curt(at)brightlineinteractive(dot)com.

Brightline Interactive CEO and Creative Director Erik Muendel to Speak at Digital Day

Erik Muendel, CEO and Creative Director at Brightline Interactive, will be delivering a presentation on the integration of social media into event technology during the 2013 Digital Day with the Direct Marketing Association of Washington. The day-long conference will be held October 16th at the Gannett Headquarters in McLean, VA. Erik's presentation, titled: "Social Machines: Social Media for Events" will take place at 11 AM.

Social machines are experiences that transform digital actions into tangible results via the use of social media and a physical apparatus that serves to attract users. These experiences are incentivized, so that consumers choosing to, for example, tweet using a specific hashtag crafted by the brand, earn the chance of winning a prize. The tweets sent from the users' phones create a physical action-perhaps blowing air into a balloon, or shooting paint from a gun-until an end result is achieved-the balloon is popped, or a painting is completed. Social machines allow brands to capture user data, and are completely social media-integrated for optimal use at all kinds of events.

The Direct Marketing Association of Washington is the largest regional direct marketing association in the US. DMAW members are end-users, vendors, suppliers, agencies, freelancers, educators, and students, the majority of whom are located in the Washington Metropolitan, Baltimore, and Central Virginia areas.

Erik has extensive speaking experience, and is a well-respected leader in the experiential marketing industry. Though he covers many different topics, Erik is specifically focused on the areas of emerging technologies, integrating digital experiences into on-site activations, and developing attractive, engaging interfaces for seamless user experiences.

Erik's previous speaking appearances include Event Marketing Summit, ad:tech San Francisco, Digital Summit, EVENTtech, ad:tech New York, The Future of Touch and Interactivity, and Ignite DC. Erik is also the founder of the group #DCExperiential.

Brightline Interactive Announces SXSW PanelPicker Submission #socialconcert

A unique and completely interactive experience, Social Concert, presented by Brightline Interactive, is set to debut at SXSW 2014-but not without your help.

The session, titled "The Social Concert: Taking Physical to Digital," will be unlike any other at SXSW presentation: an event featuring live music, technology, and, most importantly, the audience, all unified by social media. Attendees will star in their own music video, integrating the advanced interactive technology of a mobile broadcast studio.

Social Concert works like this: a live band plays well-known songs, ranging from pop to hip hop to country to oldies. Attendees enter the Social Stage and sing along in front of a green screen. Once their piece is recorded, they can share it instantaneously to their networks.

Attendees will learn about incorporating cutting-edge technology into live events via social machines-experiences that take a physical action and turn it into a digital result. Brightline will also have other social machines like the Twitterballoon-when users tweet to a SXSW-specific hashtag, causing air to be blown into a large balloon, which eventually pops and incentivizes the popping tweeter-to engage the audience.

#socialconcert is now available to voting and sharing on SXSW's PanelPicker. The PanelPicker is a two-step online process that allows the SXSW community to have a significant voice in programming during the conference. A crowdsourced application process, PanelPicker's popular vote is 30% of the final decision ensuring #socialconcert will launch during SXSW 2014.

To vote for #socialconcert, click here.

Brightline Interactive Announces Next DC Experiential Meetup Date: July 2nd

Brightline Interactive announces the next DC Experiential Meetup will be held Tuesday, July 2nd at the Digital Exchange at 6:30 PM. This Meetup will feature Hugh Forrest, Director of SXSW Interactive, as well as Tod Plotkin, Founder of What's Next DC.

The focus of this Meetup will be how agencies can land their experiences in front of the largest interactive audiences, on the stages of the largest conferences like SXSW and What's Next in Washington, DC.

"It's an honor that someone as deeply embedded in the interactive industry like Hugh from SXSW Interactive would come in from Austin to see what's going on in the DC experiential world," began Erik Muendel, CEO and Creative Director of Brightline Interactive. "Hard working individuals from the local tech scene like Tod, who ran the extremely successful DC chapter of the What's Next conference, are what put the District on the map, in a world where tech startups are no longer confined to Silicon Valley."

To RSVP for this event, join the DC Experiential Meetup group here.

Hugh will be sharing best practices for submitting session ideas to SXSW Interactive via its infamous PanelPicker. The PanelPicker is a two-step, partially crowdsourced online process that allows the SXSW community to have a significant voice in programming SXSWedu, SXSW Eco and SXSW Interactive, Film, and Music conference activities (presentations, panels, discussions, demonstrations, etc.). The entry process for the 2014 SXSW PanelPicker will begin July 1, so this presentation will be particularly relevant.

Tod, who recently held the What's Next DC Conference, will discuss how experiential agencies can best pitch their ideas, including factors like social engagement, case studies, and lessons learned.

The Digital Exchange is a studio annex across the street from Brightline's Headquarters, at 816 North St. Asaph Street in Old Town Alexandria. The location is a 10-minute walk from Braddock Road metro, and ample parking is available on-site.

Brightline Interactive CEO Erik Muendel to Present at Digital Summit 2013

Erik Muendel, CEO and Creative Director at Brightline Interactive, will be presenting at the Digital Summit in Atlanta, GA on May 14th. He will be part of a panel, titled "Usability and Experience," to be held from 3:20-4:20 PM. Two other experts will be joining Erik on the panel as well.

Keeping up with the latest design standards, toolsets and analytics can be tough, but it's a must to stay ahead of competitors. During "Usability and Experience," leading UX and design experts will share their insights about how to create engaging, effective digital experiences.

"The Digital Summit will bring together some of the best strategists in UX, and I'm honored to share my knowledge of digital experiences and interactives with conference attendees," began Erik, adding, "I'll be sharing best practices to implement in a rapidly-evolving environment - as interfaces become ubiquitous, it's imperative to create designs that are easy to use and intuitive."

Erik's contribution to the panel will be his expertise in creating appealing touch-and sensor-based interfaces that engage the increasingly attention-deficit consumer. Using his extensive background in devising and executing digital experiences for huge clients at the world's largest sporting and entertainment events, Erik will present about crafting attractive, functional, and intuitive user interfaces that are intelligent, responsive, and data-enabled to capture relevant and informative analytics.

Erik has been a national leader in the digital marketing industry for over 17 years. Since founding Brightline Interactive, Erik has provided the creative direction and technical understanding that has established Brightline as a national leader in the digital and experiential marketing space. Erik's leadership and vision cut across platforms - mobile, web, installations, and live events all converge, providing award-winning solutions for clients and brands including 5-hour ENERGY, the National Guard, AT&T, Pepsi and the National Park Service. Erik is an alumnus of James Madison University.