• Meet Sarah Neukom and Matt Woodburn, co-founders, ESP Presents

     
    POSTED November 15, 2019
     

Passionate entrepreneurs and ESP Presents co-founders Matt Woodburn and Sarah Neukom collaborate to craft experiential events. 

ILM+E: What are your backgrounds in the industry and how did you come to establish your production firm?

MW: I opened a recording studio with a friend, which became a kind of production house. We started to explore experiential marketing creating an event for a liquor brand where we could incorporate music, DJs, sound, lights, video—all of the things I love. After that, I was hooked.

SN: I started working with campus events in college, but my first job out of school was in nonprofit fundraising at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where I planned large internal fundraising events and became very cause-driven knowing I could create experiences that could make an impact.

MW: We love creating experiences for people, so the path to launching ESP Presents was a natural one. We’re event producers at heart. 

SN: Event producers with a love of hospitality! 

ILM+E: As designers of experiential events, how do you stay inspired and keep your creativity flowing?

SN: We really work to become an extension of our clients, try to learn everything we can about their cause or the objective at hand and we always find inspiration in those core goals. 

MW: Deep diving into those goals takes us on our own little journey and through that process of discovery we’re able to brainstorm fresh and exciting ideas. 

ILM+E: In just a few years, ESP Presents already has some impressive events under its belt. What have been some of the most memorable? 

SN: This is our fifth year running The Kennedy Forum. We’ve been with the event from the simple idea of a half-day summit and have built it from the ground up. Through some amazing connections and relationships it’s become a national event focused around support of mental health equity. 

MW: We’ve also produced the After Dark at the Modern Wing event series for years. From the first event, which included musicians, performance artists and video projection of classic, iconic pieces of art that had been animated on a massive blank canvas, we’ve worked hard to make sure each event feels completely new and different.

ILM+E: What are your plans for the future of ESP?

MW: We’d love to work more with the fashion industry. The amount of creativity encouraged in the industry makes for an exciting challenge. 

SN: And big picture, we’d like to keep growing to help us support those purpose-driven brands and organizations that inspire us. We’re also developing additional verticals like ESP Cares, which will help clients reach their fundraising goals, and we’ve opened a new event space (read more on page 13). Ultimately, we’re always on the lookout for new opportunities, ways to support groups that we’re excited to be involved with and create new experiences. 

Get Connected
ESP Presents 

esppresents.com | hello@esppresents.com

Texas is bursting with history.  Ever  wonder how the authenticity and legacy of those landmarks are maintained and upheld for everyone to enjoy? It’s thanks to individuals like Pamela Jary Rosser, Alamo conservator. A ninth generation Texan, Rosser was born in San Antonio and has a degree in fine arts and art history. She studied conservation in Italy with a team that worked on the Sistine Chapel, as well as Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose. Rosser was kind enough to share her passion for history with us.

 

For Chicago-based event planner and stylist Rachel De Marte, her bright, dynamic personality isn’t just one of her many amiable characteristics. It’s her calling card.

“I’m a big personality and a maximalist through and through. There’s definitely an energy and excitement level I bring to each event that you’ll start to grasp as we sit down together to brainstorm,” says De Marte. “‘Where does she get all of this energy?’ and ‘force of nature’ are things I hear all the time,” she laughs.

 

CAM+E: What’s a typical working day like for you?