Farmington Hills-based Gail & Rice (G&R) is an established event management firm dating back to 1931, when it was founded by Max Gail, Sr. and later joined by Al Rice. The firm was located in the famed Penobscot building in downtown Detroit.
It is a marketing agency which specializes in corporate events and experiential marketing engagement focused on the overall client and consumer experience.
G&R, which initially focused on major auto companies, has ninety employees and has diversified its client base by leveraging entertainment to present product information creatively in unique formats. This approach would ultimately become known as experiential brand marketing.
Additionally, the agency has returned to its business roots by expanding downtown. After years of out-migration and reflecting an increased a trend of businesses moving downtown, G&R opened a downtown office at the Chrysler House earlier this year.
I recently talked to Mike Rosenau, President, Gail & Rice, a PR veteran who joined G&R in 2013 about business relevancy, its recent expansion downtown and the firm’s vision for the future.
Lee: Gail & Rice has been in existence for 85 years. What have been the keys for its success?
Rosenau: Gail & Rice has continued to experience success due to the agency’s commitment to the success of its customer’s business, a dedication to growth and future of all employees and the relentless pursuit of knowledge and staying relevant in an ever changing industry.
Lee: How has G&R remained relevant with its clients over the years and how have the vision and mission evolved over the last five years, for example?
Rosenau: Relevance comes from continually staying out in front of clients. By understanding the needs of client’s customer and creating programs that will always increase our client’s business, positively engage the consumer and build brand loyalty.
Lee: How have corporate meetings and events changes over the last 10 years, for example?
Rosenau: As with any industry in the 21st, meetings and events change on regular basis. This is especially true with insertion of technology into the live event space. Technology has shortened the gap between the brand and the consumer, and as result of the ability to collect measure data in real time event marketers can no longer force irrelevant ideas into brand with no strategy. Our clients demand a solid strategy with measurable results.
Lee: And how will it continue to evolve over the next five years?
Rosenau: Gail & Rice will continue to evolve its service offerings, continue to hire the best and the brightest in our industry and continue to listen closely to what are customers are saying so the Gail & Rice will always maintain a leadership role both with our clients and industry wide.
Lee: You recently opened an office in Detroit. What drove this decision?
Rosenau: We opened the office in Detroit because the service offerings of this group are part of the Gail & Rice legacy. And since Detroit is where Gail & Rice started we want to have a presence in, and be part of the vibrant culture in downtown Detroit. Detroit is our legacy and our future.
Lee: Thinking ahead, what are strategic priorities to continue to ensure longevity and what are your plans for the Detroit office?
Rosenau: Gail & Rice is committed to continuing to be a solid fixture in the Detroit community. Our goal is to maintain our presence in Detroit so that Gail & Rice can effectively service our existing customers while we continue to forge new relationships with new customers.
Lee: What impact has opening an office had on your business and do you find client perceptions, not only locally, but nationally, improving?
Rosenau: Opening an office is Detroit has had very positive effect on the Gail & Rice business. The location is great and strategically locates the agency so that we can effectively service our clients. We believe client perceptions are continuing to be very favorable towards Detroit. The mobility initiatives in Michigan are very important and Detroit will experience more interest from technology companies to make Detroit part of their network of locations.