GOLD Winners - Stevie Award 2016

Iris Blu Ltd. - Company of the Year

Company: Iris Blu Ltd. , Toronto, ON, Canada
Company Description: IRIS BLU is a full service experiential and event marketing agency. We offer the industry a relationship-focused service which centers on agency to client and agency to staff partnerships. We have developed well over 5600 experienced, trained and professional event staff across Canada. From concept to execution, corporate event design and planning, IRIS BLU offers a one stop shop.

IRIS BLU is a female owned business that began in late 2010. IRIS BLU is a full service experiential and event marketing agency. We offer the industry a relationship-focused service which centers on agency to client and agency to staff partnerships. This relationship focus was a much needed factor in successful event marketing and IRIS BLU has found a niche by excelling in building positive relationships with staff and clients. We have developed well over 5600 experienced, trained and professional event staff across Canada. As the needs of our clients changed, so did the services we offered. We have a dynamic relationship with all our clients, vendors and contractors who work for us. We continue to provide staffing not only to our clients, their events and programs, but we also provide support to many other marketing agencies across the country.

Today, IRIS BLU offers full experiential marketing, from concept to execution, corporate event design and planning and of course staffing. Our last year has certainly been the most exciting for us. We went from working remotely to being in a creative office downtown Toronto. Our workforce has gone from one employee to 6 and our sales went from $400,000 to $1,500 000 in under 12 months. The most impactful achievement was acquiring Loblaw Companies Limited as a client. Through a referral from JOE FRESH, we were presented with the opportunity to revamp and develop the Click & Collect program across the country at select Loblaws, Zehrs and Real Canadian Superstore locations. Our proposal included the execution of an integrated, experiential marketing campaign which focused on in-store activation, print & digital engagement, e-mail marketing and data.

By developing and implementing a custom back-end integration, email addresses captured on the floor were immediately sync’d to the Loblaws CRM system providing their internal marketing resources with a steady flow of valuable subscribers and leads throughout the campaign. In its first quarter, the campaign generated over five times the number of sign-ups than Loblaws had originally hoped to achieve.

We attribute this success to our strong foundation in staffing and the hard work and dedication of the small team of account managers and coordinators. There was no question this would be a game changer for our business, and everyone came together to make it amazing. Today we have launched in more than 75 stores and anticipate up to 150 by next year. This past summer we developed the service into a full summer special event campaign landing us at various festivals and most recently the Stampede.

Another exciting achievement was being asked to put on a major festival at Yonge/Dundas which is the busiest intersection in all of Canada. It was for St. Louis Bar & Grill to promote their Wingsanity event. The festival generated brand awareness, boost in sales and brought a local celebrity to participate.

By June 2017, we are anticipating our revenue to exceed 2.5-3 million in sales. We have been on an incredible growth trajectory and have no plans in sight of slowing down!

Rachel Bowman and Anissa Holmes came together in 2010 with a dream of bringing relationships back to the marketing and staffing industry. Rachel’s commitment to her clients, which centers on authentic and supportive relationships, makes working with her a stress-free and positive experience. Her enthusiasm for creating better-than-expected results keeps her, and the team at Iris Blu, in demand.

Anissa Holmes brings an impressive mix of creativity and strong business experience to the team. Anissa has cultivated a strong business background in B2B and client relationship management. Her dedication to cultivating her own business strengths and supporting other female entrepreneurs to do the same paired with her drive to exceed every client’s expectations makes her a powerful source growth and innovation for her clients.

Anissa Holmes