I love hearing stories about the early days of Meeting Tomorrow. It all started in 2003, when Meeting Tomorrow’s founder, Mark Aistrope, had the idea to rent projectors through the mail. The small team he built in Chicago was scrappy, creative, and had big dreams. At one point, they were called “The Netflix of Projectors,” as Netflix had just made people’s lives easier and changed the entertainment game forever. We wanted to do the same for our event customers.
Turns out our customers needed much more than projectors. Over the years, we expanded our services to meet their needs. That included entering early into the rental products space, tackling satellite broadcasting, and building a national network of technicians. By 2020, we’d grown to be a nationwide event production and rental company servicing thousands of events every year.
But our story wouldn’t be complete without its most recent chapter. COVID-19 brought the biggest challenge yet for us, our customers, and our community. At our core, our business is about bringing people together and up until March of 2020, that was primarily done in-person and face-to-face. Safety became the priority during the pandemic which caused people to stop traveling and gathering in-person.
Fortunately, responding to our customer’s changing needs is in our DNA. Our team stayed smart, flexible, and nimble, and we quickly helped our clients transition to bringing people together through successful virtual events. We also identified an opportunity to leverage our strength in logistics and equipment to help companies and schools as they shifted to working and learning from home. We did this by listening closely to customers’ struggles, and leveraging our combined experience to meet their needs and gain their trust.
“Responding to our customer’s changing needs is in our DNA.”
We decided to retain our whole team despite the uncertain outlook early on in the pandemic. We made this decision because it was a time of unprecedented change for our customers, and we believed that our team was critical to be able to quickly identify and respond to these evolving needs.
It was during this time that I started my journey at Meeting Tomorrow. Our people, values, and culture are what attracted me when I initially started as a consultant, and I made the decision to join full time after seeing how clearly we prioritize doing right by our team, our customers, and our community in the decision making process. After many conversations with Mark and our leadership team, I began my role as CEO in June of 2021, and couldn’t be more proud of the challenges our team has met so far, and where we’re headed next.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the challenges our team has met so far, and where we’re headed next.”
Today, we plan and produce events of all sizes and formats, and continue to rent the equipment our customers need to bring their vision to life. Our experience over the last several years has proven that the best way to serve our market is by attracting and retaining a team and then listening and responding quickly to our customers’ ever-changing needs. This growth mindset has been at the heart of our people and business for the past 18 years, and will remain our focus moving forward.
No matter how we grow and evolve heading into the future, we’ll always be here to bring people together. And our values of staying kind, committed, and humble will continue to guide us through all we do.
Upwards and Onwards,
CEO, Meeting Tomorrow