AniMates

A Breakthrough in Franchise Audience Engagement

AniMates, created by Live Spark, are real-time, computer-generated characters that interact live at your event to provide an engaging experience unlike any your audience has seen. They are a memorable, unique, and beloved by franchise audiences around the world. Their role as a co-emcee creates an event that is incredibly powerful, and effective. They use humor and tailored messaging to: 

  • Promote the franchise 
  • Help build bonds between the franchisor and the franchisee 
  • Unite audience members 
  • Keep the audience engaged, focused, and entertained 
  • Dramatically increase buy-in.  

AniMates are a customized solution; they can be a mascot, a franchise member, a product, an animated logo, etc. Live Spark will work with you to develop a custom character and script to make your message more engaging, persuasive and memorable. They are versatile and can be used in within any event as well as in pre- and post event videos.  

Be sure to see how AniMates come to life in the case studies below! 

Click here for sample client list

Speaker Bio

Award-winning AniMates came onto the event scene in 1995–just as computer technology first enabled real time animation. The idea was simple: create computer-generated characters that could interact live to engage an audience.  

AniMates are controlled completely behind the stage.  A skilled technician manipulates the character in real-time using a variety of control devices. A scripted performer (with improv ability for on-the-fly reactions) has a view of the room from a hidden camera feed. The character is able to respond to the audience, point people out in the crowd, and engage in friendly banter. 

In the past 20 years AniMates have appeared in thousands of venues all around the world. AniMate technology has evolved to provide increasingly more sophisticated characters—but the principle of engaging the audience and furthering the message remains the same. 

Live Spark AniMates were the FIRST real-time characters to appear on a children’s TV show, they have won an Emmy award, they have been featured on various national television programs, and have been written up in New York Times, USA Today, The Huffington Post, and more.

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Travels From: Minneapolis, MN

  Fee Range: Starts at $19,500

Program Information

Situation:  

A gym franchise needed a way to celebrate a big anniversary milestone with their franchisees, reinforce their brand message, and communicate the collective pride of being part of such a storied franchise. Knowing their audience had limited attention spans, they wanted something fun and memorable.  

Solution:  

We created an AniMated character based on the spirit of the original founders. This mascot had all the knowledge of the franchise from the very beginning—plus insights into what they could expect into the future. In addition to emceeing, he also hosted a game show retrospective—inviting members of the audience to compete for their own teams throughout the event.  

Result:  

A highly engaging, extremely fun experience that communicated the franchise history while capitalizing on friendly competition. 

Situation:  

This HVAC/Plumbing franchise system wanted to get all their independent dealers/business owners together to have business-critical sales training. They needed to convey a lot of information over three days, but present it in a way that overcame objections to changing individualized processes for one system of selling.  

Solution:  

We created an AniMated character to emcee and interact during the training who was one of the audience—an independent dealer. He knew all the inside information, how it was for the people in the audience, and why they were resistant to change. He was able to ask the tough questions on their minds and help the trainers make the case for the new training.  

Result:  

The audience had full participation throughout the event, and increased buy-in. They could see how the training would benefit them, and at the same time felt like their objections were known, heard, and acknowledged. 

Situation:  

This event company has long held a showcase for cutting-edge meeting and event technology for its network of independent event planners. During a recent show, they were spotlighting how to use Twitter within a meeting, as it was becoming a huge trend. Of course, this couldn’t be done in a normal PowerPoint-present style way. 

Solution:  

The company emcee, and her co-host Eddie the Eagle used Twitter on stage to highlight how to use the technology. She communicated some of the confusion and concern that a lot of meeting planners were having at the time, while Eddie (being a bird and thus knowing about Tweeting) came to her aid. 
 
Together, they explained things like hashtags, trends, handles and how to use live Twitter feeds at events. Eddie even demonstrated some of his Tweets, displaying them in a real-time scroll. 

Results:  

The emcee and Eddie addressed the topic with humor, charm and a little self-effacement. They were able to demonstrate the technology in a way that made the audience laugh, and overcome some of its initial misgivings and objections.

Situation:  

This collection of independent eye care professionals hosts an event every year, showcasing premiere vendors. In the past, the general sessions had been long and the engagement level varied widely between vendors. They needed to add engagement throughout and find a way to keep the presentations running on time.  

Solution:  

We developed an AniMated mascot—a parrot to fit the theme of their event—to run things on stage. He was responsible for adding humor and engagement, but also kicking off vendors (gently) who had gone over their time.  

Result:  

The audience universally loved the mascot, the general session ran smoothly, and the parrot has since been asked to return for his SEVENTH year to host again.

Situation:  

A financial software company was holding a conference for their clients. Neighthan the horse was co-hosting. The first year the opening had introduced Neighthan, but for the second year the client wanted a “bigger” opening. Without budget for a video or other large production we had to come up with a solution that wowed—but utilized the tools at our disposal. 

Solution:  

Neighthan and co-host welcomed the audience back in style with a musical opening number. Since both the actor playing Neighthan and the co-host could sing, we decided to utilize their strengths and wrote a parody musical number: “I Got You…Neigh” (instead of Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe”).  

The number was both humorous and it highlighted what the attendees could expect from the next few days.  

Results:  

The audience and client got their “big” opening that set the tone of the event. The opening number made it clear that they should expect great things, and that the event was also going to be a lot of fun.

Situation:  

It’s not easy keeping retail district managers engaged in product knowledge for 45 minutes straight—especially if said audience has been rotating through similar workshops all day. A major technology company wanted a way to communicate key initiatives—and to truly captivate their audience. 

Solution: 1. Audience-Response Game Show:  

We divided the audience into teams and gave them each their own audience-response keypad. Using this keypad, they played along and supported their on-stage colleagues.  
 
The game reinforced the content, and the event was structured so that additional information from Intel experts was placed at key moments of peak attention within the game. 

Solution: 2. AniMate:  

We created an AniMate tasked with emceeing the event and hosting the game. The character was an avatar on the company’s retail website. 

Results: 

  • Audience remained engaged during the entire presentation 
  • Key messages were reinforced multiple times throughout presentation 
  • The buzz created by the workshops lasted long after the event was over

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Speaker Resources

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Sample Client List

  • Dairy Queen
  • Gold’s Gym
  • Marriott
  • Motel 6
  • Nexstar
  • Vision Source
  • Wendy’s
  • and dozens of others