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2022 Connect x BizBash 40 Under 40: Simon Miller

Simon Miller, 37, is the founder and creative director of Brand Activation Services.

Simon Miller

Simon Miller, 37, is the founder and creative director of Brand Activation Services (BAS). He's based in Plainview, N.Y.

What I do:
As founder and creative director at BAS, I have the privilege of working side by side with our brand and agency clients as well as our world-class production team to develop innovative experiences for consumers. In my role, I’m able to leverage my multidisciplinary experience in multimedia and graphic design, photography, print and fabrication to provide a holistic approach to our experiential projects, in many cases serving as both creative agency and production company for our clients. 

Why I love my job:
I’m thankful to get to work creatively on a variety of projects across many different industries. No two days are alike. The icing on the cake is the relationships I’ve built with my team and clients over the years, who’ve become friends. It’s nice to love what you do, and enjoy the people you do it with.

My career journey: 
I started my career as a touring drummer while still in school at Hofstra University for marketing and entrepreneurship. I was introduced to playing at live events and got a firsthand look at how dynamic the industry is. This inspired me to start an event production company fresh out of college back in 2010, initially producing private events, but with the intent to one day work with well-known brands. Twelve years later, my company BAS is proud to work with some of the most recognized brands in broadcast media, professional sports and retail.

My greatest career accomplishment:
BizBash's list of Most Innovative People in Events 2020. Also, I've designed and produced experiences for top sporting events including multiple Super Bowls, World Series, NBA All Star Games and more, and helped usher in the era of experiential upfronts with clients like Univision, AT&T, Screenvision, Meredith and more.

How I helped my organization during COVID:
COVID was tough for our team, like it was for most companies in our industry. We got small and scrappy and leveraged our remaining resources to pivot in different ways. We created a customizable branded sanitizer station called the Sanibar that offered multiple scents of sanitizer in one kiosk, making it an amenity that could be tailored to match different themes. The Sanibar became a popular touchless and staffless activation that could be used in high-traffic areas to promote brands and products. 

My most memorable event experience in the past year:
We recently had a bucket list opportunity to produce multiple projects for Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. We designed and executed Nike’s retail store at the NFL Experience, which took place at the LA Convention Center for the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. A week later we produced the brand moments and experiences for the star-studded Fanatics Super Bowl Party that took place in Culver City.

Best advice I’ve ever received:
One of my close friends and mentors in the industry has given some great advice as I’ve dealt with growing pains over the years. He explained that as the company grows and faces new challenges, it requires new team members to bring a deeper level of experience and talent to the company. This also means facing the harsh reality that not everyone who starts out with the company will be able to rise to the occasion as we continue to grow—making for tough decisions, but ones that are ultimately in the best interest of the company. 

What’s next? 
We’re seeing a lot of growth in the visual merchandising end of our business. Our clients rely heavily on our experiential background to bring a fresh perspective to their displays and immersive retail spaces. We’re enjoying working on VM projects that tie in with larger-scale experiential projects that we’re working on for clients like Nike, Fanatics and Marc Jacobs.

What I do outside of work: 
My wife and I both have fairly fast-paced careers, albeit on opposite ends of the spectrum; she’s an OB-GYN. When our schedules finally align we take the opportunity to hang with our puppy, June, by the bonfire and slow things down a bit. We’re also expecting a baby girl in May, so that is sure to make for an interesting year.

Favorite icebreaker line:
My go-to line is “where are you based?” It opens up fun conversations about local hotspots, food and people I might know in the area, and gives them a chance to talk about themselves a bit.

Connect with Miller on LinkedIn.

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“Connect x BizBash 40 Under 40” is sponsored by VDA, an experiential marketing and event design agency based in Massachusetts that specializes in custom live, virtual and hybrid experiences.