Strat Chat | Erin Mills, Strat House Founder & CEO
Welcome to Strat Chat, our Q&A series with marketing & event professionals. We'll talk business and pleasure with the industry's best. Plus get a little personal, Howard Stern-style. Ok, not that personal. For our inaugural edition, we sat down with Strat House Founder & CEO, Erin Mills.
Why did you decide to start your own company?
It's something that I've always wanted to do, when the timing was right. I always try to listen to my gut and it was telling me NOW. An unavoidable pang saying "do it!" and also saying "PS just ignore the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression."
How did you know you were ready for such a move?
I have been so blessed with a career that has allowed significant self discovery. Working in an agency setting for more than a decade exposed me to many different types of clients and afforded me expertise in many verticals. Tactically, I was able to produce so many different campaigns and events, including product launches, stunts, media moments, tune-in initiatives, conferences, trade shows and more. In doing so, I became incredibly passionate about b-to-b marketing & events and learned that my favorite aspects of this work are the strategic and creative ones. I think everyone comes to a point in their career when they identify and become comfortable with what they're good at and what they're not so good at. It's wonderful to embrace that. Not everyone get's that chance. For me, Strat House is an opportunity to try to build something where I can spend the majority of my time doing what I love.
What does Strat House do?
Ok, let's break it down. You have a business objective. Objectives are met through events, campaigns, programs - basically a plan, right? We help you map out that that plan. We figure out who you need to engage and how - and differently! Once your audience is assessed and your vision, clarified, we create the experience. What are you doing? What does it look like? How does it feel? What's the best medium? And most importantly, what actions will this plan inspire? Once we answer these questions, we design and produce the creative and content necessary to implement.
What types of experiences do you create at Strat House?
Internal events like company meetings, SKO and GKO events, team building, training programs, learning & development campaigns. External-facing programs such as user and industry conferences, trade show experiences, customer acquisition and retention strategies.
Which clients excite you the most?
Any company experiencing challenges excites me, because nearly every problem can be solved with fresh perspective and creativity.
How do you define success for Strat House - and yourself?
Happy clients, meaningful work, purposeful decisions - ideally the culmination of which helps me be the best version of myself for my family.
Now for the personal questions...where did you grow up?
In a small town in Wisconsin called Sun Prairie. Punxsutawney has nothing on us. And if you still aren't convinced, then check out our annual corn festival,
Where did you go to school?
I completed my undergrad at the University of Wisconsin and received a meetings & events certification through NYU.
What's your family life like?
Full in every sense of the word. My husband and I have twins who are three and a five year old. They are wonderful and BUSY!
What are you currently reading?
How's this for a great segue... The Danish Way of Parenting.
What is your favorite food?
The Golden Girls.
Listicle. It's also one of my favorite ways to deliver content.
Too many! Poshmark, Etsy, eBay, thredUP, Amazon. Basically anywhere that accepts my credit card.
Lastly, any sage advice for the remainder of 2020?
Just keep going!
Stay tuned for more Q&As via Strat Chat!