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XLIVE Interview Series

XLIVE Interview Series - Craig Furst - AAA Flag & Banner

This week on the XLIVE Interview Series, we sat down with Craig Furst, President at AAA Flag & Banner. AAA provides signage for live events of all shapes and sizes and helps transform venues into immersive experiences. We spoke to Craig about AAA, some of the craziest signage they’ve put together, and they’re involvement at the XLIVE Esports Summit coming up in June of 2019.

Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today, Craig.  For those who don’t know, can you give us a brief overview of AAA Flag & Banner, your organization's mission, and explain how you service the live event space?

AAA has grown to be a force in the event space by providing innovative and fresh ideas with graphics and decor that spans from analog to digital.  We strive to create a sense of arrival and destination through graphics and decor that take an ordinary space and transforms it in to an extraordinary environment.  Whether you are throwing a world class music festival in the middle of the desert, hosting an e-games championship, taking a baseball stadium to create an NHL hockey rink, or launching a new product at a corporate event, our team makes it happen!  With a talented design studio, expert advisors to listen to your vision and share the latest ideas around your vision, project managers and in-house installation crews, we consistently deliver excellence.  We produce grand format textile, adhesive, vinyl, boards, 3-D graphics, life size letters, LED graphic displays, hardware display systems, along with custom fabrication.  And then best-in-class installation and dismantle.

Are there events which you work with most, or which are a best fit for AAA’s products and services?

We’ve worked with a diversified group of clients in all types of industries and event sizes. We work with professional sporting teams, directly with the leagues (NHL, NFL, MLB, MLS, etc.) music festivals, e-sports producers, corporate events, entertainment and special events as our forte.  That said, Disney is one of our largest clients. A high-profile event we just completed was the Beyoncé and Adidas collaboration launch at Coachella.  

What was the craziest or most intensive project you’ve ever take on at AAA Flag?

Oh boy, it feels like each month we go from one all-star program to the next. From the MTV Awards to Major League All-Star Games, we see a lot.  To directly answer your question, I will go back to the Beyoncé activation we just completed.  We were asked with less than two weeks before doors open at Coachella to help create a “bee hive” for Beyoncé on the adjacent polo grounds along with a pyramid for another part of the event.  I was certain this was pressing every realistic envelope of reality by asking for something that would require countless hours of production and fabrication without any room for errors.  In the middle of the desert, we know this is near impossible.  Our team rallied and worked around the clock until the curtain raised… and it took every last minute we had, but the result was perfection!

What make this job the most rewarding is collaborating with our clients to help them achieve their goals. We’ve been working with Survious Virtual Reality Arcade to help them create an immersive environment for their customers. We’ve recently completed a project at The LINQ Hotel in Las Vegas. We had to work around the clock to not disrupt the Las Vegas Strip Casino lifestyle. We successfully created open structures to allow complete interaction and engagement so an audience of people can watch someone’s VR experience. I love intertwining and mixing different visual mediums and mixing the old and new technologies to make something amazing with our clients. 

You will be joining the XLIVE team at the upcoming XLIVE Esports Summit, June 25-27 in Los Angeles.  What can you tell our readers about your involvement at the event, and what they can expect to see on site?

We are looking forward to the upcoming XLIVE Esports event in Los Angeles as this is our headquarters.  We will have several team members onsite to engage and learn more about your special projects and events.  We will have some examples of work we have done for the Riot Games, League of Legends, along with some great graphic and hardware displays.

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You guys have been around for over 45 years.  That’s incredible!  It’s no easy feat sustaining that type of longevity in business, in any industry. How have you been able to adapt and evolve, and what were some of largest challenges along the journey?

I think we are good at listening to our clients and keeping a keen eye on emerging technology, hardware, and keeping a culture of bringing creative ideas forward.  We constantly try to innovate through research and development of creating unique ideas and the ability to execute them.  We have seen our industry change from hand painting, to screen printing, then digital printing… and now digital screens.  We need to keep agile and aggressive to maintain our relevance, which we have been lucky at thus far.  

At the XLIVE Annual Conference in 2018, we heard about a rebrand to A3 Graphics.  What’s next for the company and for A3 Graphics?

Ha… A3!  Yes.  Well if you remember, it was BREAKING NEWS and a surprise announcement, albeit a bit premature.  We are indeed in the midst of a rebrand.  With locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, it is a challenging coordination of events that require a bit more work than we anticipated.  We are planning to launch our new brand by years end.

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How can people get in touch with you and with AAA Flag & Banner to learn more?

Please visit us at www.aaaflag.com and follow us on social media @aaaflag. You can also reach out directly to Jordan Schwartz at (310) 736-5364 to learn more information.

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