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26 Jun 2018

Interview | Lightbox CEO, Daphné Jouanneteau

We caught up with the leader behind Lightbox, Daphné Jouanneteau, to discuss our mission, what to look out for next, and more…

Lightbox: Tell us the story behind the creation of Lightbox:

Daphné Jouanneteau: Lightbox started about 6 years ago when we converted an old garage in Midtown. At that time, the term ‘experiential’ marketing barely existed, and it wasn’t necessarily a hot topic like it is today. When we started out, we simply had an idea that having a space equipped to deliver art and technology experiences was a very cool way to inspire and create intriguing new approaches to engage people. And we were right! Little did we know we were embarking on a journey that would take off in such a big way or lead to bigger opportunities from a business perspective…

LB: What does your average day look like at Lightbox? 

DJ: I would say there is no average day at Lightbox 😉 In the events world, there are always new and exciting things on the horizon in building a really unique and creative experience for our clients. So every day can be drastically different based on what client events we are building out in our pipeline.

But, with the opening of our new space in September, my focus lately has been on improving our processes to ensure the most turnkey planning between my team and our clients, which is crucial for our intention to grow and scale. I also spend a lot of my time meeting with clients, showing the space and attending conferences relevant to the digital, creative and experiential world. We’ve also been doing a big push on our marketing strategy, which I’m super excited about!

LB: What is the most promising aspect about pushing forward the Lightbox mission?

DJ: I think the fact that technology is constantly evolving and we have a platform to be able to support that is truly incredible. The world isn’t short of talent, and if we continue to focus on showcasing that talent and bringing the most unique experiences to strong influencers such as brands, then our mission is going to continue to be impactful.

Now that we have a proof of concept and a repeatable process, we are in a strong position to bring this concept to other markets, which we have begun to do with select clients that wish to create a multi-city, turnkey experience, and we are working on  building that offering in the near term.

LB: What is the selection process behind the Lab Artists?

DJ: Currently, my Tech Wizard (as we like to call him) and I select the Lab Artists for the residence program.  We receive a significant amount of applications for a variety of types of works. As we grow, I imagine building a reputable, curatorial panel (consisting of artists, technologists, influencers) to help select future Lab Artists. This past season, we really enjoyed having very two different worlds showcased in the space.  In this previous Lab experience, the main space was activated by Barak Chamo, which was very futuristic and space-age inspired. In contrast, Jillian Barkley’s interactive installation of nature play and technology, I found to be very captivating and powerful. Both of the artists really complemented each other nicely.

LB: What is your favorite Lightbox achievement to date?

DJ: Man oh man!  There are quite a few. If I were to go down memory lane, I think our very first client event we hosted 5 years ago was a big achievement.  It was the launch of ‘Draw Something 2’ with Zynga, who was really big at the time. To have such a high profile brand as our first client was a really big deal and a huge accomplishment.

Fast forward, I would say opening the doors of our second space on 37th Street has been even more of an accomplishment I’m proud of.  Construction and build outs can be so painful and long at times, but the final result is always worth it. It really made me realize how much we had achieved so far and what happens when amazing, talented people work together on something they believe in.