MDC's Relevent names Claire Annas Keaveney first president

The experiential agency works with the likes of Royal Caribbean and Sheraton Hotels.

MDC Partners’ Relevent has promoted Claire Annas Keaveney to president, a new role for the event and experiential shop.

Annas Keaveney, most recently VP of accounts, has been at the agency for nine years. As president, she will handle day-to-day operations and work closely with CEO Tony Berger, who will now be able to work more directly with clients on experiential strategy and long-term brand experience planning.

"It’s an exciting time for experiential, with high demand from clients and growing expectations from consumers about what a brand experience can be. For us, that’s meant substantial growth," said Annas Keaveney. "Creating the first president role in our history was reflective of that growth, and the agency’s evolution to serve clients’ expanding needs."

One of Annas Keaveney’s first objectives is to hire more staffers, she said, adding that she wants to streamline the agency’s onboarding process to help new employees from different parts of the marketing world get up to speed on experiential.

Relevent, according to Annas Keaveney, differentiates itself from other experiential shops by grounding itself in strategy and "attacking clients’ business problems first through research, understanding their brand and consumers, and where real-world experiences can make an impact in ways that can be leveraged in other channels."

Right now, she said there’s a boom in "Instagram-friendly everything" when it comes to events and activations. Pop-up shops are also making a comeback.

As the first president of Relevent - and a female leader - Annas Keaveney has some advice for young women today: "Know your worth and be your own advocate. And know that it’s not always going to be easy.  We’re in the marketing business, which is about doing and selling.  Do great things and don’t be shy about promoting your achievements."

She added: "In an earlier career, I felt undervalued and un-stimulated. I went on countless interviews only to be told repeatedly I didn’t have enough experience. At the time, I thought to myself, ‘How am I supposed to get more experience if no one gives me a shot?’ I could’ve been defeated by that, but it only inspired me to try even harder."

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