As one of the premier production companies in the meeting/events & show industry, we have earned a reputation as a high quality full-service resource for meeting & event planners worldwide. The 180 Group provides innovative, top-quality ideas, people & equipment to support meetings, conventions, and special events.
Our creative design, presentation services, and on-site technical support are the heart of national and international events of all sizes. Our tools include the latest high-quality people, video, audio, lighting, as well as high quality computer presentation and design technologies.
The 180 Group has a strong foundation built upon close client relationships, personal service and value. We pair the right talent with the right technology for every event, to ensure our clients receive reliable, creative, and cost-effective results.
We hope to have the opportunity to show you what we can do, and prove our value at your next meeting or event.
"The 180 Group is a major part of who I am, and serving my clients well is what makes it, and myself, successful."
President & CEO
"This is more than a business to us, it's our way of life. When you love what you do it shows, and man do we love it!"
"I enjoy being part of a team that allows me to tap into both my analytical & creative skills. #worklifeandbalance"
"The opportunity to be creative and working with people to bring their ideas to life has been the best experience of my professional career."
Creative Director and Project Manager
I believe the love for what you do is reflected in what you achieve, and oh do I love what I do!
The live aspect of my job keeps the blood pumping and my heart racing. From small meetings and events to large ones, when it comes time for doors to open I’m like a little kid on their birthday. Seeing and hearing the audiences reaction to the collaboration of everyone’s efforts is the greatest reward I can think of and keeps me passionate each and every day.
I have been in the production and audio/visual industry for over 30 years, working for companies large and small, including a major corporation. In 1996, I used my 15 years of hands-on industry experience and corporate production insight to launch The 180 Group, a production company I tailored to serve the industries unmet needs. The 180 Group’s mission, Flawless Execution, is all about matching the right equipment and staff to the unique needs of each meeting/event, which seems like a simple concept that many in the industry profess, but the difference is: we don’t just say it; we do it.
To this day, starting 180 has been the greatest decision of my life, and our continued dedication to serving our clients’ ever changing needs, using the latest technologies and creative solutions, is what keeps me just as excited today as I was 19 years ago.
As a hands-on owner I am personally involved with each of our clients' events. The 180 Group is a major part of who I am, and serving my clients personally and individually is what makes it, and myself, successful.
I have been in production as far back as I can remember. Growing up, my dad (Howard Spiess Sr. - Owner of 180) always had the latest gadgets to play with. I always thought it was so cool!
To this day my passion remains with production and technology. It was engrained in my psyche during those days when dad would give slide shows (actual photo slides) at family get-togethers, which impressed and awed one and all. Now, today, we produce High Definition shows and use cutting edge technology like 3D-Projection mapping and live holographic images that impress everyone just the same.
I have been in the production and audio/visual industry for over 15 years. I started in 1996, during my high school years when The 180 Group opened its doors, doing part-time grunt work, wrapping cables and hanging drape, learning about the industry hands-on. I continued to work for the company during college, traveling to shows during the summer months and learning about audio, video and lighting control.
After college, where I studied business and visual communication, I decided this wasn't just a part-time gig for me. I said to myself, "This is what I want to do for a living." I started working full time for The 180 Group in 2005, and my passion is just as strong today as it was then. I am so incredibly lucky to do what I love!
Eleven years of full-time work later, I am proud of what The 180 Group has accomplished and am constantly pushing myself to improve, and pushing the business along with it. As a family business, this is not just a job for me; it is my life. I live, breath, and think production. No joke! Just ask my wife!
"This is more than a business to us, it's our way of life; it's our passion. When you love what you do it shows, and we love what we do."
Technology has always been a hobby and passion of mine. From early on I found myself tinkering around and building computers. Technology is always changing and there is always something new to learn from it which is why I find it so fascinating. On the road or at home I find myself doing research to better understand how we can integrate the newest and best devices to improve our clients shows.
It’s exciting to see a concept turn into an executable production. To work with clients and produce something we imagined. After all the long days of planning the final moment comes and all the pieces come together; we get to experience the reactions from the attendees and clients. This has to be one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job.
Hold the “fort” when the team hits the ground running is a primary base of what I do at 180. This industry requires the team to be out of the office often and on-site executing successful shows…while back at HQ, I tackle office logistics that support seem-less operations for the company. Aside from business operations, being part of this team affords me to tap into my creative persona as well. Leaving me fresh and fulfilled as a contributor to the company for 17 years and counting.
I stage managed my first show at 15 for a high school theatre production. It quickly became clear that I couldn’t see myself doing anything other than production. I started working professionally at 16 and decided that I needed to widen my skillset and broaden my perspective.
I attended the College of St. Benedict’s/ St. John’s University majoring in technical theatre and psychology where I jumped into lighting, audio, costume design and construction, and production management. Since then I have continued to build my resume and my skills through my community and even abroad.
I am so excited to join the 180 Group team!
I began a passion for speaking in public over 20 years ago when I joined my high school speech team. I continued with my college team where I became a national champion speaker, setting the stage for an extensive career in public performance.
Before joining The 180 Group I was a faculty member, Director of the Speech Team, and Director of Events at Northwestern University for eleven years. I’ve also been a private consultant to countless professionals searching for public speaking expertise. I’m a world traveler having been invited to speak at numerous public speaking institutes. My longest trip was over thirty hours and I’ve had incredible experiences along the way.
I’ve directed over 150 events including being the founder and Director of the National Speech Championship. I’m excited about hitting the ground running with The 180 Group.