To event professionals, PMSI President Marty Bear isn’t recognizable without his trademark pink or green or yellow or lavender—well, you get the point—outfits. His colorful attire is a marketing tool that’s gone viral in the industry. Connect caught up with Bear to talk about what goes into brightening each meeting he attends.
How did the color phenomenon begin?
I was at my first PCMA event, and it was overwhelming. Nobody knew who I was. Ohio State was playing Florida in the football title game, so my first colored outfit was orange and blue. If someone came up to me and said “Go Gators,” I’d give them free promotional items.
How many colors are in your repertoire now?
I’m up to 14. I just got lavender, lime green and pinstriped.
What’s the most popular color?
Pink seems to be the favorite. I was at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Florida, a while back. I left for a couple of hours, and when I came back, the whole complex was turned into a Susan G. Komen night and I didn’t know it. Everything was pink. I walked in—like Kramer from “Seinfeld”—at the wrong place at the right time. I had 250 pictures taken with people I didn’t know. It was like I was hired by the event for a photo op.
Do you adjust your wardrobe based on the event?
If it’s a conservative event or they are not used to me, I go with the royal blue satin. It’s spunky but not over the top.
Do you ever do a costume change?
Sure. I’ve used eight tuxedos in two days. It was fun walking past the same person I’d seen two hours ago and they’d say, “Weren’t you just in lime green?” People do pay attention. It shows the public relations and branding is strong.