Noteworthy: Experiential marketing agency

Founded: 2003

Headquarters: Minneapolis

Employees: 32 (down from 49 pre-pandemic)

As an experiential marketing agency, NParallel was known for designing and building trade shows, pop-up businesses, retail experiences, and brand environments. That is, until the pandemic hit, bringing business to a screeching halt. To survive, the firm started making and marketing gear it could sell during a global pandemic: acrylic barriers, desk protectors, personal protective equipment, communication signage, and business and school reopening toolkits.

In less than a month, NParallel launched a fully operational e-commerce site featuring its new products. The agency ended 2020 with revenue down 30 to 40 percent, but had it not been for the company’s quick switch, NParallel wouldn’t have made it through the year at all, says president and co-founder
Megan Diamond.

“In order to support our team, keep our business afloat, and come alongside our community, we knew we needed to come up with a product that would be beneficial during a pandemic,” says Diamond, whose business is approaching its 20th year. Her team thought about new applications for the firm’s manufacturing equipment. “Our 100,000-square-foot warehouse is home to endless manufacturing machines that typically create brand experiences,” she says. “We knew we could utilize our facility to fabricate custom PPE and graphics to help organizations through the pandemic.”

The innovating continues: NParallel is rolling out “vaccine administration structures”—custom-built stalls, similar in appearance to voting booths, that provide separated spaces for patients to receive shots. Demand remains high for PPE as schools and corporate offices prepare to welcome back students and employees.

Back to main page