American Program Bureau A Global Speaker, Celebrity & Entertainment Agency

Ken Kragen

Entertainment Producer / Creative Charity Event Planner


Known for finding creative ways to accomplish the impossible, Ken Kragen makes things happen. A sought after entertainment producer and charity event planner, he turns stumbling blocks into stepping stones and is sharing his secrets with audiences nationwide.

Kragen's latest multimedia lecture shares previously untold stories and video footage from some of the historic events he has masterminded, including We Are The World, Hands Across America and Net Aid. Drawing on his experiences with such amazing undertakings, he presents lessons learned with a dramatic flair and characteristic humor, sharing simple rules that can be applied to your own corporate and personal marketing objectives.

A master salesman, marketer and creative thinker, Kragen has lectured at and consulted for many major companies, including Cisco Systems, IBM, NY Life Insurance and Interface Carpeting. The best-selling author of Life is a Contact Sport, he has taught marketing and career courses at UCLA, USC, Harvard, the University of Tennessee and many other colleges and universities.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, with a masters degree from Harvard Business School, Kragen's career achievements are far-reaching and range from the management of superstars like Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Olivia Newton John, Burt Reynolds, the Bee Gees, the Smothers Brothers, Trisha Yearwood, Travis Tritt and many others, to producing hundreds of hours of successful television programs and films.

Kragen is the recipient of many awards and honors, including: the United Nations Peace Medal; two MTV Awards; an American Music Award; several Emmy nominations; EBONY's American Black Achievement Award; the Conference of Personal Managers' Manager of the Year Award; and the International Visitors Council's International Citizen of the Year Award. He is also the only individual ever elected President of both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.


Accomplishing the Impossible

In this multimedia presentation, Kragen presents untold stories behind some of the most historic events of all time and what we can learn from them in marketing ourselves, our products and our ideas. What really happened behind the scenes at the recording of "We Are the World" and what did it accomplish? How did we get five million people to stand, holding hands in a continuous line from New York to Los Angeles for "Hands Across America" and effectively shine a light on the plight of the hungry and homeless? How did Coca Cola and Citibank get involved and what did they gain from participating? How did Cisco Systems spend $27,000,000 to create "NetAid" and dominate the World Telecommunications Conference in Geneva?

Why did these seemingly impossible things succeed? What was common to each of them?

  • They got people's attention. You can't sell anything to anyone if you don't get their attention. Kragen discusses how to accomplish this in today's crowed marketplace.
  • They were all driven by music. Kragen takes a look behind the scenes at each of these events and at the role that music played in making them successful.
  • Each of these projects was an example of the Thornton Wilder quote, "Every good thing in the world stands on the razor-edge of danger." Kragen explains how to walk that edge and survive.

How can these tools be applied to your own projects?

  • Think BIG. Aspire to do things that others think impossible or difficult at best. You will not get people's attention by doing the same old stuff
  • Stay naïve. Kragen offers examples of how naiveté has worked over and over again
  • Give people more than they expect – Kragen provides examples and stresses the importance of going above and beyond expectations.

Attendees will leave this presentation equipped to apply these tools and others to their specific situation.

The Art of Selling

Applying proven concepts from the world of entertainment to business, Ken Kragen will show you:

  • How the traditional view of the ups and downs of business is wrong and how everything from the life of your product to that of your company to even your own career is on an eroding plateau.
  • How you can orchestrate jumps to higher and higher plateaus.
  • How to create an “Event Strategy” to move products, people and companies to a higher level.
  • How you can’t sell anything to anyone unless you first get their attention and that there is truly a “Magic of Threes” that affects getting attention in today’s crowed marketplace.
  • How to “Think Backwards For Forward Motion,” working back from your ultimate goal to where you are now and applying the information gained from that process to quickly succeed.
  • How “Everything In Life Is An Opportunity” even the negatives.
  • How you and your sales people can use “Optimism and Enthusiasm” as terrific tools to influence customers and your own company as well.
  • How “Life Is A Contact Sport” and the techniques and power of networking and utilizing today’s technology.
  • How to “Accomplish The Impossible” by learning the lessons from the historic humanitarian events We Are The World, Hands Across America, NetAid, and LiveAid and applying them to your own undertakings.
  • How to “Get Caught Telling The Truth” or how to use honesty as one of the most effective tools to get business to beat a path to your door.
  • How “Timing Is Everything” and the importance of when you do something is as vital to success as what you do.

All of the above is presented in a multimedia form filled with excerpts from well known feature films, television shows and live events as well as a full PowerPoint presentation of the concepts. It is full of humor, solid examples and surprises including a marching band, lottery tickets and other things to keep the attendees involved and participating.

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