Entrepreneur George P. Johnson founded the eponymous George P. Johnson Company in 1914 as a sail-maker serving the growing Great Lakes region shipping trade. With the rise of the automotive industry he eventually transitioned the business to helping these innovative manufacturers essentially create a whole new industry, designing and creating branded environments at festivals, fairs and other public spaces where potential customers could be found. In the near-century since, GPJ has evolved many times. We've patented numerous technologies, rolled out the industry's first global Strategy practice, grown globally and diversified our client base and capabilities like no other experiential agency. Today, we're the #1 ranked event and experience marketing agency in the world. But we've stayed true to our founder's original vision against which we measure all our ideas and work against - to "make no small plans" on behalf of our clients.

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1910s

While working for the family-owned Johnson Sail and Awning Company, entrepreneur George P. Johnson decorates and designs his first ever Detroit Auto Show, giving birth to auto-show-as-marketing-theatre.

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1914

George P. Johnson is officially established as a stand-alone flag and decoration company.

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1918

George P. Johnson's flag business flourishes as demand for American flags skyrockets at the conclusion of WWI. GPJ creates world's largest flag in 1923 (and again in 1949).

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1920s-1940s

GPJ's prominence as an event producer grows with a major role in the design of Detroit-area celebrations receiving national attention while the burgeoning automobile industry turns to the agency for live marketing services.

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1950s

GPJ evolves into the premier provider of live marketing services for automobile manufacturers, pioneering the use of new technology and materials such as rear projection lighting, animation and Plexiglas into increasingly stylistic auto show displays.

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1960s

The GPJ-produced National Auto Show moves from New York to Detroit at GPJ's suggestion and hosts U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower as the keynote speaker.

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1970s

George P. Johnson sets the stage for the growth of experiential marketing with the introduction of innovative concepts such as automotive racing games, audience participation, illusionists and robotics.

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1980s

George P. Johnson expands, creating and managing a variety of events for an international client roster across a diverse range of industries.

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1990s

GPJ builds out its international footprint, creates the industry's first Program Strategy practice and becomes IBM's event marketing Agency of Record with a groundbreaking consolidation program.

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2000s

GPJ expands into entertainment sponsorship marketing, winning Billboard's inaugural Concert Promotion and Marketing Award.

Today, GPJ creates nearly 14 events everyday worldwide through more than 1,000 employees in 25 offices.