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Meet Dave Green of Mystery Trip in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Green.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Mystery Trip actually began as an annual summer party for my friends, where I would take them to the weird, cool, offbeat and undiscovered parts of the city…the hook was no one knew where they were going when they got on the bus!

The trips got bigger every year, and I discovered that I really enjoyed organizing them and seeing my friends having fun. Six years ago, I sent an email to everyone I knew telling them I was going to start offering trips to others as a side business and to please spread the word. Within two months I had my first client, and I haven’t looked back since.

Pretty soon after that, I was awarded the inaugural Awesome Foundation grant in Los Angeles and was in LA Weekly’s Best of issue.

The business was entirely word-of-mouth, and most of my weekends were filled with taking birthday parties, groups of friends, Bar Mitzvahs, and family gatherings to places like the Bunny Museum in Pasadena, the Holyland Exhibit in Silverlake, body painting festivals, demolition and roller derbies, and much more.

By mid-2014, the business had grown to include corporate clients, and by the end of the year, I quit my job to work on Mystery Trip full time.

Since that time, Mystery Trip has done events in 10 cities across the country and worked with companies such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, AirBnB, NBCUniversal, Lyft, TOMS, Kaiser Permanente, Cisco, Movember, Discovery Channel, AOL, Riot Games and more.

In 2016, Mystery Trip introduced public trips, which allow anyone to sign up for a trip with their friends without the burden of having to fill a bus. We also did a Mystery Date, which saw 35 singles looking for love on a bus full of strangers.

I feel very lucky to have figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I love spreading the happiness Mystery Trip gives me, and think it shows on every trip.

Has it been a smooth road?
As with any business just starting out, there have been some bumps and missteps. I like to think I’m smart enough to know there is A LOT I don’t know, and I’ve worked very hard to surround myself with people I feel are smarter than me to help get through these challenges.

I look at every obstacle as a learning moment and constantly work to improve my process and, more importantly, the experience for my guests. The feedback I’ve gotten over the years has been invaluable and has helped me shape Mystery Trip into a unique, fun and memorable experience for everyone.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mystery Trip story. Tell us more about the business.
Mystery Trip is an experiential event planning company that creates adventures for groups looking to do something extraordinary. We take people to the fun, weird, offbeat, undiscovered and coolest places in the city. The hook is nobody knows where they’re going until they get there!

We have taken groups to a house turned into a shrine to rabbits, a museum that only exhibits velvet paintings, a world-record setting body painting festival, a coffee shop in someone’s garage, and sumo wrestling championships. People have learned curling, rock climbing, deejaying, improv comedy and breakdancing on Mystery Trips.

We even recreated the “We are the World” music video in the original studio where it was recorded

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The trend right now in event planning is creating experiences for groups, which I don’t see changing. I think people feel like they’ve had a richer experience to walk away with the story of what they did, not what they watched or saw.

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