Sometimes, the greatest business ideas have their roots in non-work-related life experiences. Such is the case with Dave Green, creator and “chief mysterious officer” of Mystery Trip, an award-winning, experiential event planning company that creates adventures for groups looking for something out of the ordinary. In short, Mystery Trip is an event planning company that creates team-based events— with a catch. The mystery is that the guests don’t know where they’re going until they get there.
“Mystery Trip started off an annual summer party that I did for my friends. I had moved to Los Angeles a few years before, and being the curious and adventurous type, I wanted to explore the offbeat parts of the city,” Green explains. “I thought it would be fun to drag my friends along for the adventure. Every year, it kept getting bigger and bigger.”
Green adds that, at the time, he was in a difficult life transition and “looking for happiness,” when he realized that Mystery Trip was something he truly enjoyed. So, he took the plunge and made it into a business.
“I sent an email to everyone I knew and told them to spread the word. I had my first client within six weeks,” Green says. “Shortly thereafter, I won the inaugural grant from the L.A. chapter of the Awesome Foundation, and was featured in LA Weekly’s ‘Best of’ issue, which helped grow the business.”
While building the business, Green continued to work as an executive recruiter until he jumped into Mystery Trip full time in 2015.
Today, he maintains a global client list of companies that includes Google, Facebook, YouTube, Airbnb, Netflix, Twitch, NBCUniversal, Lyft, TOMS, Kaiser Permanente, Cisco, TechStyle and Tiffanys. Event themes include creating music videos, Amazing Races, tours of odd museums, NBA basketball hoops play, old-school roller skating at a converted church and a trip to a wildlife sanctuary.
While the original premise for Mystery Trip was to introduce guests to offbeat places, the concept has now expanded in scope with regard to destinations. Green explains that he and his team have created what he describes as a “gigantic” database of unique destinations over the years, which is constantly being adding to through intensive research including the reading blogs, local independent papers and other sources for the new, unknown, weird, fun, unique experiences the clients have come to expect from his company.