Welcome to our Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel where we introduce to you to an on the team - and the people whose ideas and sense of how VR and AR should work have shaped Yulio from the ground up.
The Yulio VR expert team are working in roles that for the most part didn’t exist 5+ years ago, the VR job market was pretty minuscule. So the variety of experiences that led people here have created both expertise and variety in our team. And our history may lead you to the perfect VR job.
In this week’s Yulio VR Employee Highlight Reel, we are sitting down with our resident Pictionary Queen and Director of Marketing, Christine (Chris) Bellefontaine! As the head of marketing, Chris’s main role is to introduce Yulio to you in the most seamless way, and support you on your journey to being the VR champion of your firm. With her knack for creative solutions and continual commitment to putting clients first, Chris is successful in spreading the word about Yulio and its capabilities to numerous industries. She firmly believes that VR is the future of business and will take your portfolio, presentations, and partnerships to the next level. Chris is an integral pillar to Yulio and we are very fortunate to have her as one of our core leaders.
So, Chris, tell me a bit about yourself.
Well, let’s see...among the Yulio crowd I’m a bit of the ‘wise old person’. I grew up in a small 500-person village and when I graduated high school I knew I wanted to go away to school. I studied communications and media at Queen’s University in Kingston and have turned that into a 20-year career spanning traditional and digital marketing. In my different roles, I have learned that I love working with small teams and what kinds of coworkers I like to surround myself with. In my spare time, I’m a mom of two young sons and that means I use my ‘management skills’ at home a lot too, for such critical disputes as “who was sitting there first”.
How did you find Yulio?
Actually, Yulio was on my radar for quite a while before I joined. I worked with Yulio’s CPO, Ian Hall, back in the early-2000s at another company (ironically we were trying to get them to transition from print-based products to web-based). Ian had been telling me about his early user testing in VR and what was going on with Yulio for a while and I always thought it sounded really interesting. As we had gone our separate ways I went through a role at Google Toronto, then working with Search Engine People, a digital agency but I wasn’t sure agency life was for me. Then in late 2016 I got a call telling me that Yulio was ready to focus more on marketing and driving use - I signed up right away as the Director of Marketing.
Tell me a bit about your role at Yulio
I think of marketing as responsible for letting the world know about this amazing product we have - and we do that with all kinds of tools and channels. I head up a 4 person team who focus on different areas from our digital presence to customer success after people have signed up, and everything in between. But I also think of marketing as a bit of an internal consultant for the company. We have a focus on product marketing and thinking about the problems Yulio can solve for design and architecture customers, and the features they will most use in their everyday business. We also work with the business development team to come up with the right solutions, training and case studies to spark the imagination of our customers….then we get to sit back and watch them use Yulio in great new ways.
Tell me a bit about your first experience with VR?
It was at Walt Disney World in 1999 (I told you, I’m the ‘old’ person). They were demonstrating a heavy tethered helmet somewhere in Epcot - the exhibit was about technologies of the future. It was so popular I waited nearly an hour to try it out. I don’t fully remember what the experience was - basically moving around a futuristic TRON type environment - you could reach for doors and things like that. It made me a bit nauseous but I still thought it was really cool. Fast forward to my interview with Ian for the Yulio gig - he made me shoot some zombies in VR and it was terrifying - inevitably, one ate the back of my head because I forgot to turn around.
If you got to dream up any VR experience and immerse yourself into it, what would you choose?
I love the idea of VR for travel - for those who are limited by either finances or mobility - to get to be immersed in the amazing places in the world. I’d probably build a multi-stop tour of the world’s great buildings like the Eiffel Tower and the Vatican and get to explore the sites over many days, just continuing my tour whenever I have time. It’s all the more relevant with the sad news about the fire destroying the spire at Notre Dame Cathedral lately - I think VR is a way of preserving our world in a more immersive way than photos could ever achieve. And of giving access to behind the scenes areas that you can’t have thousands of tourists traipsing through.
Outside of your VR job, what are your hobbies?
I still love going to movies in theatres - I like making it more of a formal experience than watching something at home, so I do that as often as I can. I write a few articles every month for Medium to flex my creative brain. And I spend as much time as I can at my parents’ farm - I help them with gardening and get the benefit of home-grown produce later in the year. And we get pretty competitive at my place for board games with my sons.
What’s your favorite Friday afternoon office game that we’ve played?
I am the Pictionary queen (at least in my own mind) whether it’s drawing or guessing, I get very competitive on that one. I also love our STEM activities like the egg-drop challenge. I was pretty proud when marketing humiliated development on gingerbread house building. And while I have a bit of a reputation for a win streak that I’d like to maintain - I sincerely just think getting together and socializing with the whole Yulio team is really valuable and contributes a lot to our sense of team. I’ve learned over my career that it’s not so much what you’re doing every day, but who you are doing it with that makes or breaks a workplace culture.
We’d like to say a big thanks to Chris for taking the time to sit with us for a little Q&A about herself! Stay tuned for some more interviews with the staff that power Yulio, and discover how we’re all learning more every day about our VR job!
If you want to learn more about the VR/AR industry, and things to consider when you’re looking into VR solutions, then sign up for our FREE 5-day email course to get up-to-speed with VR. Want to try Yulio for yourself? Sign up for a free 30-day trial with full access to our feature set!