It’s pretty exciting around here – ADG was honored with Platinum, Gold, and Honorable Mention MarCom awards for our marketing and design work in 2014! The International MarCom Awards is a creative competition for the writing, concept, and design of print, visual, audio, and web material and programs. This year the MarCom awards received 6,000 entries from all 50 states in the United States, along with 34 countries. We were presented with awards for our work in special events, logo design, and video production in 2014.
ADG received top honors in the “Special Events” category for our work with Children and Family Resource Center’s “Speak Out for Kids 2014,” a community engagement campaign focused on involving local residents in bettering the lives of Henderson County youths. To refresh your memory throughout February and March of 2014, virtual and live conferences were held, designed to engage youth and the larger community in addressing gaps in services, understanding community priority areas, and providing opportunities for everyone to plug in and do more to help children in Henderson County. The campaign culminated in a live event on March 1, 2014 where ideas promoting these objectives were given cash awards towards implementation.
We were also honored with a Gold Award in the “Pro Bono” category for our recent re-design of the logo for Only Hope WNC, a non-profit dedicated to ending youth homelessness, and was given an Honorable Mention in the “Video / Nonprofit” category for their video production on the importance of farmers’ markets across the region, for their clients at MountainWise.
This video couldn’t have come into my life at a better time. ADG is still recovering from our biggest event to date – the Speak Out live & virtual conference that culminated in a live event this past Saturday. For the past few months it seemed like this was the event that would never end, or at least the one that would do me in. When you’re in the midst of stress and deadlines, it’s easy to succumb to the desire for it all to end, to crave those times of peace and ease.
This video gave me a new thought – what if, instead of looking at stress like a disease that needs to cured, we embraced it as a tool for making ourselves, stronger, sharper and better? Given that our schedule at ADG shows no signs of slowing down, I’m going to choose the latter outlook.
North Carolina’s Community Transformation Grant for Region 2 (CTG2) came to us a few months ago for help with event planning. Our clients have coordinators working across 11 counties in Western North Carolina with the goals of promoting healthy eating, active living and tobacco free lifestyles. As part of their plan, the CTG 2 team wanted to stage regional meetings, or convenings, that would bring together local health officials, planners, and economic development representatives to begin addressing the topic of creating healthy communities. We were thrilled to help them fulfill this goal and wanted to take a moment to share the results (and our process) with you.
For the first meeting, scheduled for the end of June, we worked closely with a coordinator of CTG2 to develop an agenda that would both educate and inspire everyone that attended. With a kitchen sink start, we quickly realized that less is more when working in a three hour time frame. As a result, we adjusted the timeline to ensure speakers had enough time to get their point across, and the audience had enough opportunity to hear success stories that matter. We incorporated movement throughout the afternoon, real life success stories around a “cafe” experience, and a final panel plenary.
What really proved helpful was to engage each speaker in a prep session. The goals here were to ensure confidence in their message, and triple check flow for the afternoon. We gave panelists presentation parameters of three slides each and then created a branded power point template with which to incorporate those slides. The result was a seamless presentation without disjointed flow and imagery.
In addition to the agenda and speaker prep, ADG prepared and distributed the invitations, coordinated event promotion, and managed the RSVP list of those attending. Email marketing was key in reinforcing the mailed invitations, delivering event location details, and sharing advance copies of the agenda. It was also the tool used to share the event summary and participant list.
What we are perhaps most proud of is that we took the notion of event planning beyond the basic idea of agendas, logistics, and clean up. We created a branded event that arose out of our early planning and creation of the event materials. Our initial goal was to create an event that would matter to our clients and their audience. Our secondary goal was to make sure that they each had a program they could take with them and use as a resource after the meeting had ended. In the process of designing it, we developed a branded, polished look that became standard for every other printed or digital piece of collateral material we made for the meeting.
Not only was that branding used for the June meeting, but the new brand for CTG 2 events is being carried forward into future meetings throughout the summer and into the fall.
To develop this look, we started with the standard CTG logo:
Knowing that our client wasn’t looking for an entirely new brand, we stuck with their color scheme and used elements like the wheel cogs to create a branded look that found its way onto the programs, signage and presentations at the meeting. It also carried through to the email marketing and follow up summary.
We couldn’t have been more thrilled with the final product! CTG2 had a polished event that everyone attending seemed to both enjoy and learn from. The CTG2 team seemed more relaxed and able to actually participate…a rare occasion when you’re hosting an event!
Our next big meeting is scheduled for August 22nd and we can’t wait!