Fresh Branding Rejuvenates 75 Year-Old Conference
For 75 years, the Crawford University Department of Religion has hosted a large, regional clerical conference, entertaining up to 6,000 clergy members at one time. When a new conference director was hired, she found that the marketing materials for the conference had not been updated in 10 years, and attendance was gradually declining. In her first year as director, she wanted to refresh all of the printed materials used for the event, with a plan to move to more progressive marketing tactics in subsequent years. She also wanted to immediately streamline the registration process, which required up to 16 lines to accommodate all of the attendees.
We started by giving all brand elements—from the logo to fonts and colors—a more modern treatment. With new designs approved, we produced promotional banners and posters, as well as event programs, meal tickets, badges, attendance certificates and welcome letters. For event giveaways, we ordered key chains with a “charm” featuring the updated conference logo.
To generate excitement, we designed, printed and mailed 4,500 newsletters to preregistered attendees, encouraging them to spread the word among their colleagues. Finally, to streamline the historically chaotic registration process, we preprinted and alphabetized name badges so that attendees could simply pick them up instead of waiting to have them printed. This vastly improved the speed and organization of the day.
The response to the updated branding was positive, and the conference director noticed a “buzz” among the attendees, many of whom commented that a change towards more progressive programming was long overdue. The registration process was completed quickly and without incident and attendance hit its highest number in seven years. The director was so pleased with the feedback that she feels confident in expanding her marketing efforts next year.