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TMD Creative Takes ‘Organic’ Approach to Cross-Media

When the Organic Produce Summit decided to hold its inaugural convention and exhibition in July 2016, organizers had a major challenge on their hands. Though the organic movement was as popular as ever, the event itself was virtually unknown. Not only did organizers have to introduce people to the expo, but they also had to appeal to a diverse audience ranging from organic purists to companies just beginning to walk the organic walk.

To drum up excitement for the pioneering event, organizers turned to Salinas, Calif. marketing firm TMD Creative. “We had to come up with a strategy that would appeal to everyone,” says TMD Creative Founder Nicholas M. Pasculli. Their approach was as fresh and appealing as the industry they sought to describe.

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Sparking Organic Connections
The campaign consisted of a number of elements. To promote the conference, TMD Creative worked on collateral materials, e-blasts, social media assets and press releases, as well as advertisements for print and online. The website had to pump up the event while also allowing people to manage their registrations. TMD Creative also worked on elements for the conference itself, such as an event program, signage and a post-event survey.

When it came to creating the logo, it was important to be unique. For example, “everybody in the agricultural industry uses the same color green,” Pasculli says. TMD Creative wanted the logo to convey that the organic community was different.

The movie “Meet the Fockers” provided some inspiration. In that film about an eccentric family, “Robert De Niro used to talk about the circle of trust,” Pasculli explains. TMD Creative wanted to create a similar type of environment. After all, they were bringing all of these different audiences together and they wanted conference participants to have confidence in the event and all of the information that would be presented therein. The logo they decided upon was not only a circle, representing that trust, but it also happened to be in the shape of the letter ‘O,’ referencing the ‘O’ in “Organic.”

TMD Creative developed the website and social media assets with the goal of building anticipation for the event. They used images and video clips of guest speakers to convince potential attendees to register. They also ran print ads and promotional pieces in trade publications. “It’s a small target audience, and so we gained traction rather quickly,” Pasculli says.

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A Coordinated Cross-Media Campaign
For the trade show itself, TMD Creative did the signage, and even helped with the planning, logistics and the show’s management.

“There was nothing that happened there that didn’t have our touch on it, including designing the scenes and the aesthetics of the rooms themselves,” Pasculli says. “We went all out with really attractive signage and created an environment that reinforced the brand.”

Coordination was a key element of the campaign. Even though this was the convention’s first year, “we didn’t want it to look like a mom and pop operation, we wanted it to look as established as the major trade organizations in the industry that represent hundreds of billions of dollars of business,” Pasculli says.

To ensure a polished look, they used common design elements on everything from the table decorations to the signage. For example, instead of using traditional white lighting, they used lighting that reflected the logo’s colors. Even the garments worn by the show’s management and volunteers were color-coordinated, branded, and tied in with the logo.

Their efforts paid off as the show sold out in its introductory year, with hundreds of people on the waiting list. Perhaps more telling were the personal responses they received from attendees themselves.

“The feedback that we got from attendees, exhibitors and sponsors was phenomenal,” says Pasculli. “We exceeded every goal that we set.”

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Author: Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a freelance writer and editor who has written extensively about business, careers and success for such publications as Working Mother, Real Simple, and AARP Bulletin.

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