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CASE STUDY 3: Thrive Annual Franchisee Conference (2009)

Challenge

Rebrand the conference to increase participation and encourage franchisees to embrace a new direction in service offerings during a down economy. Additionally, to lower the number of registered no-shows to better manage conference costs.

Solution

Redesigned all conference materials, starting with a new logo that could be used year over year to create a sense of anticipation and tradition. In previous years, the entire look and feel (including the logo) changed every year, which created a lack of consistency. I also developed a new strategy to decrease registered no-shows.

Highlights

  1. Designed a new logo for the conference, and collected imagery with energy and color to showcase our exciting new direction into full-service printing.
  2. Added a no-show policy check box to the registration website to clearly communicate our new expectations. The new policy included a penalty food and beverage charge for people that registered early for the conference to get a lower rate, but then did not show up.
  3. Designed all conference materials including name badges, signage and banners, conference hand book, PPT presentations and a light-up entrance unit for the vendor fair.
  4. Created targeted registration communications after completing a segmentation of store owners’ hesitations about going to the conference. The targeted emails illustrated how the conference would help each group achieve its business goals.
  5. Turned the conference handbook into a variable data print project that we produced at headquarters to show franchisees the power of their own printing equipment. Each book was personalized with the participant’s name and a thank you message for coming all the way from their town during a tough year. The book was spiral bound and printed using typical store equipment and it showcased opaque, recycled, and metallic papers.

Results

The 2009 Thrive conference was a great success with a record number of people attending, which was especially significant in the middle of a recession. As a comparison, several competing franchisors cancelled their conferences in 2009 due to lack of sign-ups. We also had an extremely low percentage of no-shows compared to past years, which saved thousands of dollars in food, beverage, and conference space costs. The conference book also sparked many conversations among franchisees about the possibilities of in-house printing.