BOMA-Atlanta was recognized through BOMA International’s Best Practices Awards Program in 2006 with a first place award in the Communications Management category. BOMA-Atlanta’s award submission focused on the association’s leadership in producing the 2006 BOMA Southern Region Conference, which was held in Atlanta. The Best Practices Awards recognized outstanding communications, membership, and advocacy efforts among BOMA local associations. Below are excerpts from the awards application.
Conference Website and E-mail Newsletter:
In the past, promotion of the BOMA Southern Region Conference was done mainly through print communications. BOMA-Atlanta’s goal was to incorporate electronic communications into the marketing mix, and, as a result, increase the number of conference registrants. To do so, a conference website and conference e-mail newsletter were created.
The website included the schedule of events, online registration, hotel information, sponsors listing, links of interest, contact information and more. It also incorporated the conference logo, photographs of area attractions, and other elements to visually tie the website in with the printed materials. One unique feature of the website was a section on every page that encouraged site visitors to sign up for a conference e-mail newsletter.
“It was our belief that visitors to the conference website were some of the most likely individuals to attend the conference,” said Gabriel Eckert, BOMA-Atlanta Director of Communications and Marketing. “And by encouraging them to sign up for the e-mail newsletter, we were able to continue marketing the event to them after they finished viewing the website.”
A total of 91 individuals signed up to receive the conference e-mail newsletter. Several e-mails highlighting various parts of the conference were sent to the distribution list. The e-mail newsletters were also sent to BOMA association executives within the Southern Region and to all of the previous year’s conference attendees. This expanded the e-mail distribution list to more than 300 individuals.
The combination of the new website and e-mail newsletter, used in addition to the traditional print communications, achieved even higher results than anticipated:
Creation of the new conference website and e-mail newsletter also achieved another goal. It greatly expand the branding effort for the conference. This was important, as it allowed for the distribution of consistent messages, both visually and through the written word, to prospective conference attendees and to others throughout the entire Southern Region.
Members and staff both contributed to the success of this program. Members provided insight into the development of the e-mail newsletter and website. They also generated some of the text for both communications vehicles, and a Marketing Committee approved all of the communications efforts prior to their distribution.
The e-mail newsletter and conference website also benefited the entire membership of the BOMA Southern Region by increasing awareness of the region’s annual conference, increasing participation in the regional meeting and by generating more awareness of the regional structure.
Southern Region Conference Branding:
BOMA-Atlanta developed a branding campaign to promote the BOMA Southern Region Conference, with a goal of generating interest in and excitement for the BOMA Southern Region Conference and to increase registration for the event.
The branding campaign began in April 2005, with a task force of members and staff who met to define the branding objectives. The task force decided they wanted to show prospective conference attendees that the event would include a balance of professional development and social opportunities. Therefore, a three-part theme was developed: “Experience the Opportunity! Experience the Excitement! Experience it All in Atlanta.” These three sentences allowed both printed and electronic communications to easily showcase the educational and social aspects of the conference.
A logo was also developed to aid in the visual promotion of the conference. The task force developed a logo that combined the Atlanta skyline, the classic Georgia peach, and the last line of the three-part slogan. As a result, even at a glance, the logo symbolized the office building industry, Georgia, and excitement for the conference.
The logo and slogan were incorporated into all printed and electronic communications. This included a postcard, sponsorship solicitation materials, four-page registration flyer, website,
e-mail newsletter, and other communications materials. The logo and slogan were also incorporated into the conference program booklet, signage, conference attendee gifts, and in other ways throughout the conference to continue the theme throughout the conference.
Members were very involved in the development of the conference branding and in the development of the printed and electronic materials. A task force developed the logo and theme, and members also approved the development of the communications materials throughout the entire marketing process.
“The conference branding campaign greatly benefited our local members and members throughout the entire Southern Region,” said Jim Moody, CAE, BOMA-Atlanta Executive Director. “Locally, members gained a valuable experience in branding and in the development of communications vehicles. Regionally, members benefited from a greatly increased awareness of the regional conference.””