Driving Event Attendance Through Well Designed Curation

Matt Berringer Headshot

Written by Matt Berringer

November 9, 2017

In August of this year, the Nxtbook Media design team volunteered its resources to develop two flyers and an enhanced Nxtbook to help raise awareness and promote Mike Sturla’s 6th Annual Back to School Give Away. Community service is one of our core values at Nxtbook Media and we were excited to take part in this community event, as it was more than just a school supply give away. Children also had the opportunity to receive a free haircut, enjoy music, food, games and community activities.

To read more about the design process of the flyers, the enhanced Nxtbook and our commitment to community service, click here.

In previous years, the event had more of a grassroots approach in regards to advertising. But by developing a more detailed and strategic approach, with an emphasis on digital-focused design, the organizers signaled to the community this was more than just a small neighborhood event.

From the first strategic meeting, it was obvious that a curated digital edition was not only the optimal creative solution to telling the story of the Back to School event online, but it was also the ideal financial and time-sensitive solution as well. Lancaster Recreation did not have the time or manpower to create and manage a micro-site for the event. Our Design for Digital team stepped in and created an enhanced Nxtbook over a matter of a few days that met all the functionality needs of a website while also giving the reader a more guided and personalized experience.

The Back to School Give Away was held on August 12th at Clipper Stadium in Lancaster. It was a hot, bright summer day, but not even the hot temperatures could keep the crowds away. In the past, the event has been able to give away 1100 backpacks and had up to 2000 people participate in the event. This year, they were able to distribute 2400 backpacks and the attendance reached nearly 4000.

Part of this success can be attributed to the marketing push orchestrated through print, but the specific emphasis on digital materials seemed to really make the difference. The printed flyers were distributed to the kids in the classroom, but over the summer months, lines of communication became a little fuzzy and organizers of the event relied on parents to tell other parents through word of mouth. That’s why it was crucial to have an online presence to sustain the momentum of the initial print push and advertise the enhanced Nxtbook through social media and on the Lancaster Recreation website.

By doing so, the entire back to school team was able to reach more potential sponsors and make registration easier for eligible members of the community. The event also received more press and coverage overall and generated more shares and likes on social media platforms than in the past.

But beyond the numbers and statistics, what does all of the hard work, dedication, strategic planning and goodwill of the sponsors, organizers, and volunteers add up to?  I think Heather Digne of Lancaster Rec summed it best:

“I really felt like the community came together that day for kids- and that’s more than just handing out backpacks. That’s showing we care and support these kids to start the school year right.”

It doesn’t get better than that.

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