Creativity in Action!

This story appears in the
Association Focus 2024 Issue 1

Being creative and having fun is the name of the game when it comes to bringing a bit of excitement to conventions and events. Our clients have a knack for being creative and thinking outside of the box. Here is what a couple of associations did to do just that.

Christina “Chris” M. Bennett, CMP, Vice President of Meetings & Events at the Indiana Bankers Association, was looking for something to add energy to their convention sessions. They had previously used an emcee, which had worked well, but wanted to mix it up and do something different. Chris saw an event online that had used an illustrator, so she started asking around and someone suggested Matt Orley and Big Paper.

The onsite buzz about the illustrator was great. Here are some comments from the post-convention evaluation:

“They were excellent! Very entertaining and kept the crowd engaged.”

“Matt Orley did a great job; I thought this was a very nice addition. He captured the essence of the sessions very well.”

“Great addition to the conference and fascinating to watch him work!”

The artboards were large in size, so after the event, they were scanned and PDFs were shared with attendees and two of the speakers asked to take their board home!

“I would definitely do this again — maybe for a different audience or at this event after a few years have passed.” Chris said.

While planning for the latest annual convention, the team at the Montana Automobile Dealers Association — Bruce Knudsen, Executive Vice President; Jillian Nash, Communications & Events Manager and Debbie Jean, Office Manager — knew they wanted to do something fun and unique to acknowledge their sponsors.

They came up with the idea of having a race car driver’s suit customized with all of their sponsors’ logos for each member of the team. Bruce, Jillian and Debbie wore their suits during MTADA’s convention, and it was a big hit! Attendees loved it and wanted their picture taken with the team. The sponsors were just as excited and made sure their logo was proudly displayed in photos.

Because of the great feedback, MTADA will be doing this again. The team is also planning some new creative things, like a dunk tank with a chance to dunk Bruce.