RETURN TO TRADESHOWS: PUSHING A CLIENT’S CONFERENCE & EXPO BRAND INTO THE FUTURE

Author: Caroline DiSteFano, Tags: Blog

06 July 2022

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, one of the first industry staples to go was conferences and tradeshows. Most large-scale in-person gatherings came to a screeching halt, leaving organizations and their stakeholders with canceled flights and fewer opportunities to engage. Planning for the first NFPA Conference & Expo® (C&E) in over two years provided Forge with a unique opportunity: following the pause, pushing and refreshing the C&E brand and making it greater than ever before, redefining the standard of C&E for years to come.

Read on to learn how Forge used the return to C&E to celebrate NFPA’s rich history, enhance the brand image, and capture real-time feedback from its members.

PUSHING THE BRAND FORWARD

NFPA is in an exciting time in their trajectory as the world’s leading fire and life safety organization. In fact, this year they celebrate two important milestones: the 125th anniversary of NFPA and the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week®. We wanted to design a look/feel for the ‘22 conference that would highlight NFPA’s rich history while also pointing to the future of the organization’s offerings. And so, Forge developed three look-feels for NFPA selection that went beyond the traditional brand look, of which one final concept was implemented.

That concept– illustrated below– underscored the importance of taking action, and how C&E plays a critical role in improving safety all over the world. We used heroic and unposed portraits along with striking, scenario-based imagery to help stakeholders truly see themselves and their industries in the visuals shown throughout the event. Design elements have a modern, colorful, graphic look that convey energy and NFPA’s push to becoming a future-forward digital information company. The global map design was incorporated to convey the importance of improving safety everywhere.

Throughout the conference, we heard rave reviews for the new conference branding. We’re even looking to use more of this brand look in overarching NFPA collateral moving forward, including digital media assets, website updates, video ads, and more.

NFPA digital advertising

CELEBRATING NFPA’S HISTORY

To showcase NFPA’s rich history and transformation over the years, Forge integrated tailored design elements throughout C&E collateral, including a custom 125th anniversary logo and walk-through timeline display.

The timeline illustrates NFPA’s relevance in the fire and life safety field – from its creation in 1896 through many milestones – and underscores the importance of NFPA codes and standards throughout the world. This timeline also positions NFPA as the thought leader they are in the safety space, showcasing their game-changing responses to fire and safety tragedies ranging from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 to the increased risk of wildfire in recent years.

CAPTURING REAL-TIME AUDIENCE INSIGHTS

Since NFPA’s last conference in 2019, a lot has changed– most notably, the development and launch of a new online platform, NFPA LiNK®. LiNK provides digital, real-time access to NFPA codes and standards, changing the way that fire and life safety experts, inspectors, and other professionals operate.

In determining how to best promote LiNK through messaging and design, our team worked with NFPA partners to develop and execute an in-person survey for LiNK users and prospective users. We asked questions like “what would you share with someone who has not yet used NFPA LiNK?” and “what do you think is holding people back from using LiNK?”. Just a couple weeks following the event, we are now using the insights we captured to help inform our LiNK messaging platform and copy.

FORGE AND NFPA

To see more about Forge’s branding, marketing, and paid media work for NFPA over the years, see the NFPA Case Study.

The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA) is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. The association began its work to solve the fire problem in a young, industrialized nation in 1896 and has since become a global force known for advancing safety worldwide. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 325 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission.

Save the date! The 2023 NFPA Conference & Expo® will be held June 19–21 in Las Vegas.

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