We just clicked with our clients at the Ohio School Board Association’s 2021 Capital Conference. So much so that Garmann Miller was recognized by SMPS Heartland Regional Conference as the first-place winner for Promotional Campaign during the event’s Pinnacle Awards ceremony held April 28, 2022, in Milwaukee.
The award honored the strategy and execution of the marketing team’s OSBA event promotion. Marketing Coordinator Kristi Shaner, Graphic Designer Jamee Thobe and Marketing Director Doug Rentz’s primary objective of the event was to make our return to the Columbus-based trade show unique, memorable and fun. The event was held digitally in 2020, so it was two years from being in person with many of our clients.
It also was the first time many at the show would experience our new brand firsthand, having launched our corporate rebrand in January 2021. We united old friends and made new ones at our on-site “We Just Click” Polaroid photo booth. The trade show attendees selected a prop and said cheese during this engaging experience.
“We heard comments at the show like, ‘If there were a best of show for exhibitors, it’d be you guys,’ ” Shaner said. “Accepting this award from SMPS just reinforced that we met our objective of creating a unique, memorable and fun experience.”
We had green GM logo light sabers, pom-poms, sunglasses, signs, leis and more that made the booth an engaging experience. And attendees were encouraged to take these items with them. This strategy gave us the highly sought-after, “Where’d you get that?” question with attendees, who promptly sent folks to the Garmann Miller booth. The show floor was abuzz with our green light sabers, as attendees throughout the day sought us out to get their photo taken and bring items home to their kids or coworkers.
Thobe and Shaner wore green Converse Chuck Taylors and made custom shirts that said “Say Cheese” and “Oh Snap.” They encouraged passersby to get their photo taken over the two-day show. The photo was then clipped to the 10-foot green hedge wall in our booth. Trade-show goers were attracted to the wall by the many photos, and they came up to look for anyone they knew and see the creative poses.
The final touch for the memorable angle of our objective was a custom-made printed photo frame which looked like a poloid camera, that included the photo taken at OSBA and went to each attendee who participated with us. This piece included the messaging: “Oh snap! OSBA 2021 went by in a flash, see you in 2022.”
About SMPS Heartland: The Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Heartland Region—comprised of 10 chapters of approximately 900 professionals representing more than 350 companies—is a community of marketing and business development professionals within the architecture, engineering and construction industry. SMPS offers members professional development, leadership opportunities and marketing resources to advance their careers.