Stories through events
Aug 16, 2017
In public relations, hosting an event isn’t about the food or signs or décor or even the program itself. It’s about sharing the story behind the event through a common experience. with all those attending – including the media. Check out how P&G used storytelling to not only make the sponsors and client happy, but to make a true impact on the audience and community members present.…
This past June P&G managed a media event to celebrate the opening of Impression 5 Science Center’s new two-story exhibit space, along with the interactive water exhibit now currently housed in that space, FLOW: A Water Experience.
While the bones of the event mirrored your typical ribbon cutting – with speeches from sponsors behind a podium and the professional photo with staff and board members – we worked with those sponsors to tell the story of Impression 5 through their own experiences.
The goal? To communicate the importance of investing in a destination like Impression 5 Science Center where parents and children can play and learn together, while demonstrating and celebrating what those investment dollars achieved.
Throughout the strategic event planning process, P&G met with each sponsor to determine the why behind their I5 investment. They responded to questions like:
- Why was it important to you to support FLOW?
- What aspect of the project makes you most proud?
- What do you want people thinking when they leave the launch event? When they leave the exhibit as science center visitors?
- What tools do you need to help your audiences understand your investment?
Their answers were used in several aspects of the event, all with storytelling at the heart of it. We explored the way their donations impacted the science center, visitors and area businesses and organizations.
- Event program: Each page of the program highlighted a sponsor’s story, including quotes from leadership and their tie to the science center.
- Signage: Signs included within the exhibit were created and displayed in a way that communicated the sponsors’ relation to learning and water.
- Talking points: With each sponsor’s speech, a story was told to the audience, allowing visitors to understand how important investing in a community staple that provides education to families is so important to Greater Lansing’s businesses and organizations.
This event was about more than sponsors at a podium and a ribbon cutting. It was about:
- The Rotary Club of Lansing’s dedication to educating youth about the importance of access to clean water.
- Consumers Energy Foundation connecting kids with a different way to view water – as a possible power source that gave Consumers Energy its start.
- The PNC Foundation providing educational opportunities to children with little or no access to science centers and other cultural institutions.
- The Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs bridging the gap between the arts and science.
- The Joe D. Pentecost Foundation investing in a community space dedicated to families learning and playing together.
The morning of June 20 went beyond a gathering of philanthropic organizations or slapping a bunch of logos on a program. Together with the passion of the amazing folks at Impression 5, P&G communicated what this event meant to the science center, the sponsors and to those who will experience FLOW every day.