Monday, December 26, 2011

Marketing a Party Event (Part 1 of 5): Planning the Party

Ah, December. A month-long of celebration and parties in and out of the office. It's always fun if you're the one attending the party but organizing one, especially a big one, is an operation that demands time and concerted effort among the organizers.

Recently the test management team (that yours truly belong to) was abruptly tasked to undertake the organization of our monthly coffeetalk (i.e. town hall meeting) that would double as the department's year-end party. The theme selected was that of a cocktail party-type of event. Tight battle plans were drawn in each of the planning sessions and workstream tasks allocated to each member of our team. Naturally I drew the marketing and communication assignment (a.k.a. poster-making) and was tasked to embark on an advertising campaign that would hype (within reasonable levels) and entice people belonging to the department to come to the party and inform them of major stuff that would happen.

Challenges ahead
A couple of challenges presented itself at the onset. First, there was the short timeline. We only had at most three weeks to plan, prepare and execute everything until the day of the party. Second and last was the project workload component. Each of us more or less were heading or were involved with our own projects, and the mere act of freeing oneself up to attend to the party planning and status update sessions required utmost effort (at least to me haha). Fortunately, since each team member showed utmost devotion in the party preparation and was prepared to sacrifice a bit of our individual (and scarce) free time the planning sessions proved fruitful.

As a designer, I had to tackle my part in the party by coming up with one, a central logo for the party, two, e-mail-ready teaser posters that would be used for the first half of the advertising campaign, and finally a final poster with the accompanying invite as well as the requisite venue map, of which all of these bits and pieces will hopefully entice our targeted attendees in attending and participating in the event.

The party logo
First up is the overall party logo that would be used. The concept formulated was that the logo needed to (visually) convey immediately the event's theme without spelling it out, as the monthly frequency of past coffeetalks gave an impression of the formulaic to the attendees. Note that the final design needed to me in template mode in order to be re-used in other design work related to the party.

The genesis from concept to finished product was fortunately an easy process. This started first by laying out the text for the logo using a "formal" type of font. "Formal" was personally defined as regal and symmetrical with a dash of old school typography. For this, the Trajan Pro was selected (buy it or if you have Adobe Photoshop CS installed, know that this is already pre-installed in the Font folder of your machine). Next, a powerful image needed to be added, thus, vector silhouettes of a male and female figures formally dressed up were conjured up and added to the logo text. Lastly, as the ongoing logo design was deemed too "hard" to look at, some sprucing up was done in order to soften up the look and give the following look (which coincidentally fast-forwarded the design to its final form):

The final touches were done by adding a snowflake (as this is December after all) and some wavy vegetation was added. You can get these shapes (one's just a brush) for the snowflake and the vegetation, respectively, here and here.

And that's how you do a party logo. Next up in the plate were the first batch of party teasers ads. 

To be continued...

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