Case Study: 2002 Collegiate Fitness Expo Annual Event Promotion
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
On February 2nd and 3rd, 2002, the University of Maryland hosted the annual Collegiate Fitness Expo. The theme for the 2002 conference was “Beginning to Balance.” Fitness professionals dedicated themselves to guiding and educating their participants on the importance of having a balanced exercise program and lifestyle. Students, faculty and staff members from universities across the region assembled at the University of Maryland’s Campus Recreation Center to participate numerous workshops, lectures and master classes.
Though this was an annual event, many members of the fitness education community still were not sure as to what to expect or if they should even bother attending. In the past, this event was not highly promoted by the hosting universities. This was the year for change. Sharon Anderson, the Coordinator of Group Exercise at the University of Maryland, wanted to do more to attract participants to attend the expo. She also wanted to have a professional level of correspondence with individuals registering for the event. During the event there needed to be proper information for attendants to navigate around the university. One of the major objectives was to increase participation of collegiate members within the region. Two hundred participants including presenters was the established participant goal. Another objective was to establish a means for online correspondence among organizers and participants.
The branding strategy was to create a compelling identity system for this year’s event. This identity was to communicate the key message that “fitness expo 2002 encourages the incorporation of balance in your workouts, education, daily living and in the administration of your fitness activities.” This image had to be integrated throughout all marketing materials. The creation of the graphic mark (event logo) was the initial component. The concept for the logo was derived from the symmetry of 2002, the triad of body, mind and spirit, and the idea of balancing life. Typographically, the 2 and the 0 of 2002 were manipulated to create a non-gender person performing a group fitness exercise while balancing on the base of an inverted triad. The combination of two images created a torch and flame, which is a symbol for achievement. This torch image was set in the center of the “2002” numerical type, creating a mirror image, symmetrically balanced. This logo was designed in black and white and in the official colors of the University of Maryland visual identity program. These colors are Pantone 186 (red), Pantone 116 (gold), and black. Though this was an intercollegiate event, the usage of these colors identified the location of the event.
Other applications of the identity consisted of tri-fold brochures, double-sided nametags, t-shirts, events binders, and instructional signage. A web site was produced that facilitated online correspondence via e-mail, online registration, and travel information. This web address was: www.crs.umd.edu/fitexpo/expo.htm. And by adding their corporate marks to all marketing materials, event sponsors (Pepsi/Aquafina, Subway, UMCP, and UMCP CRS) were also represented.
The event was a success, receiving over 230 participants, which surpassed the intended goal. The Fitness Expo logo was awarded the National Intramural-Recreational Sport Association’s (NIRSA) 2002 Creative Excellence Silver Award for Graphic Communications: Logo Design, designating it as one the best in its industry. This opportunity came again during the 2007 Collegiate Fitness Expo (see logo below).
2007 Collegiate Fitness Expo Identity