Strategies to Welcome the World

Strategies to Welcome the World
July 17, 2018 Trace Kingham
USF Welcomes the World

USF Welcomes the World

In June, Kingham Signature Events was honored to help the University of South Florida welcome college administrators from around the globe to participate in the Young Universities Annual Summit. This was the first time the Summit was held in the United States, it was very important for USF Leadership to provide their best foot forward. With over 300 in attendance, Kingham Signature Events helped the USF Foundation create stunning environments to welcome and celebrate.

Before we could get started it was important to garner a full understanding of the experiences guests would be having during their time at the Summit. While our team wasn’t responsible for the education/keynote portions of the Summit, we needed to understand and gather information about the entire agenda. This information would become very helpful in understanding the frame of mind guests would have when attending our evening socials and celebrations.

With multiple locations of events occurring around Tampa and USF Campus, our team worked hand-in-hand with USF to design experiences to welcome University leaders from around the globe. A second strategy that we use when implementing experiences for clients is developing an objective for each of the events. While this objective may not be apparent or shared with the guests, it’s important to have a goal to aim while planning. Creating an objective statement for each event experience you’re planning will help in assuring that you have a goal to reach.

USF Welcomes the World

USF Welcomes the World

The first event was a cocktail reception and dinner at the host hotel. Guests of the Summit had a full-day of breakout sessions and keynote messages. The cocktail party was a way to set the tone of the events going forward. Our team wanted to create a very brand-centric experience, highlighting the world logo that was presented to guests on all of the marketing materials leading up to the events. We took the 2 dimensional logo and create a 3 dimensional replica of the logo in the center of the cocktail space. Secondly, we offered a beautiful, yet simple design to not distract from the networking and ease guests into a comfortable frame of mind for the upcoming dinner. The USF mascot, Rocky, was on-hand for photo opportunities with guests while accompanied with live entertainment.

The dinner was designed with the tropics in mind, while emphasizing the world platform. Centerpieces were modern and refined, centered with a glass globe to continue the theme of the evening. The clothes were colors of the ocean and created beautiful movement and ambiance for guests to enjoy dinner and program. Broadway entertainment enriched the guests experience before the big announcement of University Rankings were announced from the stage. Each step of the way, guests were guided through experiences that prepared them for the most important information of the evening. It was a raving success!

USF Welcomes the World  USF Welcomes the World  USF Welcomes the World

 

The second evening was held at the MUMA College of Business atrium, a bland shell that we recreated a Florida backdrop for all guests to enjoy! Entering the space was a Sand Sculpture with a welcome message and a steel drum performer. Vignettes of beach scenes were create using umbrellas, lounge chairs and a life guard stand. Once guests arrived in the event space, the room was filled with casual seating, palm trees and a large central bar decked in tiki hut design. Entertained by live music, including a Jimmy Buffet style singer, Flaminco performers, and flamingo stilt walkers to dazzle and excite guests.

Food stations provided cuban and Florida cuisines for guests to enjoy with their signature white tequila cocktail. It was a chance for guests to unwind after a busy day of breakouts and keynote sessions before heading back to the hotel for a much needed respite.

Each step of the way, our team continued to ask the questions, is what we’re providing in the experience hitting our event experience objectives? This strategy of always asking ourselves and our clients how elements of an experience advance the clear and concise purpose/objective is what makes for a successful experience.

We’re honored to be part of such an amazing experience and help guide the experiences to great success.