As the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston is a diverse city, with award-winning sports teams, highly recognized Universities and Colleges, and with an extraordinary sense of community and sense of resilience, not seen in cities of the same size or landscape across the United States. But what is also found, right here in this very same city, is more than 300,000 American victims of Sex Trafficking. Sadly, the number of brothels outnumber this City’s more than 189 Starbucks coffee shops.
The question remains: With such a complicated subject matter, how do design and develop hopeful, encouraging, and inspiring branding, messaging and marketing? Therein lies the challenge facing Team 2020 Exhibits: On behalf of Redeemed Ministries, the 2020 Exhibits Marketing Team endeavored to develop, market, and deliver meaningful creative that would inspire difference makers in the city of Houston to take one step to be a part of the solution, attend the 3rd annual Keep Houston Free Gala and answer the call to do more. A bold statement, initiative, and objective, indeed.
Sex Trafficking is not an easy subject. For many, it is a difficult thing to hear. And it is equally challenging for non-profits such as Redeemed Ministries, to fundraise, combat, and bring light to this critical issue. For Redeemed, their mission is critical and their “ask” fairly broad – from pre-event marketing and messaging to the consistency of “brand” through to the event, and afterward, via Thank You Notecards – it is their objective to help save the lives of their benefactors, affectionately and respectfully called Sparrows.
What better way to stand against the heaviness and weight of a demon such as Sex Trafficking than with a symbolic element, in motion? For Redeemed Ministries, their signature element is the sparrow, which represents the women who take that first step, to wholeness, and wellness, and freedom, through organizations like Redeemed. For 2020 Exhibits, the famous gospel hymn, mainly as sung by Mahalia Jackson came to mind serving to inspire the imagery and motion for the branding of the Keep Houston Free gala, and its campaign deliverables.
For the Keep Houston Free Gala 18, the key driver was developing a creative concept that would stand out to capture the guests’ hearts, minds, and generosity (of spirit, of finances, of time) and create the full scope of Gala deliverables, to capture attention, attract attendees, contributions, and deliver an inspiring and compelling event experience.
The Keep Houston Free Campaign serves as a gentle yet powerful reminder of the force found in movement. Taking one step, to inspire... action.
A sold-out event, adding tables for eight until the final hour before doors open is a reliable indicator of success. Hearts captured, surpassing the fundraising goal, year over year (this is now the third year), with increased social impact through social sharing and, new sponsors have expressed keen interest in playing a more active role in the Keep Houston Free Gala ’19. Steps taken, guests signed up on the spot, to volunteer and carry the message forward. Buzz a buzzing, with Insta-worthy images shot against with event branding and messaging serving as inspiring backdrops. Take one step, carry on.