StartGNV was faced with three major challenges. First, they wanted to add excitement to their event by introducing a fun and engaging asset. This was important for capturing attendees' attention and allowing them to have a memorable component to their event. Second, they wanted to elevate their fundraising efforts at the event. (Traditionally fundraising efforts have taken place prior to the event and only through social media.) Lastly, they wanted to create lasting memories, which would help them position themselves as hosts of unforgettable events dedicated to noble purposes. These three intertwined objectives demanded innovative strategies and meticulous planning to ensure not only the immediate success of the event but also its lasting impact and reputation.
Optimal Station played a pivotal role in the event's success by introducing a range of interactive Stations. These Stations seamlessly addressed the multifaceted challenge at hand, significantly amplifying the event's impact and fostering higher levels of engagement. The centerpiece of this Experiential Marketing activation was the Future 360° Station, a four-sided marvel. Its front side rewarded participants with complimentary socks after they completed a brief survey about myths surrounding homelessness. On the right, an illustrative tracker displayed the progress toward the fundraising goal, creating a sense of proximity and urgency for potential donors to contribute. Simultaneously, the left side of the Station provided an ever-changing display of homelessness-related facts and myths, promoting awareness and education. Flipping to the back, a dedicated photo booth adorned with custom Grace and StartGNV branding preserved cherished memories in a unique way. The Experiential Marketing team brought props that were related to the Tech Battle of the Bands theme. After attendees took their pictures, they were given the option to receive their photos either through SMS or a QR code scan so that they could have memorabilia of the event as well as be able to share their photos through social media, continuing to spread the word. The Ad Station took personalized engagement a step further by showcasing individual sponsor logos. Strategically placed at the event's entrance, it extended a warm welcome to attendees while acknowledging the valued partnerships that made the event possible. Complementing this, the Charging Table seamlessly blended functionality with branding. Adorned with sponsor logos, it provided a convenient spot for attendees to recharge their devices, set down drinks, or just take a quick break. By weaving together education, entertainment, and purpose, these Stations formed a cohesive and unforgettable experience that resonated deeply with everyone involved.
Sample of Facts and Myths Displayed on the Left Side of the Future 360 Station
Q1. IS HOMELESSNESS INCREASING OR DECREASING? DECREASING
Since GRACE opened in 2014, we've reduced homelessness by 47%, and unsheltered homelessness by almost 70%.
Q2. DOES PROVIDING FOOD & SHELTER ENABLE HOMELESSNESS? NO
People can’t move forward from survival to problem-solving mode until their basic needs are met.
Q3. DON’T HOMELESS PEOPLE CHOOSE TO BE HOMELESS? NO
There are many reasons people find themselves homeless. 95% of the homeless population surveyed said that they would take housing if it was affordable.
Q4. AREN’T MOST HOMELESS PEOPLE ADDICTS? NO
The rate of substance misuse within the entire homeless population is more or less the same as in the housed community – about 20% of the population. It's just harder to see when it happens behind closed doors.
Q5. WHY DON’T HOMELESS PEOPLE JUST GET A JOB? MANY DO HAVE JOBS
Most nights, about half of the people in our shelter report having some form of income but it’s not enough to afford housing. Those who don't are regularly looking for employment. A person working a minimum-wage job in Florida needs to work 93 hours a week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.
Q6. IS THE ISSUE OF HOMELESSNESS PERMANENT? NOT EXACTLY
Homelessness does end, one person at a time. An "end" to homelessness doesn't mean that no one becomes homeless ever again. The objective is to get people help immediately, rather than dealing with endless waitlists and problems getting the help they need.
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