True North 2018: Making Our Mark with Soul Marketing
If you missed it, True North was a conference in Kitchener, Ontario focusing on Tech for Good around the world. We not only had the opportunity to attend but the opportunity to assist in the planning stages of the event.
The NMI team was brought on to focus on adding a little flavor to attendee engagement and how to give people an OMG WE HAVE TO GO BACK NEXT YEAR feeling – for those of you who missed our e-book, we're talking about what we do best... SOUL MARKETING.
We wanted something that was going to showcase how incredible Canada, and more specifically, the KW area is to all delegates. We came up with the concept for a huge mural but a painted image will only keep someone's attention for a few minutes and not give any reason to come back. Our goal was to make this a fresh and exciting piece that everyone could be apart of, get creative and make their mark in a fun and engaging way. The idea evolved into a life-sized colouring mural, inviting anyone to grab a marker and add some vibrancy that would be completed by the end of the conference.
We teamed up with our favourite local artist, Choolee to design the full mural that would showcase Tech for Good at a local level. After a few rounds of collaboration and brain dumps, she came back to us with this inspired piece:
To make this mural inviting and accessible we had it installed as a free-standing installation that attendees could walk around and get immersed from any angle:
Watching delegates dive in to the activity was very satisfying, and there was no shortage of participants. Here's a few things that happened we weren't expecting:
Some people took it as an opportunity to add their own flavour to the mural, whether that was naming a building in the city scape after their company or a flying dragon overhead.
Some people became regular contributors stopping by multiple times a day, while some preferred to only watch and assume we had artists coming by to colour
Most amazingly, attendees kept it clean! It's risky to have a blank canvas with no supervision and leave it to the community to graffiti – we were ready to place bets on how soon we'd see an "uh-oh" moment. Not sure if this is because the event was in Canada, or that the True North attendees are just outstanding citizens, or the conference mood was positive and uplifting – but the mural was completed without any obscenities (how rare!)
Can we talk about how incredible community pieces are? Seeing hundreds of people coming together over two days to colour, draw and write, to take photos and encourage others to make their mark, to share a moment of nostalgia... THAT is incredible. THAT is soul marketing. THAT is New Moon Ideas.