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Case Study: Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale

Annual events: how to be creative, yet consistent

Creating an event is a huge undertaking for any non-profit organization, but creating a recurring event can be an even more daunting task! Organizing activities, promoting the event, designing materials, renting a space and dozens of other related chores must be completed with great care. Each year, we see organizations spending too many resources on these kinds of projects. That’s why we offer our design and consultation services to help with event planning. Here’s the story of how we improved one of our client’s annual events. Every fall since 1996, the Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI) and its 67 member organizations host the Journées québécoises de la solidarité internationale (JQSI) with support from Quebec’s Ministère des Relations internationales, de la Francophonie et du Commerce extérieur. Each year, AQOCI used a distinct visual theme for JQSI. Each year, JQSI had a different visual identity, and started their concept planning from scratch, often by a different graphic artist each time.

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For the 2013 edition of JQSI, Phil recommended that a consistent visual identity should be established. Organizations such as the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Week-ends du monde, Walk for the Earth and others inspired us with their use of consistent branding: even though each event’s theme changes yearly, the brand image associated with the event stays the same. For « Faut se parler », Phil’s design team chose a look reminiscent of retro-style comic strips. The handwritten words in a blue speech bubble represent dialogue, while the black bars represent censorship. This contrast reflected JQSI’s theme (“We need to talk”) and was used on all of the promotional materials: buttons, posters, web, etc.

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AQOCI’s program director, Marie Brodeur Gélinas, liked the concept from the get-go. She also valued Phil’s extensive social sector experience. Ms. Brodeur Gélinas’ diligence and speed in providing feedback helped the project a great deal. She knew what she wanted, and always formulated timely and purposeful requests. As such, all of the project deadlines were respected. Whatever the project may be, the importance of good cooperation between stakeholders can never be overstated.

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