Building an Event Brand Umbrella from the Bottom Up

Biennial of the Americas

The beauty of an event that takes place in various parts around the city is that it feels natural, organic and representative of the surrounding urban and cultural environment. But it comes with a considerable communications challenge – creating and expressing a consistent identity that captures people’s interest for more central activities.

The Biennial of the Americas, hosted in Denver every other year, is such an event. The organization first called on CIG to help with event logistics, and later on, to develop and implement a grassroots strategy to establish a cohesive look, feel and experience for all events – day, night, central and satellite – in the month-long celebration.

Previous Slide
Next Slide

Via the CIG-designed street stencil, the team introduced the Biennial logo and event information at event locations, and near breweries, coffee shops and other strategic neighborhoods frequented by prospective event attendees. The stencil spurred mystery and intrigue, helped to tie dispersed events together in a visual, but discreet, way, and contributed to event participation that exceeded expectations.

In planning the logistics for the 2015 Biennial of the Americas, CIG submitted (and sometimes resubmitted) nearly 20 permits to the City and County of Denver.

Biennial Night @ Civic Center Park, attended by 4,000 people, featured performances by four different bands. Continuing the event cohesion plan, CIG added a light show, which was projected on the Denver City and County Building and coordinated with the emcee of the night.

There’s organized. And then there’s CIG organized. A checklist will only take an event or a project so far. The next level of organization involves humility, relationships and exceptional follow-through. Such was the CIG team’s approach to flawlessly launching and creating a cohesive experience for the multi-site, week-long event. In addition to collaborating with the Biennial marketing team, a partner PR agency and an event production company, CIG built a relationship with the city’s special events manager, taking a collaborative approach to ensuring that the appropriate permits and approvals were in place for every detail, no matter how small.

Checking all the boxes? Yes. Asking endless questions to get it right? Double yes.

On a foundation of solid planning, CIG’s grassroots branding tactic achieved the desired result: Biennial events disconnected by time and distance were linked by one cohesive brand experience. Participants noticed and understood that the daytime, nighttime and neighborhood events were all part of one bigger Biennial. Attendance at the inaugural Pavilion Opening night surpassed Biennial organizers’ and the city’s expectations. And, more importantly, CIG’s conscientious approach helped to restore the Biennial’s reputation with local planning agencies and partner organizations.