ScienceWriters 2013 offered an unprecedented opportunity to put UF researchers on the radar of some of the nation’s most influential science journalists. More than 300 science journalists from newspapers, magazines, radio, television and online publications, as well as public information officers from some of the nation’s most prestigious scientific organizations and universities spent five days in Gainesville learning about our university, our scientists and our region.
From the outset, the ScienceWriters 2013 Steering Committee and the Office of Research Communications sought to uniquely brand this conference in a way that would make it stand out from all the ones before and after it. The creative team carefully evaluated previous conference material and brainstormed about the things that made UF and the Gainesville-Alachua County region unique. Although UF was the host, we were also dealing with two professional organizations so we needed to integrate their identities into our brand.
The result was an extensive suite of designs that all worked together to drive home the ScienceWriters 2013 brand. From typography and icongraphy to photos and text, the design was driven by the areas of research we were showcasing through our participating faculty. Ultimately, all of the elements of the brand reinforced the world-class research at the University of Florida and the natural and cultural uniqueness of Gainesville and Alachua County.
Joe Kays, Creative Director, Director of Research Communications
Kathy Kinsley-Momberger, Art Director, Office of Research Communications
Paul Messal, Lead Designer, Office of Research Communications
Cindy Spence, Writer/Editor, Office of Research Communications
Nancy Schreck, Graphic Designer, Office of Research Communications
Office of Research Communications staff attended several ScienceWriters meetings prior to hosting, taking careful notes about what worked and what didn’t work.
We always tried to put ourselves in the user’s shoes, which is why the name tag/program was so well received. It not only looked cool, but it served its multiple purposes extraordinarily well.
We were committed to making our design elements so good that the participating professional organizations would want them to carry across all parts of the conference.
We knew that this particular audience was a big user of Twitter, so we worked hard to establish the #sciwri13 hashtag early and provided a steady supply of fun, informative tweets leading up to and during the conference
As one participant said, most conferences stop at creating really great content, but we took the next step and created a really great experience.