Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for students age 14–18, Builders Club for students age 11–14, Kiwanis Kids for students age 6–12 and Aktion Club for adults living with disabilities, annually dedicate more than 18 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children. The Kiwanis International family comprises nearly 600,000 adult and youth members in 80 countries and geographic areas.
Each year Kiwanis hosts their annual member convention to celebrate the impact of their members and service projects. In 2015 they celebrated their 100th anniversary at the home of Kiwanis International Offices in Indianapolis, Indiana. This amazing 4-day event brought all Kiwanis’ family of clubs together with nearly 10,000 members attending, representing Kiwanis, Aktion Club, Circle K and Key Club.
Beyond the convention center expo, Kiwanis also had a variety of individual events around the city including their signature Pancake Breakfast hosted on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle, where they gave away nearly 12,000 free pancakes, but also collected more than $6,000 in donations to go toward Kiwanis’ world service initiative, The Eliminate Project. Opening session featured a Sister Sledge concert (We are Family) in honor of the Kiwanis family of clubs. And during their four days in Indianapolis, Circle K members alone donated 5,000 hours of service to help Indianapolis nonprofits.
Kiwanis International employs a full time Meetings and Conventions team which, along with a myriad of other duties, contracts and works with the chosen venue to secure appropriate space for each upcoming convention event. These convention sites are planned and secured at least two years in advance.
As each event nears, the Kiwanis communications team, made up of designers, writers, production and marketing professionals begin working with the Meetings and Conventions staff to plan for the needs for each convention.
As they began to plan for this anniversary event, the Meetings and Conventions team had ongoing meetings with the Marketing and Communications team which included production leader Gary Ransburg, Project & Production Manager at Kiwanis International.
With so many activities, there were many moving parts. To start, Gary and Kiwanis knew they needed to produce thousands of pieces across multiple events, attendee types and from varying groups including: Service leadership, Growth and Education, Kiwanis Magazine and PR, IT and The Kiwanis International Foundation. Initially the Kiwanis communications team met with all of these groups to determine the message they wanted “Kiwanians” to come away with and to submit their print communications needs.
Kiwanis then started down the path of finding a reliable print communications partner to meet the following challenges they foresaw with producing the event.
As this event was the 100th anniversary, the production team had high expectations for making it exactly right, and as seamless as possible for the attendees. In addition, they wanted the added benefit of having a “proven” partner they had worked with before, so nothing was left to chance. Fineline was one of those proven print communications partners.
“Kiwanis has worked with Fineline for many years so we understand the depth of their various capabilities and feel very comfortable that they are up to the task – personal service is certainly a big part of that.” commented Gary. “In fact, I didn’t even get a competitive bid from them because I knew what they were going to do anyway and that they are always fair.”
Kiwanis came to Fineline with a long list of items, to which Fineline had the technology, equipment, and staff to handle the volume. Fineline hosted a kick-off meeting with Kiwanis to talk through details and make recommendations based on event goals.
Though there were many ways Fineline provided strategic solutions, three particular instances stood out to Gary:
Kiwanis received overwhelmingly positive attendee feedback including how “impressed, blown away and enjoyable being at the 100th anniversary event was.” This also included comments from Kiwanis leadership on how well the visual brand aligned to goals, and the positive experience the Kiwanis organization provided to its members.
“Kiwanis has a good working relationship with Fineline that includes a lot of open communication and great customer service. They pay attention and care about client success, which feels like a true partnership – where they are going to roll up their sleeves and be on-site if that is what you need from them. They always figure out a way to make things happen. Fineline’s great work helped make the Kiwanis’ 100th anniversary a true success!” said Gary Ransburg, Project & Production Manager at Kiwanis International.
We got so many compliments on our exhibit booth! We are so happy with it, thank you for all your amazing work and help!!!!Sugar Creek Hops Alexandra Gray, Vice President, Sugar Creek Hops