After 25 years as an established trade association in the travel industry, a Kellen client decided to expand its niche focus to include all facets of the industry. As the association began to grow, questions began to arise as the association’s leaders realized the widespread implications of the shift in positioning: Had we become too big too fast? In becoming larger had we lost our unique value proposition? Are we effectively positioning ourselves globally to the newer membership groups of our association?
Under Kellen’s leadership, the association was guided through a phased expansion process. The program included market assessments, international branding, audience messaging and the development of an international events portfolio. By focusing on industry engagement, Kellen was able to grow the membership base while also fostering camaraderie among the group.
Kellen worked with the organization to:
- Sub-brand the group’s five global events
- Identify and segment the new audiences
- Create effective materials and messaging to encourage the broader audiences in the industry to join
- Develop visuals and iconography to clarify the international message
- Create opportunities to establish the leadership of the group in the industry
The results of the global expansion were immediate: The group’s largest global event saw a 58% increase in attendance and a 23% increase in the number of exhibitors. The first regional event, which took place in Asia, had the highest attendance of any of the organization’s regional events. Membership continues to grow and comments from members have been positive across the board – accomplishing leadership’s goal of maintaining the group’s sense of belonging in the face of rapid growth.