For the Georgia Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society’s 2016 “Harvest for a Cure” benefit, Convergent set up and developed content for 19 large-format digital screens throughout Mason Fine Art in Atlanta, a large gallery space that hosted the event. The elegant and entirely dynamic signage helped the society exceed fundraising goals for the evening.
Nominating Company: Convergent, Alpharetta, Georgia
Venue: Multiple Sclerosis Society, Georgia Chapter “Harvest for a Cure” Event, Atlanta, Georgia
Project: Multiple Sclerosis Society, Georgia Chapter “Harvest for a Cure” Event
Category: Event Venues & Hospitality
“Harvest for a Cure” benefits the Georgia Chapter of the National MS Society, which supports research to treat and end MS globally. The event features a food-and-wine extravaganza with Atlanta’s best culinary talent. 2016’s benefit, held on October 20, took place at Mason Fine Art in Atlanta, which offers a large, warehouse-like gallery space for events.
Convergent donated more than 500 hours of work over two months to develop content for and set up 19 large-format digital screens throughout the venue. Displays included:
• Welcome signage at the entrance to get guests geared up for the occasion and enhance the spirit of giving. This 84-inch screen displayed information about the event, the MS Society and the services it provides.
• A screen at each food-and-wine station highlighting the participating chef and sommelier.
• Several general-purpose screens displaying content designed to drive donations, including a running tally of contributions.
Convergent faced two challenges in developing signage for the benefit:
1) In keeping with the upscale nature of the event, the chapter wanted to offer guests an elegant experience. Technology and content had to be appropriate for the occasion and still provide the information attendees needed to enjoy the benefit and donate to the cause. The digital signage had to be noticeable and engaging while also being seamlessly integrated into the environment to do its job.
2) The signage design included typically dynamic elements such as a live social media feed so guests could see how others were responding to the event as well as the running donation tally previously mentioned. However, even content on the signs at the food-and-wine stations needed to be dynamic as the information on them was changing right up to the start of the event.
The MS Society did not establish a brand for the event, so to ensure appropriateness and consistency in design, Convergent created content standards. Colors were limited primarily to black, white and gold so the signs were a good visual fit for the gallery space. The hierarchy of elements on the signs emphasized station numbers so attendees could easily locate the chefs and sommeliers in the large space. The signs also featured sophisticated and well-paced animated designs in keeping with the elegance of the event.
To create entirely dynamic content, all information on the signs came from data feeds. The majority of the content (chef and sommelier names, menus, MS Society information) was logged into Google Docs spreadsheets and fed into the system. The donation tally and donor thank-yous were fed in via forms completed at the event. One Convergent employee updated information and managed the system throughout the evening.
The event resulted in $350,000 in donations to the MS Society, significantly exceeding the previous year’s total and the organization’s $300,000 goal for the event.
“Convergent’s digital experience at the event was highly impactful, and it saved us thousands of dollars that we can now add to the bottom line for global MS research,” said Roy A.Rangel, president of the Georgia chapter of the National MS Society. “The signage was a powerful tool that recognized our sponsors, chefs and sommeliers for their contributions. More importantly, it displayed in words and images our relentless pursuit of our vision: a world free of MS”