23% increase in membership, 8,000 qualified buyers, 300+ exhibitors, and 10% YOY association growth
The 30-year old international association of colored gemstones and cultured pearls needed a brand evolution that reflected the growth of their industry. Working with AGTA has yielded organizational growth from new member registrations to new buyer access. AGTA Brand Evolution AGTA was founded in 1981 to create a trade organization and trade show to support color gemstone wholesalers. Over the years, the organization has expanded services and membership to include a broader audience without revising the mission and vision or changing the brand platform, identity, and messaging. Key Issues The organization has a paid staff in addition to a volunteer board which changes every 3 years. The brand strategy not only needed to include traditional marketing and sales materials but also digital and their main income producer: the AGTA GemFair™ Tucson tradeshow. Continuity of vision is held by the paid CEO but greatly influenced by the board. Hearing all voices, and gaining consensus to execute on objectives and meet budgetary and timeline constraints, requires flexibility, fluidity, and experienced listening skills. Solution Key influencers were identified in staff, board, membership-at-large, industry and trade media. These people were engaged by email questionnaire and a follow-up phone conversation. Results were aggregated and findings presented to the board with initial brand platform, audience messaging, and brand identity. Through managed collaboration from all stakeholders, a new brand evolved. Results Overall membership has increased while their main income producer, AGTA GemFair™ Tucson, has broken tradeshow industry standards by increasing exhibitor participation and attendance over the past 4 years. In that time period, more than 300 exhibitors represent a tenfold increase, while 8,000 qualified buyers attended the 2017 GemFair. 98% of the 2017 attendees met new suppliers (AGTA members) by walking the show and 96% of 2017 attendees plan on attending the 2018 GemFair.