Community collaboration

Informative design/build seminars provide opportunities for designers to engage and work together.

  • July 19, 2011
  • Kristen Hampshire

When two dozen professionals in the design field gathered at a farm-to-fork restaurant for a program on sustainable growth, the synergies in the room were evident in the table chatter and lingering guests after the event’s wrap-up. The LaurelRock Co.’s first design/build seminar exceeded its expectations for attendance and engagement. People truly enjoyed themselves. They learned something about sustainable design. And they thanked LaurelRock for the invitation.

That’s the kind of PR that produces leads, develops lasting industry relationships, positions the company as an expert – and just feels good. “Part of our core values is to invest in the environment, which is why we are interested in sustainability and why we want to be seen as a leader in the sustainable movement in our field, in our area,” DeMarche says. “Then, we also embrace teamwork and (these seminars) are all about collaboration.”

LaurelRock’s event marketing goals are lead-driven but genuine. And it’s a very soft sell. The company chooses the panel of speakers and distributes helpful packets of information. “We want to educate attendees as architects and help them bridge the gap between people who own the home and how sustainable architecture can be a part of [the design],” DeMarche says.

Meanwhile, in a rough economy, the company has more than doubled its marketing budget since 2008, when they spent no more than $8,000 in a year. In 2009, the company allocated $50,000 of its budget toward marketing, and in 2010, it doubled that amount to $100,000 and brought on a PR team. “We want to really get out there and be seen as experts in this industry and within our community,” DeMarche sums up.       


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