Big Picnic

Drake Rorabaugh, Ipek Pelit, Jessica Andreas, Jesselyn Jakobe, Haley Brown
Event Marketing/Branding/Print/3D Modeling/Proposal Design

Each year, groups of KCAI students are tasked with branding the annual Big Picnic at the Nelson Atkins Art Museum—a large festival geared toward families with a focus on children's activities. Teams create proposals that encompass everything from the basic concept and idea behind that year's event to the experiences and activities planned, as well as the materials required for these activities.

As we were planning our approach to this event, COVID became an increasingly significant concern throughout March. Faced with this uncertainty, we had to adapt our in-person plans to a virtual format at the last minute. This pivotal moment challenged our team, but we managed to successfully redirect our proposal and transform all of our planned activities and materials into a take-home kit.

Our final proposal was self-contained, clearly outlining our intentions and materials. We believe showcasing this proposal is the most effective way to present this project, as it demonstrates our adaptability and resilience in the face of unexpected challenges. Overall, our branding proposal helped solve the pain points associated with the virtual adaptation of the Nelson-Atkins Big Picnic event by identifying the need to adapt to fit the virtual environment. By providing recommendations that focused on creating a sense of community, increasing interactivity, and addressing technical issues, our proposal helped ensure a successful virtual event.

01 Presented Mark

The Mark successfully wove in different icons of the Nelson Atkin’s Presence here in Kansas City, including numerous sculptures and represntation of the event’s past highlights. All of the ornament markings could be removed as well, leaving a simple lock-up for various print applications.

02 Goals

Identifying goals that were not only able to fit the nelson’s original values and expectations for the event, but the newly reworked virtual Big Picnic was a challenge in itself. To adress these at the start of the presentation was paramount.

03 Audience Breakdown

No successful marketing effort is complete without identifying the core audience and their desires, and tying those directly to the chosen theme.
04 Core Theme

05 Our Message

Our core message, "Together, we Create." served to bridge the distance brought on by the pandemic between the audience and the event organizers. We aimed to engage people by emphasizing that creation is most valuable when done collaboratively, rather than as a solo effort.

06 Move to Virtual

Adapting our presentation from an in-person event to a virtual one was a challenge unprecedented to the entire world, as everyone had to adjust for the safety of society. As college students, facing this challenge was doubly daunting. We are incredibly proud of our team's flexibility and creative problem-solving in overcoming these obstacles.
Pain-points included:
    • Limited engagement with attendees: Without the in-person aspect of the Big Picnic, it may be challenging to keep attendees engaged throughout the virtual event. This could lead to lower participation and less interest in the event overall.
    • Technical difficulties: Virtual events can be challenging from a technical perspective, especially given the lack of precendence we had at the time.
    • Lack of community: One of the most significant benefits of in-person events is the sense of community and connection that attendees can experience. With a virtual event, it may be more difficult to foster this sense of community, which could lead to a less satisfying experience for attendees especially for an event with a younger audience.
    • Limited interactivity: Virtual events may not provide the same level of interactivity as in-person events, which could lead to a less engaging experience for attendees. It may be challenging to facilitate activities and experiences that are interactive and engaging in a virtual environment.
    • Decreased revenue: With the shift to a virtual event, there may be a risk of decreased revenue due to the lack of in-person attendance and potential difficulties in monetizing a virtual event. This could impact the financial and general viability of the event overall.

06 Proposal Branding

The branding was adapted to fit the newly virtual event, reworking the assets made for physical signage and print pieces to work in other applications. Made up of the typefaces Butler and Calluna Sans, we found that combining these with the established nelson branding would enable us to help elevate the brand in place while differing our event away from those before without taking from the established familiarity the audience has with it.

The kit of parts we provided included illustrations that referenced different aspects of the event and the memories the audience has associate with it.

07 Phyiscal Materials

To address the issue of limited engagement with attendees, we recommended transitioning materials into a take-home or solo format, which would allow attendees to participate in their own time and space. This would provide flexibility and convenience, which could increase participation and interest in the event overall.

Physical elements were crucial in making the event more than just a screen experience and capturing children's attention. In addition to our print materials, we developed a core component of our kit: The Big Picnic Blanket. This blanket was designed to double as a map, allowing children to color and create on it using markers, while also serving as a source of activities.

We employed a series of custom 3D-modeled mock-ups and elevations to provide a clear idea of how the kit could be activated within the home environment.

08 Activities

The activities were the most important aspect that needed adaptation to the new virtual format. Initially planned for the Nelson lawn, we had less than 48 hours to transform them into an in-home kit. As described in the slides, these activities include activating the Big Picnic Blanket and our custom sculpture riddle activities, which were written to emphasize the pieces on the Nelson Lawn.

Additionally, we incorporated a "Create Your Own Instrument" activity for children to engage not only their visual senses but also their auditory ones while at home..