History & Beer Combine: The York County Heritage Trust's Annual Micro Brew Fest

Organization Name:
York County Heritage Trust
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
Annually hosting a Microbrew Fest celebrating the brewing and tavern history in York, Pennsylvania, this fundraising initiative seeks to benefit the institution financially, and equally important for long-term sustainability, strives to connect younger audiences and the historic sites comprising the Trust. This is done through Homebrew Workshops that teach the technique and history of brewing, a Homebrew Showcase enabling an application of that knowledge, and the event itself. The poster served as a single element of a larger marketing package for the event, helping to garner marketing momentum prior to ticket sales. A creative approach to a fundraising event combining a history lesson with taste and technique, coupled with an innovative and fun design remaining true to the event itself, the piece contributed to the marketing package and plan, helping the event to sell-out in a record-breaking amount of time and number of festival attendees.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
As the museum field adapts and evolves, audiences want interactive experiences. Additionally, while there is a misconception that historical institutions may be perceived as elitist, stuffy or outdated, the Trust strives to provide programming and events that challenge this antiquated perception. Thus, the Trust creates unique history lessons that turn a typical history book upside down while inspiring the community to “explore the history and culture of York County, Pennsylvania through their collections, historic sites and museums.” Marketing collateral created in previous years for the event did not reflect the audience the organization sought to reach with the event or the exemplification of trends in the museum field. While the event was extremely popular, as evidenced in sell-out crowds, the Marketing Department sought to create a fresh and consistent brand for the event that coincided with the organization while reflecting both the desired demographic and nature of the event.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
As the Trust prepares for the 2010 Microbrew Fest, last year’s creative design served as a fresh start for the brand of the event. Marketing material is more targeted and focused to the desired demographic and nature of the event, as seen in the usage of fonts, colors, text and design concepts. The pieces in turn successfully reach and resonate with the desired audience as seen in the reflected ticket sales, which have sold out in less time than that of 2009. Additionally, media attention has supported that goal and momentum through local and regional media coverage of the event in the past year. As a result of their participation at the Microbrew Fest and its related activities and programs, these same audiences are now connecting to the Trust on a larger scale. This support is seen in memberships and interactive engagement such as event and program attendance, subscriptions to weekly e-mails, and social media followers and interactions to name a few.