Every year, Norwood’s primary fundraiser is their annual dinner event which is usually held in person at a top London venue. In early 2020, Norwood appointed Creative Clinic to create theming, branding, event collateral (invitations, brochure etc.) and fundraising material for their November 2020 event. This work was fully developed ready to be launched, but just weeks before it was due to be rolled–out, the first national lockdown was announced and it was decided that the usually high profile dinner and entertainment event (as it had been planned) would need to be cancelled.
Creative Clinic immediately stepped in to help Norwood rethink what the annual dinner might look like in lockdown conditions. We realised that not only was a new approach required to ensure that essential fundraising and awareness of Norwood increased, but that the situation also presented an exciting opportunity to re-engage the charity’s current donors and supporters, whilst attracting a new and broader audience.
In response to this challenge, Creative Clinic came up with an alternative name for the event, rebranding it as Norwood Dinner Reimagined. The idea was to retain the long-established recognition and goodwill towards the usual-format Norwood Dinner, whilst communicating that this would be a fresh and compelling take on the event, that was unlike anything anyone had experienced before.
Creative Clinic developed the branding and logo design, creating a ‘glitch’-like animated logo to emphasise the digital nature of the event and to create intrigue and build anticipation as the event was being reshaped and reimagined, morphing into something entirely new. This was developed into a full visual design system built on the concept, which was then applied to a digital ‘save the date’ announcement, invitation and a drip-feeding of information through e-shots to registered audience members and previous donors. In addition, we designed a fundraising brochure that was sent to all registrants and could be downloaded on the night of the event.
Creative Clinic’s involvement in the project extended beyond pure strategy and design, as we also led the process and framework for planning the event. Previous in-venue Norwood Dinners were ‘closed’ events run by event production companies catering for 300 invited guests in a hotel. We recommended to Norwood that by moving to a digital format, the event could be opened up to a potentially global audience rather than an exclusive few, thereby enabling the charity to extend its reach, increase brand awareness and attract more donations. Norwood had never run a digital event before, let alone one that was such an important part of their annual fundraising strategy, so our experience, direction and ‘hand-holding’ of our client was critical in shaping its success.
Central to the Norwood Dinner Reimagined concept, was the digital infrastructure that Creative Clinic put in place in the run up to the event and on the night. We designed and built a highly secure online platform with the ability for guests to RSVP to exclusive invitations and to enable data-collection of the extended global audience.
On the evening of the event, the same bespoke website that we created was used as a platform for guests and the wider audience to log–on and view the streamed virtual event that was being broadcast, within a branded environment. We established an extremely robust infrastructure that had previously been stress-tested to handle many thousands of simultaneous log–ons, and on the night the stream was broadcast without a hitch.
The event itself was a pre-recorded stream, presented ‘as-live’, that was produced by content agency Verity London. Hosted by TV presenter Jonathan Ross, the 55 minute film included exclusive performances from Lewis Capaldi, Craig David, Lulu, Michael McIntyre and messages of support from Katie Piper, Rob Rinder, Darcy Bussell and Natasha Kaplinsky. Working in collaboration with us, Verity London followed the event brand style and brand book that Creative Clinic produced for the film’s on-screen motion graphics and title visuals.
The virtual dinner was watched by over 5,400 households and raised an incredible £3 million on the night. In the same year that Norwood was celebrating its 225th anniversary (receiving a message of congratulations from HM The Queen on the day of the event), Creative Clinic played a fundamental role in helping the charity pivot from their usual in-venue format to an innovative ‘virtual event’ in response to the pandemic, over a nine-month period.
We are immensely proud to have played our part in such a hugely successful digital brand and event that has received fantastic recognition and inspired millions of pounds in donations.
Third Sector Awards 2021 – Communications Agency of the Year – SHORTLIST
Third Sector Awards 2021 – Fundraising Campaign – SHORTLIST
Purpose Awards 2021 – Charity/NGO Best Fundraising Campaign – SHORTLIST
EVCOM (Event & Visual Communication Association) – Innovation Award – SILVER
EVCOM (Event & Visual Communication Association) – Celebratory Award – BRONZE