Since 2006, Electronic Resource and Libraries (ER&L) has held its annual conference in person. The event is an opportunity for librarians and vendors to collect, manage, maintain, and make electronic resources accessible in an ever-changing online environment. For 2022, ER&L went completely virtual for its conference—a first for the organization. Conference organizers, Bonnie and Sandy, knew it would be a struggle to keep attendees’ attention for yet another dreaded “online meeting” during the Covid-19 pandemic. So they challenged us to create a campaign that would be seamlessly immersive and engaging for a virtual experience both online and off.
Like happy campers, we rose to the challenge. Things kicked off with two potential campaign themes: music festivals and camping. We’ve done a fair amount of camping ourselves so we got the green light to explore that direction. Heejung started collecting camping objects and creating a mood board to hone the creative flow. From there, she created a logo for this year’s conference title, Camp ER&L, which established a design framework for us to build on. With the logo as our guidepost, we created multiple other design elements to achieve and maintain brand cohesion: PPTs, social media posts, tape rolls, stickers, videos, coloring books, a conference program that included an offline interactive map, and so much more. If all of these pieces were part of a camping backpack, what would they look like and how would they all fit together? That was our thinking. For us, it was also like adding logs to keep a perfect bonfire going.
ER&L proceeded with our camping concept and ultimately it was a huge hit with conference attendees, who expressed to Bonnie and Sandy that it was one of the most memorable conferences they had experienced. Users loved the theme and the designs. And we loved that this had become one of our most satisfying creative collaborations. When you have a group of individuals with the same vision all working in sync, it’s no shock that those bus wheels headed to camp need little grease to drive miles together.