ESI 2011 Conference

April 25, 2011

We stepped into the future for the 2011 ESi WebEOC User and Training Conference this past March. If you’ve tried to catch us and missed us — well, that’s why. We were in the future.

Kruhu is back and we do have stories to tell and things to share. It all started with the amazing and forward thinking company, ESi. If you haven’t heard of them, they are the global leader in crisis information management technology. The staff is an amazing, bright, cutting edge and simply wonderful group of people to work with.

They approached us about branding the 2011 WebEOC User & Training Conference in Augusta and we jumped on it like a space monkey with roller skates. The mission consisted of these elements; theme development, branding and naming of rooms, designing the 70 page user booklet, badges, lanyards, classroom banners, onsite signage and displays that consisted of different types of directional, welcome and digital signage as well as video work, an animated logo and a miniature conference website.

After developing the theme name we created this brand image for the conference… The theme was related to the concept of “six degrees of separation” which is the considerable relationship from one WebEOC user to another.

From there, we got to work on the print collateral. Kruhu designed a 70-page conference booklet that would serve two goals; the first to provide conference information and the second, to serve as a classroom pass that could change based on each attendee’s schedule. We also created custom artwork for conference events that took place throughout the week. Take a look at some of the work.

Up next, signage to brand the event. We started with a sheet of aluminum and a big Styrofoam six and got to work interweaving the two, which took three people and some serious touch up work on the paint. We put a finish on the aluminum and hung it in the Marriott’s main entrance. The final sign measured about 7ft wide by 4ft tall.

We also created mobile signage for the event. Prepositional mannequins were the Spring 2011 highlight of our inter-office humor. We now have one stationed in our “all-serious” conference room with a Magnum P.I. mustache, a super afro and a twirling helicopter hat. There was some serious time spent making these guys into galactic ESi conference guides. Many hours went into building the props, creating custom graphics and outfitting the guys with glow wire from our seamstress Cynthia.

There’s still more! We built a satellite to provide directions. This part of the project was intended to be a massive directional sign pointing attendees in the correct direction to certain classes or rooms. We met with the hotel staff twice to figure out the best way to approach the project for hanging such a device. We planned to build a satellite out of very thin steel and hang it, but as soon as we had the wing fabricated we knew that safety and weight would actually be an issue. We came up with a sketch and began the work. It took a great deal of time to convert these sketches into a final product made of materials that were stable, yet light enough to hang without the chance of falling. The 100lb satellite was built so that it would hang from the top and a professional lifter hung it with a roughly 6000 pound regulation cord.

After the satellite went up late on Sunday evening we grabbed a photo or two. Monday morning, a hotel staff member said that satellite wasn’t going to work in the air “because of safety reasons.” We were told it could not be roped off on the ground level either “because of attendee traffic issues.” Even though we had discussions with the hotel prior to building the satellite that was the end of it. The conference was starting Monday afternoon and we had to think smart and fast. How could we recover some use of the satellite? Our best option was to break it down and use it for a table centerpiece. We painted some hose, ran power through it, put some dry ice in it, created some graphics and had it transformed in a day.


The last piece of the conference branding we built was a mini-event website, geared to give attendees the most up-to-date info about the event on the fly. We also filmed comments from attendees on site and edited it overnight for use during the ESi User & Training Conference Awards Show. Thanks Sandy for the motorized fading/twinkling lights, no one anywhere seemed to have these in February.

Overall there were more pieces we created and signage we designed but for the most part, we focused on these pieces. We want to thank all of the Kruhu staff (now including Maggie) for putting in INSANE hours. We want to thank our machine shop, Shane Hulsebus, Sandy and of course Cynthia for artistically applying the glow wire to our props.