Showing Off Pays Off

Pratt ExhibitAs we head into the final month of school for many students, I found this pretty topical. I recently attended a student art show in NYC, sponsored by Pratt Institute, one of the country’s premiere schools for art, design and architecture. The exhibit, opened to creative industry professionals, showcased undergrad seniors and grad students’ best work.

Though a renown design school, Pratt’s event was a study in great marketing, too. For as we “Real World Creatives” know, to communicate best we must…

1. Showcase the message in the right environment/medium. Here, that meant the school is clearly understood the value of “entertaining” for such a time-consuming event — as a bountiful buffet of gourmet cheese & crackers, fresh fruit, sparkling water and champagne welcomed each guest before they took on the 3-level exhibit space.

2.Talk to the right target: The Invitee list was made up of creative industry professionals, many if whom are directly involved in their company’s hiring decisions. So with this audience, even if it cost the school $50k for this single event, I bet it paid for itself in many times over in prospective job offers. This would then increase the percentage of Pratt students finding jobs within their first year of graduation — a statistic sought after by the top college resource publishers… which in turn brings in more students and more money.

3. Foster loyalty/continuity: And as an annual event, this kind of program could inspire employers to make it a routine component of their new creative search process, making Pratt an ally of employers.

4. Tap into Word of Mouth: And last, but not least, it has created a very positive buzz about Pratt Institute. Case in point, they just got this free, praise-filled blog post!

Design and Marketing savvy working together hand-in-hand. What a concept.

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