Vision Down Under As soon as we announced Australia as the conference site, excitement was high," says Jill Stoffield, meeting/conference planner at Brookfield, WI-based HPS Select Brokerage Services, "but to keep that charge going, we needed a strong promotional program." The Creative Services and Sales departments worked together to create the Vision Down Under campaign, which tied together the company's promotional goals with a memorable theme, eye-catching graphics and cost-effective gifts, over an 18-month qualification period.

"We sent regular monthly mailings to about 2,000 agents," Stoffield says, "which included current agent rankings, special bonus-month and sales promotion updates, and information on the culture and beauty of Australia."

If you've created a successful promotion, why not share it with your peers? Call Editor Susan Hatch at (508) 768-7720, or send your materials to Insurance Conference Planner, 60 Main Street, Maynard, MA 01754.

THE PROGRAM Company: HPS Select Brokerage Services, Brookfield, WI (formerly The Mutual Group (U.S.), Employee Benefits)

Event: 1996 Sales Leaders' Conference

Sites: Hyatt Regency Coolum, Queensland, Australia and (for the top ten agents) Park Hyatt Sydney

Dates: January 27 to February 2, 1996, with two additional nights for top producers

Qualification Period: March 1, 1994 through August 31, 1995

Qualifying Attendees: 133

Total Attendees: 258, including spouses, guests, and home-office staff

Theme: Vision Down Under

Design: All creative work was produced in-house by HPS Select Brokerage Services' staff. Graphic designer Jill Blazek created the promotional materials and led other team members in researching and purchasing customized promotional items. Jill Stoffield, meeting/conference planner, oversaw the production and purchase of all promotions.

Promotion Budget: $42,000 included printing, production, and mailing of materials; and all promotional items and qualifier gifts

Savings Ideas: To reduce costs, materials were printed in two batches--pre-conference and meeting materials. Select Brokerage Services' Creative Services staff researched and purchased paper in bulk, saving a considerable amount compared to the cost of having the printer supply the paper. Because printing a small run of four-color flyers each month is cost prohibitive, the colorful promotional flyers were printed ahead in bulk and later imprinted in black with with rankings, sales promotions, and other information.

Departments Involved: Creative Services and Sales

Planner Comment: "Keeping in front of the agents was key to making this conference a success," says Jill Stoffield, meeting/conference planner. "We accomplished this with monthly mailings and special promotional gifts that carried the Vision Down Under theme."