The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) needed to identify ways to rejuvenate the organization's presence at its annual meeting to build a stronger connection between the meeting, its members, and its mission: “to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, and collaboration.”
Before making specific recommendations, we conducted an event audit to provide a fresh and objective perspective of the event. The audit uncovered valuable insights into the overall audience experience, including attendees’ high expectations for the educational offerings. Attendees also shared that they valued opportunities to connect with their peers and to share their own research and expertise.
Our strategists proposed a central area where the AACR community could interact, develop relationships, and establish sustainable bonds. Our design team focused on the AACRcentral, the AACR’s space in the expo hall. When the meeting opened, the AACRcentral welcomed attendees with a new structure and layout.
An adaptable approach to success
The clean, current, and brand-consistent presence was visible from anywhere on the show floor, welcoming attendees to learn more about the AACR and its offerings throughout the year. The open floor plan allowed for more networking opportunities, which improved attendee engagement — with each other and with the AACR staff. The structure integrated the AACR messaging, which connected the event to the association’s year-round pursuit of its broader mission and goals.
The AACRcentral also incorporated two theaters, which provided much-needed space to present content that was driven by the AACR, as well as invited speakers and guests. The design offered flexibility, so the structure can be adapted for multiple purposes for years to come.
One of our core goals at the AACR Annual Meeting is to help researchers identify and interact with like-minded peers. The redesign went a long way toward helping our attendees make those connections.
Senior Director, Marketing and Creative Services, AACR