The Partner

Founded in 1869 and located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue is a public research university and flagship campus for the Purdue University system. Purdue University is particularly noted for its premier engineering, agriculture and business administration programs.

The Purdue University Special Events team operates as a part of the University Development Office. The team organizes executive-level events for the president and vice president of the university. In particular, they serve as a fundraising arm, cultivating alumni engagement through special events.

The Relationship

Purdue University, the Special Events team in particular, has had a long-standing relationship with ExpoDesign—approximately 15 years. ExpoDesign works side-by-side with the team to design and execute the aesthetic features of an event. ExpoDesign creates custom, high-quality 3D props and unique theming elements to project the Purdue brand identity at executive-level, alumni-directed events.

As Assistant Vice President for Special Events, Lance Connolly provides complete oversight and management for the Special Events team. Lance broke down the process with ExpoDesign:

“It’s very collaborative in nature. We come to them with an idea, a need, and they help us make it a reality. For example, we are ongoingly orchestrating the Ever True Campaign, the largest fundraising effort in Purdue history set to end next year on the university’s 150th anniversary. The logo for this campaign is Purdue’s iconic bell tower. For the Ever True events, we wanted to make that key design element a centerpiece. ExpoDesign took this idea and drafted a design. We then went back and forth on the details. The team is easy to work with; they know how to navigate budget and logistical constraints. In the end, they created an impressive 3D representation of the bell tower icon that really makes a branding impact.”

Beyond these individual projects, Purdue and ExpoDesign have true partnership. Each prop and theming element is owned by the University Development Office and stored and maintained for future use by ExpoDesign. Because of this, the Special Events team and other departments have easy access to an inventory of ready-made decor features, for the just cost of delivery to campus.

Lance spoke to the long-term relationship: “There are real benefits to working with someone so familiar with what you do. ExpoDesign is a trusted partner. They understand the nuances of Purdue’s history, traditions and branding. The team knows the layout of the campus well, and so there’s is never an issue with delivery. That understanding and flexibility is of the utmost importance when it comes to event planning.”

Moving Forward

The mutual respect and understanding between Purdue’s Special Events team and ExpoDesign bodes well for the future. This strong working relationship has established a solid foundation for any and all upcoming endeavors. We look forward to the continued partnership.

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