History Colorado – A Grand Re-Opening
The Colorado Historical Society had the challenge of transforming itself and its audience with the building of a new museum. With the closing of an old museum, the organization made plans for a new facility, a new identity and new audiences. History Colorado was born, the History Colorado Center was built, and new audiences were pursued.
As the grand limestone edifice of the History Colorado Center was rising, Membership Consultants and the staff of the new Center began planning for a membership program that would parallel the growth and transformation of the organization itself. Membership planning was comprehensive, and transformational. Keeping as many of the 4500 members who survived the two year museum closure and adding a new demographic of younger families and children to the membership base was the challenge.
A three month planning process was completed along with membership and revenue projections. The plan and its goals were presented to the board. With the blessing of the board and funding granted, the implementation of the plan began 11 months prior to the opening. Plans included targeting all audiences – current members, past members and potential members throughout Denver and the state of Colorado. The Charter Member campaign began.
Direct mail, social media, telemarketing and eventually on-site membership sales during the opening in April 2012 combined to form a multi-channel strategy. Direct mail campaigns directed at reengaging former members and upgrading exiting members to new, higher categories kicked off 8 months prior to opening. Direct mail campaigns for new members launched at the same time a “Tell your Colorado Story” Facebook contest was unveiled. Back to back direct mail and telemarketing campaigns and mobile and social media contests continued up to and through the grand opening of the new History Colorado Center.
At the end of the fiscal year and three months post-opening all goals had been reached or exceeded – membership revenues had increased 120%, membership had increased to almost 9,000 members, and more children than senior citizens were in attendance during the first three months of operation, proving that a new demographic was part of the new History Colorado family.