In October 2015, Lisa Waud gathered cutting edge florists from across the country to fill the walls and ceilings of an abandoned Detroit house (purchased for just $500) with over 30k American-grown, fresh flowers and living plants for an incredible-yet-fleeting installation - Flower House Detroit.
How can we ignite international curiosity for a weekend-long floral art installation based in Hamtramck, MI (Detroit Area)?
Building on a preview event held months earlier, develop a communication strategy to efficiently and quickly grow following for the ticketed event and create additional content for core social media channels, newsletter, blog and press that highlights the uniqueness of the larger endeavor and individual florists while celebrating Detroit's history through reuse. Sell out all three days.
Role: Communication Design + Social Media Lead
Timeline: 3 months
- Initial research into industry trends and audit of existing presence on social media
- Identified core language (to maintain Lisa's tone throughout), word-of-mouth "talking points" for team and key hashtags beyond floral industry to broaden reach
- Focused on "vignettes" within floral imagery to maintain curiosity and mystery of the immense, upcoming exhibit
- Established Instagram as core channel; driving ticket sales and email sign-up for volunteer, giveaway and "sneak peeks" with
- Developed weekly newsletters and blog posts highlighting 30+ floral designers through individual interviews and additional sponsor activities
- Assisted with press/sponsor inquiries, copywriting needs, volunteer organization and installation days
- Illustrated and developed copy for mini-guide book featuring designers/sponsors as well as wayfinding signage to better facilitate increased attendance expected
(official flower house photographer: Heather Saunders)
- 18 completed rooms of original floral installations + additional outdoor installations
- A 3-day, sold-out event with over 400 people vying for Instagram ticket-giveaways each time
- 3,000+ attendees from around the world (including two weddings and a past resident!)
- ~$30,000 in ticket sales
- Oversold, 180 guest field/farm-to-table dinner
- 5x increase in Instagram engagement; account now has 15k+ following
- Numerous local, national and international publications
- Corporate sponsorship for all flowers, celebratory dinner, and several media features
- including 36,000 ($150,000 donation of) fresh cut flowers
- Lisa invited to speak on multiple panels about the project and has since held several sold-out workshops exploring similar floral works
A robust community of florists, enthusiasts and volunteers was created in the Metro Detroit region allowing Lisa to host the first Detroit Flower Week the following spring. In April 2017, the house that held the exhibition was responsibly deconstructed and its materials repurposed with 75% of the housing material to be repurposed by Reclaim Detroit. The land is currently being converted into a flower farm and design center for Lisa's business pot & box on the formerly neglected properties.
A gorgeous, award-winning FlowerHouse Book has also been published documenting the endeavor by Heather Saunders (Official Flower House Photographer).
Martha Stewart Feature