Top Award for University’s Conference Marketing
(3 November 2006)
CATO, the University’s Conference And Tourism Office was awarded top honours at the National University Marketing Awards as part of an annual Conference and Awards Ceremony held in Leeds in November.
Andrea Cairns of CATO and Jayne Duplock of Marketing received the gold award in the category of 'Best Conference Brochure', having worked in partnership on what has been a major commercial re-branding project. Only one other prize was awarded in this category with a 'Highly Commended' award given to runners-up the University of Warwick for their conference brochure. This is the second award for CATO in 2006 after Durham University was recognised as boasting England’s best conference and tourism office by award organisers Venuemasters this summer. The University’s distinctive collegiate system is widely-recognised as one of its unique selling points. When coupled with its range of academic and department buildings, the University boasts a contrasting portfolio of landmark properties at both the Durham and Stockton-on-Tees campuses. However, with students only in residence for a maximum of 32 weeks of the year, and rising financial demands for Universities across an increasingly competitive and commercially-driven sector, the challenge to diversify and further utilise the intellectual and physical resources of the University is increasingly important. Driven by the University’s sustainability strategy (www.durham.ac.uk/about/mission), CATO was tasked with developing the commercial potential of Durham University’s unique property portfolio. Helen Strangward, Commercial Director of CATO said: ”It is wonderful news and I'm delighted that a CATO and Marketing partnership has been recognised at such a high level.” CATO’s aim was to develop a suite of strategic marketing materials that would deliver a consistent and coherent message to highlight the University’s commitment to quality, service, flexibility and value for guests and delegates. The vision is to raise the profile of the University’s conference and tourism provision as an established and professional service which is dedicated to meeting the needs of its customer. These aims have been met with the development of a new brand for each of the University’s geographical centres – Event Durham and Event Stockton. This brand has been implemented across design, print, web and public relations to establish a distinctive and cohesive identity.