City’s Economic Development team wins provincial award
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 11:48 am
The City of Airdrie’s Economic Development team scooped an Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) Award of Excellence on April 11.
The awards honour Alberta communities in business attraction, retention, expansion and marketing.
Awards were handed out in three different categories, each of which honoured a small, medium, and large community.
Airdrie took home the award in the Special Events Programs and Campaigns category for a medium-sized community. The Economic Development team has won seven EDA awards in the past 10 years.
More than 300 communities are members of EDA, and the award stands as a testament to the hard work of the City’s Economic Development department, according to Team Leader Kent Rupert.
“It’s always great for our department to win an award like this,” said Rupert.
“It creates more awareness across Alberta that Airdrie is starting to become a focus for businesses because of the services we offer.”
Rupert and his team’s superhero-themed campaign that debuted last September was the entry that landed the award, a campaign that focused on the motto “take your business to new heights” and spawned the Economic Development team’s mascot Ed, a superhero bear, that Rupert calls the team’s “Ambearssador”.
“We had a lot of fun with this campaign,” said Rupert. “There were a lot of pieces that went into it, from billboards, to postcards, to luggage tags, it was a really unique campaign.”
The “take your business to new heights” campaign focused heavily on the business traveller, with two billboards along Highway 2, and a large billboard in the WestJet Lounge at Calgary International Airport.
Rupert and the Economic Development team even made up postcards that were translated into Korean and Chinese, which Rupert handed out while on a trip to China in March.
The award stands as a mark of achievement internally for the City’s Economic Development team and sets Airdrie as a standard for how to do business in the province, according to EDA CEO Leann Hackman-Carty.
“It’s great for other communities to see what Airdrie is doing and to try to replicate it,” said Hackman-Carty.
“This was a campaign that had a clear message, they knew their market and had clear objectives and made a creative and memorable campaign.”
“I really want to congratulate the whole team on this award,” said Rupert. “Everyone worked hard and we’re going to continue to push to promote best business practices in Airdrie.”
The EDA is the only professional organization for economic developers in Alberta and is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014. It is a not-for-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors who represent the interest of its membership as a whole.