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The American Iron and Steel Institute Automotive Program, which serves as the voice of the American steel industry and advances the case for steel in automotive, hired Franco to plan and execute the 20th annual Great Designs in Steel symposium. The event highlights the latest in advanced high-strength steels, automotive body design, engineering and manufacturing technologies from industry experts and is the longest-running automotive materials conference in the world.

The focus of this program was to successfully plan and execute a turnkey in-person event at a new venue. The 2021 symposium was virtual, and all previous 18 years of the event were held at Laurel Manor in Livonia, Michigan. This year’s symposium took place at the Suburban Collection Showplace (SCS) in Novi, Michigan.

The objective of the symposium is to provide automotive steel industry professionals with:

  • Insights from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), automotive suppliers, steel manufacturers, academia and more.
  • A networking environment with executives, engineers and automotive designers from around the world.
  • Sponsorship/exhibitor opportunities for companies to showcase their automotive steel technologies.


As a part of this event planning program, Franco provided vendor coordination, sponsor management, creative design, digital marketing services, social media strategy support and content creation, photography and videography and project management to successfully plan and execute the 2022 Great Designs in Steel symposium.

Digital Marketing
  • Created an email marketing content calendar and strategy
  • Drafted, designed and distributed emails to over 5,000 recipients
  • App creation and management
  • Registration website design and management
Social Media Strategy & Content Creation
  • Provided social media strategy for LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Drafted copy for posts and captured photos to accompany social media content on event day
Photography & Videography
  • Onsite photography during the event
  • Photo/video editing
  • Compilation of sponsor videos for digital signage throughout the venue
Creative & Graphic Design Work
  • Design and creation of:
    • Agenda (tri-fold and digital)
    • Pull-up banners
    • Digital signage throughout the venue
    • Sponsor banners
    • Lanyards, water bottles, attendee bags
    • PowerPoint template for presenters
    • Large banners and stage back drops
    • Opening/welcome presentation
Project Management
  • Developed floor plans for each room (main hall, exhibit hall, legacy rooms)
  • Created run of show for set-up day and day-of
  • Provided training and packets for event moderators (scripts, best practices)
  • Drafted opening remarks for the vice president of the AISI automotive program
Vendor Coordination & Sponsor Management
  • Researched, selected and negotiated with vendors
  • Served as lead point person for vendor communications
  • Onsite coordination of vendors
  • Served as liaison between venue and all sponsors
  • Managed all coordination with sponsors
  • Provided onsite support for sponsors


Event Attendance




Mobile App

App Downloads


Track Session Views


Sponsor Page Views

Email Marketing

Sent 23 emails with an average open rate of 19.6%

Attendee Feedback: 160 Survey Responses
  • On average, attendees responded with a 7.8/10 satisfaction rating regarding the array of topics covered at the presentations
  • Respondents rated the quality of the symposium content 8/10
  • 75% of respondents attended GDIS at least once prior to this year
Sponsor & Exhibitor Feedback
  • Satisfaction with process: 9/10
  • Opportunity to generate leads and new contacts: 7.5/10
  • Overall quality of GDIS: 8.3/10
  • Likely to be a sponsor next year: 8.8/10

I would like to thank you all for helping us put on a great show yesterday. We had a lot of very positive feedback and when I checked badges printed this morning it totaled 853 attendees. A great showing in this post COVID-19 world.

John CatterallFormer AISI Vice President of Automotive Program

It was such a pleasure working with your rockstar team. You made my job as your event coordinator easy, and I hope to work with you again on future events!

Bridget PolsinelliSuburban Collection Showplace Event Coordinator