This was my second year attending GreenBuild and I arrived in Boston knowing what to expect and fully prepared. I had my agenda - meetings scheduled, educational sessions highlighted and the tradeshow floor mapped out. I was booked to stay for twice as long this time, four days instead of two to really get a chance to embrace the experience. I was ready.

Yet still, it was impossible to see and do everything I wanted. There is simply too much happening at once to take it all in. I haven't seen an official head-count yet but 25,000 attendees were expected to be perusing the 1,400+ booths and 100+ seminars. Overwhelming is an understatement!
The expo floor is so massive that it would take weeks to visit every booth. You really have to be selective on who you want to visit or you'll end up missing so much. All this, and you have keynote speakers, educational seminars, off-site workshops, green building tours and special events happening simultaneously. Perhaps the USGBC should consider hosting a permanent tradeshow somewhere?

Even though I wasn't able to accomplish everything on my agenda, GreenBuild was a huge success for me, thanks in part to switching back to regular from decaf while I was in Boston. Caffeine is like fuel for the trade-show attendee and I certainly was more productive because of it. This leads me into one of the small things that bothered me about GreenBuild 2008. At one point, I asked for a lid for my cup of Starbucks, and was told by an employee that there were none because "they don't make green lids yet." Naturally, I proceeded to spill coffee on my hands and shoes as I was buzzing around the expo. The only other beef I had was the coat-checking situation. If you were there, you know what I'm talking about. I don't think it got out of the 30s that week, so you have 25,000 people that need to put their coats somewhere once they get inside the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. 25,000 and only two coat-check areas! They were "full" mostly and the time that I was able to check my coat, when I returned to retrieve it, I joined the herd of 10,000 other people looking for their jackets in a single-file line. I call this the USGBC's version of the "Green Mile." The coat checks were to few, too small and understaffed for a trade show in New England in November. The good news is, I doubt this will be an issue next year since it will be in Phoenix.

Aside from these two things, I must say that overall, the GreenBuild planning team did a much better job this year in Boston than in Chicago last year. I love the rich history of Boston and as a visitor, the city has so much to offer, none of which I had time for, of course. The Boston Exhibition and Convention Center is a great venue for a massive trade show like GreenBuild. I had just been there in May for AIA so was already somewhat familiar with the layout of the building, which helped. Unlike last year, picking up my badge was a breeze and the shuttle bus system was convenient. Among plenty of other environmentally conscious details, there were manned recycling stations throughout the expo floor. The cups from the water coolers were made from that corn-based plastic that you see used in a lot of organic food packaging. I found this out when the recycling attendant stopped me from throwing the cup in with the other plastics and instead had me drop it into the compost bin. Like most trade shows, the food in the cafeteria was nothing spectacular but we were lucky to find the Legal Seafood Test Kitchen only a couple blocks away, which made a great lunch escape.

There is much more but I will continue my GreenBuild experience in another post.

Stay tuned!

ted hettick

business development manager
we’re into building things through marketing, design and public relations

Competitions Highlight Work of Young Architects

To help highlight the work of young architects and designers in Atlanta, Function:, an integrated marketing agency that specializes in reaching the building, architecture and design community, has become a sponsor of the Emerging Voices 08 and 48 hour Design Competition.

It’s Election Day Eve – have you voted yet?

The outcome of tomorrow’s elections are certain to have an impact on the construction industry.
AIA launched an initiative this election season called DesignVote08, a non-partisan program to advocate government policies that address key issues like the Architecture 2030 Challenge. As part of the initiative, AIA hit the streets to hear real opinions from the general public on AIA’s key issues for this election. I found some of the responses to be surprising - watch the video below.

As an agency immersed in the building and construction industry, it can be easy to overlook that not everyone is aware of the issues that we hear architects and designers talk about so often. Turns out, carbon emissions is not a conversational topic to the average person. This video helps illustrate that there is still much educating left to do when it comes to the general public and the impacts of our built environment on the earth.

Georgia Trend Best Places to Work

Function, a public relations and marketing firm in Decatur, pays 100 percent of health premiums, even though it has just 15 staffers.

BtoB Best 2008

Green advertising, when done well, can be quite effective in these days of rising oil prices, melting polar ice caps and other frightening developments.

Welcome to the FUNCTION: BLOG!

As part of our new branding and new website, we are launching a new BLOG.

Being an agency dedicated to helping Building Product Manufacturers effectively reach and communicate with their target audience, this BLOG will focus on current issues as they relate to marketing to the key influencers in the Building and Construction industry.

With our connections to the industry, this BLOG will be a perfect forum for us to share some of our experiences with the building, architecture and design community.

Check in often to stay up to date with our latest findings.

PRESS RELEASE: Function: Launches New Corporate Identity

Fresh Collateral, Website and Positioning Statement - “We’re Into Building Things”- Further Align Company with Building, Architectureand Design Community

Function:, an integrated marketing agency that specializes in reaching the building, architecture and design community, announced today the launch of its new corporate identity, created to build on the company’s previous identity, as well as signal the new direction the company is headed today.

Designed as a visual portrayal of Function:’s specialty and industry focus, the company’s new brand identity involves a complete redesign of all materials, including company letterhead, presentation templates, pitch books, business cards, and the company website. It also includes a new tagline: “We’re Into Building Things.” This positioning statement is reflective of Function:’s unique focus and dedication to the building industry, as well as to clients, as Function: works to build brands, sales opportunities, and industry and media relationships through marketing, design and public relations.

“In developing the new Function: brand, we wanted to further fuse ourselves with the industry and quickly demonstrate our knowledge and focus to end users,” said Michele Emmons DeHaven, principal and creative director for Function:. “‘We’re into building things’ is representative of who Function: is and what we do. We carry that message throughout all aspects of our identity, down to the colors selected for the website and our business cards, showing that powerful design is a given to us, but it’s the way we deliver that makes us unique.”

Function:’s materials and website were created using a bold color palette of yellow, brown, gray and white – colors often associated with the building and construction industry. In addition to creating a modern play on the construction industry, Function: selected its new corporate colors for the modern, clean look and sophistication. As an evolution of its brand, changes were made to Function:’s trademark colon, which is now larger and used more prominently as a brand icon throughout the materials. Function:’s confident color selection and revitalized logo signify the company’s evolution as a specialized agency and further align its brand with the industry.

“Function: has been specializing in the building and construction industry – reaching product manufacturers, architects, designers, builders and remodelers – for years and we felt that our external face needed to represent that,” said Dana Castle, Function:’s principal and director of strategy. “The new website is designed to serve as a sounding board for pertinent industry topics and a communication tool for us to present our research and findings so that we can better serve clients and influencers as they examine industry trends – not only in marketing and communications, but in architecture, engineering and construction.”

Work for Mastic and Alcoa Home Exteriors Recognized

Creative campaigns from Forest City Commercial Management, Agent Provocateur and Mastic and Alcoa Home Exteriors.

Unisource Porcelain Ultra Book

Atlanta-based marketing and design firm Function: created this sample book for Unisource Worldwide’s Porcelain Ultra coated paper line. Featuring the photography of iconic rock ’n‘ roll photographer, Baron Wolman, the volume helped promote the Unisource brand on the West Coast.

View the work on Communication Arts.