Phipps Conservatory picked by White House for the G-20 dinner

The White House has announced that it will hold an inauguration dinner at the upcoming G-20 summit in Pittsburgh at our Client, The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

“President Obama will host a working dinner for world leaders at the Phipps, chosen in part because of the green-friendly features of the facility that include an earth-sheltered welcome center and a Tropical Forest Conservatory described as the world’s most energy efficient.”

Pittsburgh Business Times

There is an interesting story behind this. Over a year ago, Phipps chose Elliance to build a beautiful website that will move their revenue needle with a marked increase in attendance, memberships, classes, and venue rentals. During our discovery process, we un-covered a latent desire that was being championed solely by Phipp’s visionary Executive Director, Richard Piacentini. He wants Phipps to become a national icon, and wants it to be nationally known as “The center for sustainable gardening”, not unlike how Monterey Bay Aquarium had taken a larger than life status, almost an iconic status of ‘The National Aquarium’.

On the ground, Phipps had already attained quite a few ‘sustainable’ achievements already. It had built a earth-sheltered welcome center. It had built the world’s most efficient tropical forest conservatory. It had amassed information on sustainable plants. It had created a certification programs for nurseries which supported sale of sustainable plants. It had built a database of gardeners and landscapers who embodied and lived sustainable gardening practices. And more. But to get to this information on their old website, you had to have hunter instincts. The wonderful information was buried deep in the website, not even findable by Google because it was created in the form of images, not text.

In a characteristic Elliance fashion, we decided to take on the challenge by drawing the conversation out and helping craft the new Phipps 2.0 brand, which would now evolve into a more sophisticated composite brand. On the one hand, Phipps would continue to remain a sanctuary for citizens to visit, relax, and experience a sensual getaway with exotic plants from exotic lands; On the other hand, Phipps would now welcome the gardening pros and passionates into a prominent center for sustainable gardening practices, tips, communities, and more.

We agreed that the destination was a long-term journey that needs to be broken into attainable milestones. As a first step, Phipps will become ‘the center for sustainable gardening’ in Pittsburgh. Next, it will extend that platform to attain the more ambitious status of building a national reputation for ‘The Center for Sustainable Gardening’ in the US, almost an iconic status of ‘The National Garden’.

There is much more to this story, which I will tell you in future blog posts. But just to see the partial roll out of the first phase of Phipps 2.0 brand, visit their beautiful website at www.phipps.conservatory.org.

I would like to believe that the White House chose Phipps partly because of the most beautiful website we built for them, which amplifies not only its beauty, but an entire new section for ‘Sustainable Gardening’ practices, plants, nurseries, tips, and more.

Stay tuned as the Phipps 2.0 brand unfolds.