Industry Association's major public event grows to new heights -



The New Zealand Registered Master Builders Federation is the umbrella organisation for 22 local Master Builders Associations throughout the country. In 1991 it introduced a House of the Year competition for its members, to raise the public profile of the organisation, encourage new home builders to employ Registered Master Builders and grow Federation membership.

The event had been organised in-house by Federation staff but had become too big for them to handle effectively.

Crabtree Associates pitched for the contract to manage the event and its public relations campaign, winning ahead of three others. The consultancy was required, within tight budget constraints, to organise and run a successful, high profile event, which met Federation objectives.

Problems confronting the consultancy included the fact that the structure of the competition required a huge organisational commitment at local Association level by, in the main, volunteer co-ordinators, with little or no experience of running such a competition.

We were also requested to secure additional sponsors for the event, to assist in balancing the budget.


Contact was firstly made by phone and fax with all local co-ordinators, seeking their input as to their requirements for assistance in mounting a successful promotion in their own area. This resulted in a full information kit being produced, which included a blueprint for local publicity activity.

Reaction was positive, particularly from among smaller Associations who made extensive use of our helpline phone service. Two new associate national sponsors were secured. While local competitions proceeded - to find those houses which would go on to the national final, the consultancy organised a travel programme for the national judges - a schedule which required them to travel the length and breadth of the land in ten days and visit 36 houses.

The National presentation was to take the form of a gala black tie dinner at a leading Auckland hotel. Again operating under tight budget constraints, the consultancy organised a professional presentation and evening's entertainment befitting the occasion. Two leading television personalities were contracted to host the evening and Crabtree Associates' director Rob Crabtree produced a format which the Federation approved and endorsed.

Newspaper supplements were organised throughout the country to coincide with the announcement of local winners and the consultancy organised a feature in a national Sunday daily newspaper for the day following the Awards ceremony, without any 'security leaks' as to the results.


Nationwide entries increased from 330 the previous year to 405. Local Associations, except two, ran successful local events and achieved good publicity for their members.

The national judging was concluded without any major problems and the presentation function was judged an outstanding success, with the national sponsors delighted with exposure received. All activities were completed within budget limits.

Several Associations reported increased applications for membership, one increasing numbers by 50%.

Consultancy staff were congratulated by the Federation and the sponsors for their professionalism in achieving a new plateau for the event and were reappointed to manage the event for two further years. Additional sponsors were secured and existing sponsors increased their spend on the total programme, acknowledging the benefits to their business of being involved with such a well organised successful event.