Case Study



Date of Project


Client Type

This Trek Included

Content Development
Public Affairs
Brand Stewardship

Digital Communications
Audience Development
Event Planning

Organizational Advocacy
Brand Building
Strategic Planning

International Association Management & Integrated Organizational Marketing

University Economic Development Association

Established in 1976, the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) is North America’s premier membership organization, bringing together public and private higher education; private sector; public agencies; and community economic development stakeholders in economic development. UEDA’s members work to expand economic opportunity and prosperity in our communities and regions by leveraging education/talent development; research and technology development; and community-building and place-making strategies.

Trailhead: Where We Started

Through news and information, public policy, educational programming and best practice sharing, UEDA works to expand economic opportunity in our communities by leveraging research; community and campus planning; talent development; and technology commercialization.

UEDA outsources its organizational management to provide a cost-effective solution to their operations. The operations require general professional services, including administrative, financial, and marketing efforts, while also providing a holistic vision to the strategic direction of the organization. With a focus on membership development and sponsorship advancement, the association manager provides leadership to establish UEDA as a leading organization in the economic development sector.

Trek: Steps We’ve Taken

With UEDA seeking a new association management partner, the board of directors selected TrailBlaze Creative to provide complete association management services for the organization. With some of the TrailBlaze staff having already provided administrative and strategic support to UEDA for years prior, TrailBlaze transitioned to providing UEDA’s executive director and staff with more comprehensive assistance in the areas of event planning, marketing & communications, sponsorship development, programming, and organizational strategy.

With the assistance of TrailBlaze, UEDA introduced a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track and segment its membership and to provide foundational infrastructure to build additional elements of member benefit. TrailBlaze has initiated new member benefits, including an affinity program for membership discounts.

Additionally, with the guidance of the Body of Knowledge committee and promotional and logistical support from TrailBlaze, UEDA has established publications, including industry-defining documents that provides a definition for the “relevant university.” These texts offer a taxonomy of programs for organizations to classify their own programs against an internationally endorsed system. TrailBlaze also assisted the organization in a holistic rebranding and new website launch, the latter of which has included design modifications, as well as assistance with the promotion, organization, and registration processes of a number of UEDA’s public events.

Summit: Vision Realized

As a result of TrailBlaze’s design and launch of customize infrastructure, UEDA has seen record numbers in membership and sponsorship. Since the redesign and launch of UEDA’s new website, TrailBlaze continues to work to highlight UEDA’s upcoming events and member benefits, using sponsorship guides and features to promote organizational innovations and major national events like the UEDA Summit, regional meetings, and more. TrailBlaze also continues to engage in direct marketing: designing and distributing communications to ensure that current members are up to date on the organization’s offerings, incentives, and events.

Are You Ready to Start Your Trek?

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Copyright © 2023 TrailBlaze Creative. All Rights Reserved.