How Carol Anderson by Invitation Creates Great Events with Visual Storytelling


Recently I published a One Smooth Stone point of view that shows marketers how to become better advocates for their audiences through visual storytelling. The white paper, Engaging Your Audience with Visual Storytelling, provides a clear approach for how to employ visual storytelling in your events and online experiences. Well, the best part about writing the white paper was uncovering examples of brands that are getting it right with visual storytelling. Let’s take a look at one of them: One Smooth Stone client Carol Anderson by Invitation (CAbi), which demonstrates how to embed visual storytelling as part of an event.

CAbi is a successful women’s clothing retailer that relies on a network of women to sell its products through specially designed CAbi shows hosted in the comfort of one’s own home. The members of the CAbi network (described as “CAbi consultants”) are trained to become savvy style consultants through a multi-media experience ranging from a popular blog to a semi-annual convention called The Scoop. The Scoop is a high-energy event where more than 3,000 CAbi consultants learn about CAbi’s new seasonal line of clothing, receive training, and celebrate their culture. The event includes a 60,000-square-foot shopping area, 180 breakout sessions, 10 simultaneous awards celebrations, and a highly immersive fashion show environment.

To make Scoop a success each year, CAbi and One Smooth Stone create a visual experience that surrounds the attendees. Images of CAbi’s new seasonal line and thematic messaging are designed, produced and staged to immerse Consultants in CAbi’s story for the coming season. And in keeping with CAbi’s fashion focus, attention is given to every décor detail to ensure it’s on brand and consistently presented.

The focus on visual storytelling at Scoop is consistent with the visually compelling way CAbi brands itself in the digital world, too. Its Pinterest page is awash with smart CAbi style as is the CAbi Instagram account. And of course, the CAbi website  bursts with color and images that reflect CAbi’s brand, culture and product.

It doesn’t matter whether what kind of brand you are or how big you are: you can learn from CAbi to make an event more visually appealing. Please check out our point of view to learn how — and let us know about your experiences.

This post was originally published on the One Smooth Stone blog on June 4, 2014. For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing


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