Project Profile: USS Midway Museum Event Brochure

Among the most coveted venues in San Diego, the USS Midway Museum hosts hundreds of events each year and required a brochure fit for, well, an aircraft carrier.


When groups look at event spaces in San Diego, their attention often turns to the USS Midway Museum because of its one-of-a-kind history, awesome scale, and versatility as a host. Midway’s marketing team turned to Hawthorn in 2006 to craft a print event brochure that could answer all the big questions clients could have, and paint a vivid picture for exactly how the aircraft carrier could handle any sort of event. A decade later, the project is still going strong with impressive results.

See the Project

USS Midway Museum event brochure

The Client

The USS Midway had a long, 47-year career serving as an aircraft carrier until her retirement in 1992. In 2004, the craft started its second life in San Diego as the USS Midway Museum: a naval warship museum and event venue. In the Midway’s new capacity, it has become a dazzling must-visit tourist spot in San Diego and a must-book venue for corporate groups.

The Project

The first event brochure we did for the Midway rolled off the presses in September 2006. It’s one of our ad-supported brochures – we secure advertisements from a list of preferred vendors, making the brochure entirely free for the venue. At 50 pages (thanks to the overwhelming ad support that allows clients more pages for their marketing messages), it’s now one of our largest event brochures, in terms of page count. There’s a detailed FAQ section, floorplans (to see how both the flight deck and the hangar deck are structured), an in-depth look at all the possible venues on the carrier, and a couple pages on “unique enhancements” available, like helicopters, a flight simulator, and even skydiving. Yes, you read that right.

Our Take

While the brochure’s physical feel (perfect binding in the latest version), layout, and structure may evolve to keep up with the Midway’s changing offerings and modern design trends, it retains a similar spirit issue to issue. Midway likes to maintain a patriotic aesthetic in its event collateral – stately and dignified – which is understandable, considering the craft’s history and the company’s status as a non-profit. As with other clients, we produce new versions of the brochure on a regular basis – every 18 months in the Midway’s case. In addition to updating the brochure design, it provides an opportunity to swap out photos, re-focus the marketing angle, and update vendors’ information, or the vendors themselves.

Last Thought

The more informative and helpful the brochure is for the venues’ clients, the more it gets read (that means the ePub too, which Midway smartly links to from their website), and the more valuable the vendor ad space is. Event planners hold onto the Midway brochure and constantly refer back to it because it’s truly educational and can answer most any question that the planner or his or her stakeholders could have. The brochure isn’t just a marketing tool, or a book of pretty pictures – although it has those, too – it’s a real, valued resource for their clients, who have many questions, as they consider booking this world-class, unique venue.

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