Conferences are a great way to make connections and communicate with your target audience. They offer a unique opportunity to tailor an entire day to your strategic objective, however it can also be incredibly overwhelming. Between venue choices, guest speakers, invitations, audio visual hire and run sheets, it’s easy to lose sight of the message you are trying to communicate.
A well chosen theme or conference ‘brand’ that captures the essence of the conference objective, can really support building a narrative for attendees to get involved with.
To maximise the value of a theme and visual identity for a conference it is important to develop these early so it can be incorporated in to all communication with guests. This allows guests to start absorbing and building connections to your key messages and conference objectives from well before the event itself…it also lays a foundation to extend the theme and identity as a communication platform for messaging beyond the event also!
The theme should be broad enough to be versatile and adaptable, simple to understand and reflect your company’s values. It’s essential to workshop how you can communicate your event’s objective in a meaningful and memorable way, and try to avoid using a generic theme. Creating a visual identity for the conference will ensure pre-event comms, the event itself and post-event comms are consistent, engaging and immediately recognisable.
TED conferences are a great example of creating broad themes that encapsulate the main purpose of the event, while still giving the speakers room to interpret the theme in a way that fits their own personal stories. This allows multiple aspects of your theme to be brought to light as different perspectives and iterations are explored – all bringing a connection to the key objective of the day.
The theme you choose to represent your conference will also help you to refine creative decisions, to ensure that any activities for participants, the physical environment and content design choices are focused and unified. There are so many options available for venues, conference activities, styling and the event agenda itself, so having a theme to guide you can be beneficial to keep you focused on the key objective and take away message for participants.
Conferences that are developed with a strong theme in mind, give attendees a cohesive, stimulating and memorable experience, as well as a potential platform after the event for ongoing communication.