Conference branding is much more than just a logo. Strong creative branding sets the tone and creates a consistent visual thread through your event.
By weaving your creative theme through all elements of your digital and onsite branding, you will build awareness and strengthen recognition for your event. Consistency is key!
Not sure where to begin? Start by reviewing the Five W’s – WHY, WHEN, WHO, WHAT and WHERE
WHY is conference branding important?
Branding gives the conference life and color! The theme and logo are the most recognizable elements of an event and reinforces the tone and overall message to attendees. These creative elements should be included consistently from start to finish – through pre-event communications, onsite activations and post-event recaps.
WHEN should I develop my conference branding?
ASAP! In an ideal world, you would have your creative branding designed and approved before you start communicating with your attendees. That’s often not how it works but getting this nailed down early is key. Keep in mind that developing branding for a conference can be time-consuming and requires a lot of back-and-forth edits – so be patient and give yourself plenty of lead time!
WHO should be involved?
Start with your stakeholders – they will set the objectives and tone that defines the starting point for your creative branding. It can be helpful to do a “word dump” exercise with your stakeholders to draw out key words and phrases that could be used in your theme.
Work with a graphic designer! This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it’s worth investing in an expert from the field to help guide the creative development process.
Keep in mind who your target audience is – what colors, images, messages, etc. might resonate with your audience.
WHAT should I consider when creating my conference branding?
There are many elements to consider, such as:
- Timeline – when do you need your creative by?
- Budget – how much money do you have to put toward conference branding?
- Messaging – what are the key words you want to include?
- Details – what specific information do you need to include about the conference (date, location, etc.)?
WHERE should I include branding at my conference?
While it may be tempting to incorporate your branding elements everywhere, it’s best to keep it simple. Consider the following:
- Digital branding: conference website, conference app, PowerPoint templates, email headers
- Onsite: physical signage, name badges, SWAG, stage/set design
- Incorporate your company’s visual identity and logo into your conference branding.
- Make sure to run all creative branding collateral by the appropriate internal teams for alignment and approvals (marketing, legal, etc.) before sharing broadly.
- Make sure your images are high resolution!
- Keep it simple – less is more. Sometimes when you try to include too many ideas or concepts, the overall message can get lost. Try to pare back your visual identity to just a few themes, styles, colors, and messages. Consider how you will get the most impact, the biggest “bang for your buck”.
- Obtain the appropriate approvals before using imagery and photos. Keep this in mind especially when vetting photos of people – you may need to obtain their consent to use a photograph of them for commercial use.
- Create a style guide to keep all parties aligned.
- Consistency is key!