Tips & TricksAugust 27, 2019

Event Themes

The theme is one of the primary building blocks of an event. It sets the tone for the marketing of the event, the event itself and is often the rallying cry for action in the days, weeks and months following an event. Themes are as easily forgotten as yesterday’s box lunch, but well-executed themes make the moments more memorable, the messages more impactful and actions afterward more purposeful.

Yes, the actual words that make up a theme are important. They define the purpose of the meeting and reflect an organization’s mission in the here and now with a nod to the future. They are an extension of the brand in an environment teeming with opportunities for brand expression. Opinions vary on what makes an effective theme. Some insist that there needs to be a verb included to drive behavior. Others prefer themes that reflect a state of mind and inspire behavior. Some themes get picked because they represent stylistic approaches an organization hasn’t taken before.

Regardless of the process to determine an event theme – we can help with that – it’s the planning, creative and execution against the theme that makes it memorable and positively impactful. The message, along with the font package and color palette of the logo (we can help with that, too) are the fundamentals from which to build. Event objectives and desired outcomes drive creative, production and execution. High concepts are fun, but the approach doesn’t need to be elaborate to be effective.

    Generally, the event logo is the basis for all event visuals. Signage, branding, graphic templates and presentations, logo animations, speaker intros, selfie stations/photo ops – all the details that make a difference for the visual experience – are rooted in the event brand. Event-branded items typically are for short term use and possibly are only being used for that event. Items taking cues from the organization’s brand will have a longer shelf life and can be designed for repeated use.
    We understand budgets vary. Maximize efforts to leverage branding in high-traffic areas such as registration/hospitality or highly-visible entities such as the general session set. A common starting point for a set design is a re-interpretation of the event or organization brand for the live environment, enhanced with design, scenic and technical wizardry for any budget.
    Let your theme guide your general session message(s) and include some spotlight breakout sessions that relate directly to the theme. You can weave your theme throughout your event in ways that are scientifically proven to drive attendees to retain your message and live it forward after the event is over. Thoughtful theming and well-designed branding form the foundation of a cohesive visual experience for guests that extends the message beyond the ballroom and possibly the event itself.

Our experience in this area helps us anticipate your event-branding needs, create a complete package and put a plan to execute in place that will capture the attention and imagination of your guests. We’d welcome the opportunity to discuss theme and branding ideas and put our expertise to work for you.