A great conference theme will make an impression, build excitement throughout your industry, and persuade people to attend. Ultimately, you want to create a theme that will catch the attention of your audience, form the foundations of creating memorable content and steer your planning in the right direction- before, during and after your conference.
So, get your team together because it is time to start brainstorming!
- DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
Your hosting a conference, unreal. So, why? There are plenty of reasons to host a conference; be recognised as a market leader, share knowledge, network, meet business prospects, generate revenue, create marketing content, or connect with decision makers. Be as specific about the reason your hosting a conference as you are about your business purpose. This will help form the foundation of your theme.
- KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
The reason people will attend your conference is because it is relevant to them. Identify your target audience- industry, roles, organisations, age, education. How is your topic going to connect with them? Knowing your audience is important so you can create a theme that will resonate. It should spark intelligent thought, be inclusive and broad enough to attract a high attendance rate.
- INDUSTRY TRENDS
Be inspired by what is leading the discussion throughout the industry. Follow key influencers, listen to podcasts, subscribe to blogs, and utilise your network to find out what people in your industry are discussing and what are people interested in learning more about. If you know what the interest areas are then you will already be ahead of the game. It is also important to keep tabs on your competitors so that the content you are producing is the first of its kind rather than a carbon copy of a topic that people have already heard about.
- STAY ON BRAND
A conference should be perceived as part of your marketing plan. After all, it is a live experience people will have with your brand. The content you are creating needs to be aligned with your purpose and values as well as be consistent with the look, feel, messaging, tone, and voice of everything else you are producing. Be sure to find a theme that you are proud of and reflects the work you are producing in other elements of the business.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE
In the brain, seven is a magic number. There have been countless psychological experiments that have shown that, on average, the longest sequence a normal person can recall on the fly contains about seven items. Therefore, keep it punchy and to the point so that it is easy for people to recall and talk about with colleagues and friends. A play on words or rhyme will also help recall.
- BE CONSISTENT
Consistency is key! The theme should be felt throughout every part of your event. When planning remember that it will set the tone for presentations, activations, and speaker content. We want people to be able to feel the theme across every element of your conference (consciously and subconsciously) so you need to consider that it will feature across invitations, programs, sponsorship, name badges, gifts, uniform, social functions and communications.
The purpose of creating a theme is to create a buzz about your event. The brainstorming session is your opportunity to throw your quirkiest ideas on the table and land on something that resonates with the group. Remember, the theme of your conference should be able to be clearly communicated, align with your brand, and provide focus for your event when setting out the program. Most importantly, have fun with it!
Have you tried using these steps to create your conference theme? We would love to know how they worked for you. Email us on email@example.com and let us know how you went.