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Never Overlook Your Conference Logo

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Kate Silva

Design Director


How creating a cohesive visual brand identity generates deeper affinity and engagement with your event

What is a brand?

A brand is a promise of an experience. It’s what people feel, think, and say about a company, a product, service, or even a person. In my mind, a brand is a distinctive set of characteristics that creates a relationship with your audience across a variety of mediums. A brand is established over time through consistent experiences and engagements.

Contrary to popular belief, a brand is not a logo.

A logo is simply a visual tool that represents and helps communicate a brand, reflecting its story and engaging people in a meaningful way; similarly, events draw people deeper into the brand’s story via memorable, relevant experiences.

Conferences are a wonderful way to bring individuals with shared objectives and interests together for discussion, education, problem solving, and relationship building. But we live in a world saturated with marketing messages, and it can be challenging to break through the noise.

That’s why designing a conference logo is an important part of building the brand behind the event, making it recognizable and giving potential attendees an immediate visual connection. Here are our three tips for creating a logo that represents your brand, intrigues attendees, and connects them to your conference.

1. Take a strategic approach

A lot goes into planning a conference, and it can be tempting to just slap on a logo so you can tackle the bigger tasks at hand. But it’s a big mistake to not see the conference logo as a direct reflection of your brand. It should be given the same strategic consideration (and time to do it right) as every other touch point that builds brand equity. A well-designed conference logo evokes a memory or emotion from your audience, based on their relationship with your brand. Your overall goal is to get them to remember your conference and the experiences they had there, and return time and time again. For audience members with no existing brand loyalty, an effective conference logo offers them a first glimpse into what they can expect from the live experience.

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2. Keep it simple and strong

Taking a simple approach is always best; it ensures the logo is easy to read and not too cluttered. Logos should not include details like location, venue, and dates. That’s what invitations and websites are for. It’s also important that the logo represents and complements the corporate brand.

Having a strong visual identity system for an event is critical. It’s not just about a logo, but how that logo is interpreted across a wide variety of mediums throughout the experience. Event brand guidelines are key to ensuring consistency and accuracy for all branded materials.

3. Be consistent

It can be tempting to create a new logo with each conference, but redesigning your logo too frequently can create confusion around your brand. Connections are not formed, and audience expectations are lost. Consistency with your logo allows your audience to form connections and memories around your event and what it has to offer.

However, there are a few things that you can do to keep your conference’s visual identity fresh without changing the logo completely. Revising the graphic guidelines of an event without changing the logo allows flexibility with your designs. You can refresh print, digital, and scenic event materials to highlight a different brand color, use photography instead of iconography, or change up the key messaging to reflect the initiatives for that year.

You could also create an individual conference theme, which keeps your overall conference logo the same in order to maintain brand connection, but introduces a theme logo to tie in with the event focus or highlight larger corporate initiatives. But of course, if your corporate brand evolves or the overall event strategy shifts, it might be time to look at a logo refresh.

Ready to get started? With the right combination of minds at the table, a solid strategic approach, and a clear understanding of both audience needs and conference objectives, you should be able to create a dynamic, impactful logo for your conference that prepares attendees for the experience, helps set up your event for success, and builds brand equity to keep attendees coming back for more.

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