The theme of your conference is the key element that will decide how the rest of the event is carried out. A theme is an idea on which the whole event is based so you need to make it unique, special, and at the same time, simple so that the audience is drawn to it. Not only does a theme set the tone for a conference, but it is also the driving factor for all the planning and decisions carried out afterwards. The theme of your conference needs to be on-brand, fresh, and engaging.
Here are the seven steps to formulating or choosing an engaging theme for your conference:
Define the goals and purposes of your conference
Choosing an engaging conference theme depends on the reason you are holding the conference for. Base your theme on the idea that you want the attendees to leave with and remember for a long time after. The theme of your conference can be a statement, a challenge, an idea, or even a question. Formulating a conference theme requires clarity of the intent and message that you want to offer to people.
Tailor the theme to your audience
Demographics play an important role in deciding the perfect theme for your conference. Knowing the age group, professional background, and other demographic properties of your target audience will greatly impact your decision. If you are working on formulating a theme that will attract audiences from all age groups and ethnic and professional backgrounds, your approach would be different. Conduct detailed research, study the methods of your competitors, and get survey forms filled out so that you have an idea of what people want. The ultimate goal of your theme should be to draw the maximum number of attendees to your conference.
Take budget and other conference parameters into account
The location, duration, and expected attendance rate of the conference will also help you decide on an appealing theme for your conference. Due to budget restraints, you may not be able to fulfil the requirements of a theme that has many touch points and requires elaborate planning and ample investment. Also, for a one-day conference, you should choose a direct theme, all the touch points of which can be covered in a day’s time. For a conference that spans over three days or more, you can choose a more complex and challenging theme.
Consider the values, branding, and vision of your company
The theme of your conference should be able to reflect the values on which your company is based. Whether it be the excellence of services, honesty, or customer centricity, the theme should focus on what the company holds dear. As already discussed, the conference theme should be on brand and the brand logo can also help you formulate a theme that sits well with the visions or purposes of your company. It’s important not to make it all about your company but you should focus on other social matters that need awareness.
Use famous taglines or inspirational quotes
The idea for the theme of your conference can originate from anywhere. Most companies and businesses base their conference themes on famous sport-related taglines. You can also use famous taglines such as “Just Do It” from Nike or “Impossible Is Nothing” from Adidas or similar ones. Famous pop culture references such as Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland can also help you find the perfect theme. You can also utilize quotes from famous people such as Michael Jackson, Adele, and others. Whatever source you choose, make sure that the theme is in keeping with the brand image of your company.
Don’t complicate it!
The best thing you can do for your conference is to keep the conference theme short, simple, and effective. From design and equipment to activities and the final dinner, incorporate the theme into every part of your conference. A short and simple theme is also the best way to avoid any miscommunications and mishaps with the purpose of the conference.
Make the conference all about the theme
Choose a memorable theme for your conference so that it stays with your attendees for a long time after the event ends. To make it even more memorable, you should get it incorporated into everything from invitations to parting gifts. Keep the theme short and make it so that it becomes an identification mark for that specific conference and its attendees.
Choosing an appropriate theme for your conference can be daunting, so don’t be afraid to take outside help when you need it.