How to Decide on a Dynamic Conference Theme

3 min

As you are looking forward to your next event, it’s time to consider what your event theme will be. The theme will make all the difference in the number and type of people who choose to attend.

There are multiple ways to plan your theme; however, the most dynamic themes are built with careful consideration of who the intended audience is and why they should be interested in your event. The following five conferences incorporate key planning techniques that ensure the theme will inspire change.
 
 
Themes Should Have an Audience.
 
Elevate Techfest: Moonshots
It is not enough to simply advertise your event as an “inspiring week” or a “chance to expand your network.” Over a thousand event pages claim that exact same thing. Choose a specific audience to drive the theme for your event. For example, this year Elevate Techfest will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing. Their event, “Moonshots”, will even feature a speech from celebrity astronaut Chris Hadfield. Anyone who is a lover of aerospace technology will likely be in attendance.


 
 
A Good Theme Should Be Consistent With Your Brand.
 
Salesforce: Blaze Your Trail
Is your brand visible to attendees throughout your event? How about after the event? Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference is one of the largest annual conferences. The conference theme, “Blaze Your Trail”, incorporates Salesforce’s iconic trailblazer characters which are recognized worldwide. Attendees of Dreamforce will be reminded of their experience every time they open Salesforce and see the same friendly characters on the home page.
 
 
Themes Should Cultivate an Immersive Experience.
 
Trend Hunter: Experience the Future
With a carefully planned conference theme, you can take attendees away from their everyday business lives to a world of your own creation. Trend Hunter’s theme “experience the future” promises attendees a vacation from reality. At the Future Festival, attendees experience first-hand hundreds of futuristic technologies within the first few hours of the event.

In his speech, keynote Jeremy Gutsche, opens attendees minds to the unbelievable technologies that will run our world in the very near future. Attendees walk away from the Future Festival experience often feel as though they are walking back into the past.
 
 
A Theme Should Be Short and Memorable.
 
Zendesk: Relate
Your theme should not be too long — try to keep it under five words. Zendesk does a really good job of stating what you can expect from their conference with just one word, “relate.” Attendees who have gone to Relate in the past will confirm that they did in fact form relationships at the conference. Be sure to repeat your theme throughout your event to make it memorable for attendees.
 
 
Good Themes are Repeated and Supported by Speakers.
 
DoTerra: Dream
Themes must be supported by your speakers. Right after the release of Disney’s hit, “The Greatest Showman,” movie star Hugh Jackman spoke and performed at DoTerra’s 2018 Convention. The theme of the convention that year was “Dream.” Jackman referred to his role as P.T. Barnum, a dreamer who started his own circus, and his own experience as an actor to bolster DoTerra’s theme of “Dreaming.” As you are gathering proposals from speakers try to find opinion leaders who will build upon your theme.

 
 
As you plan your own theme you can depend on the RainFocus platform to help you apply these key techniques. A few tools that you might find helpful for planning your event theme include:

  • Rainfocus’ Speaker Portal which can be used to gather proposals and communicate your theme with your speakers.
  • Event branding widgets which can be added to the existing site to ensure brand consistency.
  • If you’ve used the RF Platform before, you can refer to the reports from your last year’s event to determine what your attendees were most interested in.
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