How to choose your conference theme

20 May 2019

When it comes to pulling together a show-stopping event or conference, a theme ensures that the different aspects of your event pull together to support an over-arching idea. Here, we break down how to choose the perfect theme for your conference to engage your audience.

MeetingEstablishing SMART goals for your event allows you to choose a theme in line with your objectives.

1. Establish your goals

For the success of any event, it's essential to establish clear, defined goals. This helps in cementing the purpose of your event, what you're aiming to achieve and why. For this reason, your event goals need to adhere to SMART criteria to ensure they're not only meaningful, but realistic too. The SMART acronym identifies key factors that a goal must embody in order to focus efforts, and is defined as the following:

  • Specific: Goals need to be significant, clear and sensible for your event.
  • Measurable: There needs to be clear metrics from which goals are measured.
  • Achievable: Goals made must be attainable and not unnecessarily ambitious. 
  • Relevant: The goals made must be realistic and directly related to your event.
  • Time bound: Placing a time restriction around goals ensures theres a metric in which they are achieved and analysed.

Take the time to identify key takeaways, too. This is more than leaving an impression on audiences. Those attending your event will share the message and ideas of your event with their network – what would you like them to say? As long as the goals of your event fit this SMART criteria, you'll have a foundation from which to begin creating your theme.

ConfernceThe theme of your event needs to link to your main idea and key takeaways for your attendees.

2. Tie your theme to an idea

The best conference themes are open to interpretation. Having room to explore an idea diversely means you won't be pigeon-holed or boxed into a single concept. That being said, your theme shouldn't be too broad, either. A great way of approaching a theme of an event is keeping things relevant. Look to current industry trends or topical pop culture for theme gold. This could be a popular film or references to a sports event occurring around the same time.

Another method of choosing an event them is forming it around a tag line, for example, "The Future of Tech", or "The Big Picture". This means you aren't tied to set speakers, decor or marketing. Furthermore, this gets the train of thought moving for your guests before they've even entered the venue. 

ConferenceYour theme needs to not only adhere to your company values, but those of your audience too.

3. Reflect yourself and your audience

Your event is an extension of your company, a spotlight on not only your goods or services but your brand personality, too. The theme of your event must reflect the ideals of your business, and the message you want to put across.

If your company prides themselves on being forward-thinking and ahead of the curve, ensure that your decor showcases this. Embracing new technologies at your event demonstrates that you're up to the play with digitally driven solutions. Alternatively, if you're a fun-loving company that doesn't take themselves too seriously, adopting this into your theme opens the door to plenty of quirky installations and activities for your attendees.

As well as considering your personal brand, think about the interests of those attending, too. At the end of the day, your event is for them, therefore needs to adhere to their tastes and expectations too. To maintain brand recognition, it's best to integrate existing marketing collateral as part of the theme of your event. This doesn't mean keeping things predictable, just centered around the familiar values that grabbed the interest of your audience in the first place.

ConferenceEnlisting the help of experienced event professionals can make all the difference when bringing your conference theme to life.

4. Execute your vision

Most importantly, you need to plan how your theme will translate from your plans to the venue. Your theme needs to make sense in the area it's in, with enough space to make sure event collateral doesn't look too cluttered or out of place. In order for your theme to truly impact your attendees, the over-arching idea should be integrated into every touch point of your event – even after the conclusion. Incorporating your theme in follow up emails, surveys, or electronic marketing ensures that the values and message of your conference stay with your attendees.

When it comes to bringing the vision of your conference to life, reach out to the event experts. Through advanced audio and video technology and high-quality media production, CMS Australasia are dedicated to creating captivating event experiences. For more information on CMS Australasia's event services, get in touch with our team.