Step #3. Brainstorming
To be effective and to present a brand image that is memorable and consistent, event themes and messaging need to be on point, smart, and garners the attention of attendees. Brainstorming a theme can be a stimulating and collaborative process between event producers and the creative department.
The creative brief gives the team the information and insight they need to develop a theme that will resonate with your audience.
First Key to Effective Brainstorming: Practice Safe Collaboration
There are some basic rules that can make the difference between a frustrating and exasperating bull session and a successful collaborative brainstorm.
First and foremost, there are no stupid ideas.
Participants should fight the urge to shoot down an idea they don’t like.
Brutally criticizing or even mocking someone’s idea smacks the off-button on that contributor for the rest of the meeting – and may leave them reeling for hours afterward.
The idea is to open the field wide at this point. Consider all ideas, no matter how weird or off base, as long as they pertain to the goals and objectives of the creative brief. It is amazing how often a seemingly “bad,” idea from one person sparks another to massage it into something very valuable. Or how a pie-in-the-sky idea from one member cross-pollinates with other’s ideas into something exciting and executable.
The best way to proceed is to take the edge off the criticism. For example, “I like Bob’s idea and want to build on it by suggesting… “
Everyone should feel valued and feel that their ideas are being taken seriously.
Second Key to Effective Brainstorming: The What if...? Factor
Encourage people to explore possibilities by asking, “What if?”
“What if we” translates to, “wouldn’t it be amazing and tremendously cool if we… ?”
This is where you begin to try out audacious, exciting, unrealistic ideas that would be hard to execute. That's fine. That's the point.
The goal is to spur the imagination of your fellow brainstormers who might see solutions or insights where you do not. One idea usually leads to another – our brains just can’t help it. The best ideas will spark the imagination of others and be built upon. It is this give-and-take that typically generates winning concepts, as one or two top contending ideas emerge and enthusiasm builds around them.
The team should be able to cherry pick the best ideas for naming your event as well as the messaging you want to convey.
Step #4. Concept Development
Now that you’ve got the messaging, the rest real magic can happen. You're ready to give your event personality and a soul.
At this point your creative team can begin to incorporate the principles of design – color, fonts, and style – to create the look and feel for your messaging that mirrors the tone and goals you defined in the creative brief.
Hard hitting and exciting, celebratory and light hearted, inspirational, moving and personal, high-tech and futuristic, or whatever feelings you wish to inspire in your attendees are achieved in design choices.
The personality and mood you create can be reinforced through your speaker support, signage, pre- and post-event marketing, logo development, and animation and video.
The result: an event that feels cohesive and delivers a more unified and memorable message.
At our firm, we generally develop several concept approaches for each piece of media. The team presents the ideas to the client to see what resonates and if tweaks or adjustments need to be made to any concept.
A general outline for the media concepts encompasses:
● Logo and theme development
● Pre-event marketing materials
● Speaker support
● PowerPoint templates
● Opening video
● Awards video if needed
● Destination video, if needed
● Experiential media (AR/VR), if wanted