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Developing an Event Theme

Every successful event requires a theme.

What is a theme?

A theme is the title or tagline of your event.

An event theme should be broad enough to leave room for a wide range of topics, activities and speakers.

What are the benefits of a broad theme concept?

When attendees are presented with a series of ideas, they instinctively form connections. When the connections are obvious, participants will leave with a similar set of obvious connections.

But when the ideas seem unrelated, each participant will invent their own, individual set of connections. This makes for a more engaging, personal and surprising experience, and will generate a wider array of questions, and much more lively discussion.

Effective themes

The most effective themes are catchy, relatable, and elicit an emotional response. You want your event to inspire and stimulate conversation and the goal of your event theme is to enable that.

The theme is more than just a memorable catchphrase; it will guide event branding and promotion, from designing a logo to coming up with social media hashtags to printing event posters, brochures, and other collateral.

Key questions

Key questions to ask when brainstorming the development of your theme:

  1. What’s the purpose of your event? Why is it being held? What are you or the client trying to achieve?

  2. Who are the event’s target market? Why do you or your client want them to attend?

  3. What’s the unifying message that any speakers will deliver?

  4. What’s the key takeaway for event attendees?

  5. What are the defining elements of your, or your client’s brand?

  6. Think about how you can reflect your client’s values outward to the world?

Stuck for ideas?

The corporate meeting planners at American Meetings, Inc. have compiled a list of 127 event themes and concepts.

Event Theming - Creativity, imagination and innovation...

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