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The Making of a Conference Theme

Production Solutions

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I hadn’t given much thought to themes — conference themes, that is. It certainly hasn’t been why I have chosen to attend a conference, yet there the theme was front and center headlining all the marketing materials and woven subtly throughout the event.

How are conference themes originated? Why do you even need one?

I’ve come to realize that a conference theme is important because it gives your event a unified objective. A centralized theme gives content direction, energizes your audience and creates buzz. When I became co-chair of the Bridge Conference, coming up with a theme was one of our first tasks.

It’s easier said than done.

My Bridge Conference co-chair, Michelle Powers Keegan, and I sat down and talked about what we hoped attendees would experience. We wanted to:

  • Surprise and delight conference goers
  • Bring people together in new and different ways
  • Shake it up and disrupt the status quo

We then brought these goals to the marketing committee and started generating ideas.

I’ll be honest–we had some misfires.

At one point we had settled on a theme and were excited about it only to discover after multiple art rounds that it was difficult to depict graphically. Ahhh… why didn’t we think about that to begin with? So we went back to the drawing board.

But like all savvy marketers we did some more brainstorming only to come up with something bigger, bolder and better (warning: foreshadowing theme here).Think Big. Think Bold. Take Action.

We’re very excited about where we landed. It signifies why this conference is held. It’s about challenging attendees to think differently about their programs and giving them tools and resources to tackle campaigns in a more creative way. We’re asking you to:

Think Big. Think Bold. Take Action.


At this year’s Bridge Conference you can look forward to three energizing days of dynamic keynotes, panels, workshops, networking and more – all rigorously curated to embolden you to push the limits in search of what direct marketing can achieve. And, at the same time, enhance your personal and professional abilities.

So now you know how the sausage gets made. We look forward to welcoming you at the 12th Annual Bridge Conference August 2-4th at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington, DC.

Stay tuned for details!