How Titles and Tag Lines Made A Professional Development Conference Shine
Over the summer of 2017, I had the pleasure of helping to plan The GUILD’s first ever professional development conference, which welcomed over 250 women to San Francisco to hear from experts in industries ranging from tech to fitness. On top of coordinating dozens of speakers, venues, and caterers, I was assigned the task of brainstorming the perfect website content to help promote the conference.
We decided to divide the conference up by topic, and attendees could choose sessions with different focuses. These could be anything from health and wellness sessions to an exclusive pitch meeting with San Francisco’s rising angel investors. To help prospective attendees understand the schedule and layout of events, we decided to call these “houses.” Through working with our wonderful graphic designer, it looked a little something like this:
These houses were modeled after the famous “Painted Ladies” tourist attraction in San Francisco, and helped to support the welcoming, at-home feel we wanted to achieve for our sessions. The most fun part of this process for me — brainstorming their names!
When exploring each of these houses further, you’ll see that each name corresponds to the house theme. Find Your Coach included career and life coaching sessions, Unplug was meant for health and wellbeing, Founders Meet Funders was a place for female entrepreneurs to find their next possible investor.
At this point, a possible attendee has possibly explored the home page and is intrigued by the houses, but now wants to learn more. Enter: house descriptions! This was a fun challenge for me, because I knew how much was being offered in each house. Staring at a spreadsheet of the many speakers, sessions, and opportunities within each division of the conference, I had to find a way to capture it all in only a few sentences. Oh, and incorporate any sponsors we might have for that event. No big deal, right?
Here’s an example from one of my favorite houses, StoryPOWER. Here, we helped women to find their voice whether it be in a simple conversation or when crafting a pitch for their new company.
What you’ll see when scrolling further down on the page are photos from previous venues (with the best view of the Bay Bridge) and below it, a session description I crafted for each of the included activities an attendee could choose.
On top of session descriptions, I also learned about each speaker along the way by fine-tuning and editing the personal bios they submitted to our team. Inadvertently, this made for a fun closing happy hour at the end of the conference, because I knew the names and stories of almost everyone in the room!
After devoting much of my summer to getting SERENDIPITY ready for the inaugural year, I was grateful that The GUILD offered to fly me out in October during my senior year to help work for the conference and cover it on our social media and blog. The conference was a success, and many referred to the website throughout to read up on panelists, get critical information about the schedule, and sign up to join us again in 2018!