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Researcher Development

Researcher Development

Develop a conference branding

Nowadays, it is essential to have good event marketing so that people know about the existence of your conference and make them curious to attend.

Currently, you have several options to advertise the conference. Integrating various online and offline channels in this dynamic digital world can be a good approach to achieving your branding goals. This chapter includes tips and guidance on setting up your conference marketing.

The first thing to consider for your event branding strategy is knowing the audience your conference will target and how you will adequate the contents towards them. This consideration is helpful when deciding on the most effective marketing channels and tactics for this target audience.

A logo is the identity of your event, so when designing, consider what your event embraces and how you can leave an impression in the first email/post.

There are some specific things you need to consider to create a strong logo for an event:

Make it practical and easy: It should be easy recognisable, and be adaptable to be implemented in different ways of communication, e.g. print and web.

Make it memorable: It should capture your viewers’ attention and leave an impression. It should be fun and inspiring, showing attendees that they will learn something new and network.

Integrate dates and year: Including a date or year in the logo reminds people in a quick way of the date of the conference. Having the year in the logo means that it is an annual event, which gives it a level of importance and quality.

It is important to create an email account that can be used as a central contact point and to spread the word and inform attendees/speakers. The email address should be clearly related to the conference name and be mentioned in all ways of dissemination so that attendees can contact the Committee with questions and information. For example, the email address of the postgraduate conference CLESCon was, stating the name of the event and the host organisation (

Additionally, it is important to create a good email signature, which, besides mentioning the names behind the organisation,  gives emails a more professional touch. Also, it is a way of advertising as you can add the logo and social media channels. Don’t forget to emphasise the email contact details so that people can reach you with enquiries.

The following example shows a sound email signature used for the CLESCon2021:

A well-designed and functional website can contribute to the success of your conference. A website is optional if you hold an in-person event, but if you have decided to organise an online or hybrid event, a website that meets your requirements is essential.

Before you explore your options, make a list of what you need and expect from the platform, e.g. display of posters (in PDF format) and videos, the number of visitors, and password-protected access.

Currently, various professional event management platforms offer an easy way to build a professional website and many offer free demonstrations. Some options are:


  • Focusses specifically on the planning and holding of events
  • It adapts to different type of events, just online/hybrid/a complement of in person event
  • Allows poster and video upload by the attendees
  • Possibility to live chat

6 months of access for attendees after the event


  • Attendees need to create an account
  • Relatively expensive and costs are dependent on the number of attendees

  • Focusses specifically on the planning and holding of events
  • Uses Google Slides for poster display
  • Video upload and live streaming

Possibility to live chat


  • Attendees need to create an account
  • Only event access (72hrs)
  • Relatively expensive and costs are dependent on the number of attendees
  • Limited features

  • Allows posters display (PDF) and video upload
  • Unlimited attendees (upgrade)
  • No account required
  • Free for main features (upgrade available)

Create the website exactly how you have it in mind


  • There is no streaming service, but it allows links to other commonly used streaming platforms such as ZOOM and Microsoft Teams.
  • General website creation platform (not specifically for events)

It takes time to build your own website

Independently of the platform chosen, the website should include:

  • Event information: venue, date/time, key speakers, program
  • Registration form (Chapter X)
  • Valuable content to attract potential attendees – information about key speakers, extra activities (if applicable)
  • Contact details
  • Sponsors

Creating your own website from scratch (with e.g. Wix) takes time but can be very rewarding. It is very likely cheaper than the established event platforms and you can create it exactly to what you need and meet your expectations.

A few things to keep in mind when you build your own website:

  • Check the different pricing plans and decide which one suits your requirements best e.g. number of visitors per day/month, video uploading capacity, domain name (see below). Some features e.g. live chat can be added later (for a small price).
  • Display your Conference logo (Chapter X) and create the website in a similar style.
  • Keep the website well organised: create different tabs e.g. Home (with general information), About (description of the conference), Keynote Speakers (photo and description of their research), Programme, Talks, Posters, Sponsors, Contact.

  • Talks: You could insert a live streaming feature to your website, but consider if it is not easier and more fail-proof to just add links to Zoom/Microsoft Teams meetings. You can for instance setup separate meeting links for the morning session and afternoon session. The links are also easy to distribute via email.
  • Posters: If you organise a hybrid event, consider to display all posters (including the in-person poster) on the website, so that all attendees have access to all posters.
  • A general and easy to use format for posters is PDF. Ask all poster presenters to send their posters in the right format 0.5-1 week before the event date, so that you have enough time to upload them to your website. You could make an overview page of all posters (or split them over two pages dependent on the number of posters) and create links to the subpages that display the individual posters.

It’s recommended to create templates for all the different pages beforehand, so that you get familiar with the platform and to make the uploading process more straightforward.

Add live chat boxes to each poster page, so that the presenters and visitors can interact about the content of the posters.

You can also offer the presenters to submit a short video explaining their poster. This can especially a feature to consider when you organise an online or hybrid event.

  • Password protect certain pages, e.g. Talks and Posters, to avoid unwilling visitors. (Presenters might display unpublished data.)

To avoid visitors needing to add a password for each page they want to visit, you could add the password protection only to the main pages (e.g. overview poster page) and add here links to individual pages (e.g. poster display pages). A disadvantage is that with the correct webpage URL people are still able to visit the individual pages linked to the main page. To make this harder, you can setup unique, hard-to-guess URLs for each page e.g. you can change to

Let members of the Committee check that everything is working before the start of the event.

Delete all content from presenters (e.g. posters and videos) after the conference.

The choice of a social media platform to advertise the event can hugely benefit the success of the conference. It is important to choose the social network based on the target audience’s preferences Some social platforms that can be considered:

  • Instagram: Perfect for visual content, indicated to a younger audience. Ideal to “spread the word”, engage with the public, upload pictures of the event and film live videos.
  • Facebook: Generally used and suitable for engagement with people. It also allows you to upload pictures, share different content and film live videos.
  • Twitter: Good for short texts and uploading pictures. Notably, it is often used by researchers to share their presence at events/conferences.
  • LinkedIn: Especially effective for professional conferences, broad public.

Combining different social networks is preferable to reach as many people in your target audiences as possible. However, consider adapting the content for each social platform.

Example: To organise the CLESCon2021, the chosen platforms were Instagram and Twitter. The target audience is postgraduate students, 21-35 years old, developing research in Psychology, Biosciences, Geography, Health and Sports fields.

Tips to make the most use of social media:

Create a good hashtag: Creating a hashtag can be helpful to promote the event or measure engagement during the day. It is important to develop a short, easy-to-pronounce/remember event hashtag. It should be unique and refer to the event’s name so that target attendees know instantly which event is, without confusing it with other events.

Use interactive features: Social media platforms have several features to interact with the target audience. For example, Instagram stories can be used to create multiple choice questions and a Countdown Sticker for announcing different deadlines. These features allow interactions for a short period of time.

Video teasers: Short videos and/or boomerangs can be a good teaser for the conference/event. It is dynamic and attractive, which may encourage people to register. Also, sharing behind the scenes raises excitement for the event.

During the event: It is important to cover the day of the event, as it improves attendees’ satisfaction and can help you strengthen the event as a whole. Also, considering a virtual/hybrid event requires more interaction with the audience via online platforms for a better event experience. Don’t forget to use the hashtag created for every post you make on social media. Also, remember to share/repost/retweet post shared by the conference participant.


Pamphlets and posters can be helpful as a visual aid to advertise your conference. After having designed your logo, you can start with the creation of pamphlets/posters. They can be used on boards, screens, and social media. It will be visual and reminds people of the event.

There are several programmes/software you could use to design your pamphlets/pictures. Inkscape from Capterra is an example that present you edition features that could be useful:

Example of a pamphlet created with Inkscape.

Name tags

Name tags serve as a reminder of the person’s name — a basic personal detail that truly matters! When it’s there, it helps acquaintances avoid potential missteps. Having essential identifying information ‘at hand’ at the right time can open the door for opportunities and provide a platform for your conference participants to shine and impress.

  1. Help attendees recognise others! Many people attend conferences and events to network. Attendees want to know the name of the people they are meeting, so that they can connect again later with them. If this applies to your event, you can include additional information on the name badge to help attendees recognize others. Consider what other information might be relevant to the participants. For example, if this is a conference within the university, you might consider including which Department they are from, and if you have a more international audience, then perhaps include the university name and country. You could also colour code name badges to identify industry affiliates, sponsors, speakers, committees and such.
  2. Do not miss this! And last but not least, adding the conference logo, Twitter handle and hashtag information to the name tags can be a good idea; with mobile devices at the ready, this information makes connecting with attendees at the conference an easy reality! This also helps promoting the event, allow people to find and share information shared within the conference.

Not a graphic designer? No problem! The hardest part of the design process can be the search for inspiration. Luckily, we’ve got a user-friendly website recommendation for you that will make it really easy.

Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool. Use it to create social media posts, presentations, posters, videos, logos and more

Here’s a screenshot example of a name tag being designed on Canva. They also have a great list of templates (on the left bar) you could use.

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