First, let’s just say, there are a TON of people at INBOUND 2016! 19,000 to be exact. I have never been to an event this large in my life. And at an event like this there is always a lot to take in, between the breakout sessions, the great speakers, doing some people watching (guilty pleasure of mine), and some really neat installation design for the design nerds to look at (Cough, I’m the design nerd if you didn’t already know).
At first, being a designer and coming to a marketing conference, I was a little unsure if they would have any tracks that would be focused on what I do. I was thinking there would be a ton of sessions with the topics of SEO / Google analytics tactics, Email marketing strategies, How to get traffic to your website… however, I was pleasantly surprised.
Starting out on Day 3, I went to a variety of different breakout sessions that ranged in topic from innovation, growth, design inspiration, and strategy. The one thing that resonated with me the most was the sessions I attended related to design and storytelling. With being a creative person, I am wired to always look for great design in my environment. Whether that is the signage I walk past, the furniture I sit on, the design of the installations behind the speakers I’m listening to, even down to the t-shirts and swag they are selling. The one thing that a lot of people forget is design is everywhere. It is not just a pretty looking website, a crisp and clean brochure, or an animated cartoon/illustration. It is literally everything you look at and touch. But what does that mean to us here at Red Clay and our clients? It all starts with your brand. How you portray it, how you display it, how you talk about it. Your company needs to tell a story and you can use “design” to help emphasis it. Every detail helps tell your company’s story, even down to the color and style of shirt you wear with your company logo on it. You are telling your company’s story without saying a single word.
Looking around at this conference, the people at INBOUND did a great job staying in line with their design, their branding and telling their story. From all of their staff helping answer any questions about the event by wearing matching t-shirts, the design installations throughout the vendor area, the signage to help you navigate the event, down to the graphics and animations for each opening keynote. I especially loved the video before our keynote on Wednesday.
What I want you to do after reading this, is to sit back and think about what your prospective clients / customers are seeing when they look at your website / come into your store… what story do you think they are seeing and what can we do to help you with telling the right one.