Brand New Conference. Almost there…

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As you probably already know, this coming Friday, November 5th, UnderConsideration’s Brand New Conference is taking place at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York City, and THEE BLOG will be there!!! The conference will focus on corporate Branding & Identity and includes lectures from amazing and inspiring professionals like Michael Bierut, Erik Spiekermann, Paula Scher and agencies like Wolff Olins, Studio Dumbar and more! Check out the whole lineup and a brief interview with the event’s organizer and UnderConsideration Principal, Armin Vit.

According to the site Brand New Conference is a one-day event organized by UnderConsideration on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world. Guest speakers include:

Michael Bierut, Partner – Pentagram. New York
Connie Birdsall, Senior Partner & Creative Director – Lippincott. New York
Jordan Crane, Creative Director – Wolff Olins. New York
Tom Dorresteijn, Strategy Director – Studio Dumbar. Rotterdam
Karl Heiselman, CEO – Wolff Olins. New York
Christian Helms, Owner & Creative Director – The Decoder Ring Design Concern. Austin
Michael Johnson, Creative Director – Johnson Banks. London
Michael Lejeune, Creative Director – METRO. Los Angeles
Paula Scher, Partner – Pentagram. New York
Erik Spiekermann, CEO – Edenspiekermann AG. Amsterdam, Berlin, Stuttgart

In order to find out more details and gossip, I contacted Armin Vit, Principal at UnderConsideration and organizer of Brand New Conference. There were a few questions I wanted to ask him about his guest speakers, the conference itself and his future plans.

Hi Armin and thank you so much for taking the time to chat considering you are just days away from Brand New’s first conference ever! I promised I would be brief so here we go!… How are the preparations going?
We pretty much have everything we need in place. I think. My to-do list at least has more items marked as done than not done. It’s all the last minute things that are coming up now, like printing “reserved” signs to put on the speakers’ chairs, loading up files on laptops and USB drives, getting the actual person that will handle the video camera at the theatre to confirm he or she will show up, packing up our suitcases, and leaving. The only big item I have left is setting up the e-commerce page to buy videos of each talk after the event.

From an organizer’s point of view, how would you rate and describe the whole process?
It’s not as difficult as I thought it was going to be, but it’s also a lot more time consuming than I thought. There is a lot (A LOT) of e-mailing that needs to happen with everyone involved from speakers, to attendees, to vendors.

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We all know the conference sold out in less than 2 months… To what do you attribute this high demand and interest from designers around the world?
That we are awesome? No, I think it all has to do with the speaker line-up. They are simply great and they have never been together in the same event, so that’s a big draw. It’s also the only conference, at least in the US, on identity design, which has a very big appeal.

Due to high demand and a few procrastinators ;), the conference was forced to move onto a bigger auditorium. Was this overwhelming as it was gratifying?
Definitely both. It was gratifying in that it stroked our ego and it would mean double the amount of ticket sales. But overwhelming in that we now couldn’t have the after-party at a cool bar but now needed an actual party space and that threw our budget from a $5,000 expense to a $15,000 expense. It also meant that now we had to get 500 of everything: t-shirts, bags, badges, programs, etc. It just made it a little more “real” and less like a fun exercise.

What motivated you to organize this event?
Ever since we ran Speak Up, back in the early 2000s, we wanted to do a 1-day conference, but we lacked the confidence or business savvy to pull it off. So when we realized that we have fostered a really amazing audience and that we are offering something that can not be had anywhere else we knew we could pull it off. The real motivation is that this is our business now… We don’t do much client work, so we have to find ways to make good money off of the online community we’ve built and this is an event that both makes good business sense and is something that’s actually cool.

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Let’s talk a little about the fantastic roster of speakers because I have to ask this… How did you manage to gather such a great group of names?
We personally know most of the speakers. We’ve been nice to them all these years and we asked nicely. It’s all about asking nicely.

Were there any divas? ;)
Ha! Can’t reveal that.

Oh! and no Bob Sanders?
Maybe next year.

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With so many inspiring speeches from field experts and an eclectic collection of professionals from all over, what do you believe attendees will be able to leave with?
The most important thing is that there is people, actual living people just like you and me, that do these great identities and they have the same struggles as we do in getting a logo approved, no matter what the scale.

Do you have plans for next year’s Conference or are you waiting to see how this one works out?

Definitely waiting to see what happens with this one before we make any decisions on whether we want to make it bigger, smaller, in New York, outside New York, etc. But we certainly have a goal of making this an annual event.

If you have thought about it… any little tips? Different cities? Speakers?

Yes, definitely different cities. We chose New York because we assumed 90% of the audience would be New Yorkers, but it turns out that only 40% are, and the rest are coming from the rest of the U.S. and even overseas. So that opens up the possibilities. And speakers, of course, we have tons of people we want to invite.

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Thank you again for your time Armin, and thank you for organizing this event. I am sure it will be a Great Success! See you there!
Thanks Diego.

www.SVAtheatre.com

2 comments
  1. Damn I really wanted to go to this. Post pics

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