A New Creative Strategy

In 2018, the SMW New York (#SMWNYC) conference took place at a new venue on a grand stage at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown. The challenge was in coming up with visuals that would enable us to dress up the rather 80s-like venue decor.

Unlike in prior years, in which I've allowed copy and muted backgrounds to communicate the conference visuals, I decided to play right into the 2018 Global Theme: Closer: The You Universe. Polygons, AI, self-awareness; these where some of the topics and ideas that inspired me to come up with the final design. Additionally, the physicality of the curvilinear design further enforced the theme, enveloping the speakers on stage in an innovative new environment.

Execution at SMW New York

The stage backdrop, wayfinding signage, and various physical and digital assets that breadcrumbed the conference venue made a significant impact on our attendees, sponsors, and partners. I've continued to adapt the design for new, larger, and even more impactful backdrops throughout our other remaining conference editions in Los Angeles and in London; each one with its own dimensionsal challanges.

Adapted at SMW Los Angeles

At SMW Los Angeles (#SMWLA), the stage was significantly smaller in contrast to the NYC venue. We've shipped the backdrop, installed it, and quickly realized that the end-pieces were no longer needed. A smaller, more intimate backdrop, helped to accentuate the format of #SMWLA's panel sessions, similar to the vibe of a fireside chat. This was my favorite stage setup in 2018.

Re-Purposed for SMW London

At SMW London (#SMWLDN), a different iteration of the stage served as an impactful backdrop as director Kevin Macdonald discussed his new project with Lexus in creating a car commercial edited and pieced together with AI. This and other sessions took advantage of the aesthetics as one aided the other in getting points and topics across. The dimensions were scaled up and the artwork was re-position in order to make visual space for 2 large monitors flanking the sides of the backdrop.

That's a Wrap!

This year was all about connectivity - creating visual synergies between how a User experiences SMW via our platform and how they then, as an Attendee, experience the conference. For me, print is incredibly gratifying. It's immediate. That said, I love seeing my creative storylines come to life and evolve from online to IRL.

What's Next?

With all 2018 editions of SMW conferences now concluded, I've already began conceiving and creating the visuals that will cater to the company's 2019 global theme: Stories - With Great Responsibility Comes Great Responsibility.

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