Web Design & Brand Consulting
Out in Tech Talks | UX WEB DESIGN & Brand Consulting | NOV 2016 | (Pro Bono)
Out in Tech, a New York Based 501(c)(3) non-profit non-profit, aims to unite LGBTQ+ in tech. They try to inspire tech leaders to improve our world by showcasing accomplished speakers, producing timely and thought provoking events, and connecting its members to new opportunities and each other.
For an inaugural conference, Out in Tech wanted to have a conference for one weekend that would bring together LGBTQ+. This weekend would have thought provoking discussions about diversity in tech. The weekend long event would allow participants to hear from senior level execs promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion in their work places. Participants would learn from the speakers as well as each other, cultivating the relationships and real world application of the event’s purpose.
Out in Tech aimed to embark on its inaugural conference, ‘bringing together over 450 allied voices to help advance the dialogue around diversity in tech and address the power of tech to create social change.’ As this was the first time embarking on this type of project, the organization needed a reimagined landing page to confirm the validity of the event as well as drive excitement and buzz surrounding the event.
Looking at the old landing page to the left, it is clear that this was their first event, however, there needed to be a strategy to the new content displayed as well as a need for a call to action for both attendees and sponsors. The most important aspects that we would have to concentrate to add or expand are the 5 W’s — who, what, when, where, and why.
For this re-imagination of a landing page, we only had an initial 3 hours to create a new page before pushing our design live.
For a three-hour project, we had to prioritize features, information, and ensure that the due respect was paid for this event for the potential 450+ projected turnout. Immediately, a burn down list was created to help guide our way through the next three hours:
- Comparative Research — What current tech conferences are currently out and relevant in NYC and in Tech? How do these strategize their content?
- Background Research — Research Payment methods, Speakers, Sponsor Levels and Logos, and Event Details had to been scoped out for display on the redesigned landing page.
- Collateral Materials — What marketing or collateral materials need to be created for this event.
Tech Conference Inspiration for Out in Tech Talks
From the research I was able to conduct for other tech conferences like Dreamforce, Tech Day in NYC, and Uncubed.
From the business needs perspective, I knew that there were three types of Sponsorship for this event, ranging from a $50K — $10K. We needed to create a space where we could display event sponsors, but also create an event landing page that would generate more encourage legitimacy for this event for more sponsors. However from the comparative research, I discovered that most sponsor logo placement is toward the footer as there is more important content for the user to be prioritized.
From the user needs perspective, the 5 W’s really drove my design and content prioritization decisions:
What/Why — What is this event and why is it being held? This seemed like the most important of the content to be displayed as this would be the mission statement and purpose of the event.
Who — Who is at this event? I chose this content to be second in priority for the use of driving user conversion to purchase tickets, as well as sponsor conversion to see the high level of speakers to support and help cultivate their business’s LGBTQ+ support opportunities.
When/Where — When/Where is this event? Logistics details of the weekend long event needed to be listed. This was prioritized last as this information seemed more detailed micro level information that could afford to sit toward the bottom of the landing page.
As this event had multiple speakers and sponsorship opportunities, I wanted to ensure that I properly reflected these entities correctly. I had to complete a proper research for the speakers biographies for the landing page so that there was a legitimacy in why they are a speaker and where they are a thought leader in their own workplace, helping progress the LGBTQ+ community.
For sponsors, I had to research each donation level to ensure that with each that I was not breaching any contracts with placement or brand misrepresentation.
Collateral Materials/Brand Consulting
I have attended a few networking events and out of experience, I have always appreciated a fun new aspect that makes that event unique. Some events have utilized a networking and recruiting opportunity after an event. Dreamforce is a massive event, but allows for a branded test drive of how people have created products for the Salesforce platform. Some events have simply had local food and local brews available. The question I helped drive my decision making for Out in Tech’s event would be “What details would make this event unique?”
Use of Emojis — One of the first emails I received inviting me to come in to work on this project from the Andrew, the Executive Director, included Emojis in the subject line. I immediately knew that was such a creative way to garner attention. The use of emojis was fun and playful yet separated Out in Tech and he might have unintentionally started a branding characteristic for this event. We immediately knew that we wanted to utilize Emojis throughout communications as well as throughout the event collateral.
Utilizing the Nametag — From experience, I knew there were a few things that we wanted to do to help identify volunteers versus attendees as well as utilizing potential advertising space. For the nametag, we utilized the use of color to identify volunteers (green) and attendees (yellow).
The fun part was trying to identify how we might be able to engage with the attendee. I wanted to include a hashtag as well as social handles, but I knew I wanted more. I finally came up with an idea to have the specific day’s conference schedule listed on back. The primary day’s event would be an entire day of lighting round panels that might cause uneasiness with not knowing the schedule. By enabling the attendee to see an overview, they would be able to prepare themselves for each panel, as well as have the added bonus of engaging with Out in Tech by different social channels.
I am extremely grateful to continue to do work for such an amazing cause especially in the new political climate that has started for our country. I think that this is an amazing way to continue to stay focused on driving the conversation about what Equal Rights and Human Rights means to the people who value a prosperous and bright future for our families. This was a fun project and I look forward to continue offering my services to Out in Tech as long as they keep inviting me back.