From Palette to Perception: Color’s Role in Brand Strategy

Graphic showing a painter picking colors and a marketing person holding up a bag

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Stephanie Jensen, DES, Kate Filipiak, CAE and Julie Pelstring - AMR Management Services


Color and branding play significant roles in shaping the mood of an association conference. Here’s how:


Consistent branding with colors, logos, and fonts across all conference materials (website, banners, signage, etc.) reinforces the conference’s identity and helps attendees associate these elements with the event.

For example:

  • Blue: Often associated with trust, professionalism, and calmness. Using blue in branding can create a sense of reliability and stability.
  • Green: Symbolizes growth, harmony, and freshness. It can create a welcoming and eco-friendly atmosphere.
  • Red: Evokes energy, passion, and excitement. Red can inject a sense of urgency or importance into the conference.
  • Yellow: Represents positivity, happiness, and optimism. It can create a lively and uplifting ambiance.

Theme Reinforcement:

Colors can be used to reinforce the conference theme or message. For example, if the conference focuses on innovation and technology, using modern and vibrant colors might be appropriate. It’s important to take the objectives of the conference into consideration when selecting color and branding. Outcomes can vary drastically, even with the same demographic in attendance. For example, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), holds two events every year with very different atmospheres and the branding for both reflects this difference.

Photo of NAHN a group of women gathering up on stairs.

The NAHN Hispanic Health Policy Summit in Washington D.C. projects a highly professional appearance with a sophisticated color scheme of navy and gold. Attendees are asked to wear the navy to create a unified front,  which signifies to the legislators that we stand for the same things. In contrast, the NAHN Annual Conference embraces colors that are warm, inviting, and feminine for a welcoming ‘family reunion’ atmosphere.

Brand Recognition:

Strong branding with distinct colors can help the conference stand out and be easily recognizable among attendees, sponsors, and potential partners. Tailoring colors and branding to suit the target audience’s preferences and demographics can enhance engagement and make attendees feel more connected to your association’s event. Consider branding and colors going beyond a logo and marketing materials and incorporating them into other aspects of your organization. To supplement the hot pink of the 2023 NAHN Annual Conference we offered a version of our tote bag in the same color.

Group of NAHN Conference attendees showing a pink bag

One NAHN leader specifically purchased it in advance to wear around the conference and used it as a selfie prop and a conversation starter to promote the NAHN store.

Know Your Demographic & Build a Sense of Community:

Eye-catching color schemes and well-designed branding materials can attract attention and generate interest in the conference, encouraging attendance and participation. Knowing your audience and their priorities is important. For the NAHN Annual Conference creating a sense of connection and giving back to the community was the priority. In 2023 offering a shirt in the same hot pink as the conference logo drew additional attention from attendees. Countless volunteers signed up on-site to volunteer after seeing the eye-catching shirt. They were not only volunteering to help the community, but wearing a matching shirt in a design and color they loved helped them feel part of a community.

Photo of volunteers all showing up to help out a great cause wearing pink

Being part of a community is what brings them back, and why many are already looking forward to the purple and lime design of the NAHN 49th Annual Conference in 2024!

Group of ladies wearing pink

By carefully selecting colors and designing branding materials that resonate with the conference’s goals and audience, organizers can effectively shape the mood and atmosphere of the event, fostering engagement, excitement, and a sense of community among attendees.

Cropped Profile Photo of Stephanie Jensen
Stephanie Jensen, DES
Program Manager
Degrees and Credentials:

Bachelor of Arts in International Economics & Professional Certificate in Non-Profit Management from UW Milwaukee, Certified Digital Event Specialist (DES) from PCMA

Association Management Professional Since: 2015

What inspires you about your work?
From a young age my family instilled the importance of volunteering and giving back, so I’ve made a career of helping support diverse and inclusive associations that are making a difference in their respective fields.
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Kate Filipiak, CAE
Executive Director
Degrees and Credentials:
Certified Association Executive (CAE); Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Management and Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
Association Management Professional Since: 2005
What inspires you about your work?
I enjoy helping organizations achieve their greatest potential. Working with volunteer leaders to see their ideas become reality is always a positive experience. Associations do exceptional work and its great to be a part of that positive impact on the world.
Julie Pelstring Cropped Photo
Julie Pelstring
Creative Dicrtor
Degrees and Credentials:
Bachelor of Arts in Communication, University of Kentucky
Association Management Professional Since: 2017
What inspires you about your work?
Providing design solutions and helping client teams become more efficient and innovative is my passion. My favorite part about being an in-house graphic designer is working with colleagues as my clients. Serving the people I see every day compliments my outgoing and positive personality.
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