First Round Conference

By John Oates

When Chase posted the link to the First Round Conference in Slack, the office was jumping.

First Round Hero

The conference was really the first of its kind. A one day event in New York, jam packed with presentations showcasing initial design exploration (hence the name) for logo, identity, and branding projects.

This type of insight is what you always hope to see but rarely do. Typically audiences are presented with final results, with maybe some light process thrown in. There is certainly value there. Seeing the process, however, especially that first initial step, is priceless. This wasn’t going to be a typical conference with swag bags or sponsor huts. This was going to be a one-day, bootstrapped event.


Seven of us were locked and loaded for NYC.

First Round Body Collage

Here are some of our takeaways:

  • There is no one-size-fits-all first round.

  • Everyone has different approaches.

  • Some are more technical. Some are more visceral. Some show one option. Some show many.

  • The idea here is to operate with what you feel best serves your clients.

  • Start with more what if? and what about this?

  • Organize presentation around how the audience will first interact with the brand.

On top of the conference being stellar, this ended up being one of the most wild, wacky, and wonderful trips with great coworker-friends.

Here’s to the next one!

First Round Body Collage2