Branding a dynamic event

The British Council for Offices (BCO) exists to research, develop and communicate best practice in all aspects of the office sector. It delivers this by providing a forum for the discussion and debate of relevant issues, thereby improving efficiency and innovation in the sector. Each year, the BCO Annual Conference is held in a different city. In June 2022 it was held in Manchester – a city that has always pioneered new ways of working and thinking and has, in doing so, transformed itself into a modern cosmopolitan powerhouse.

The conference may well be the first in-person event the delegates have been to in two years. Alongside the many challenges we face as a result of the pandemic, there are many opportunities. The status quo has been shifted fundamentally and there is an appetite to fill the gap with something new.

The BCO conference is a rallying point, a chance to share ideas and interact with a captive audience, to highlight the challenges we currently face and to realise the opportunities that can be created and grasped.


The Northern Powerhouse city of Manchester is the conference venue, with a rich and diverse history and an epicentre of the industrial revolution, that has inspired and produced great thinkers, scientists, activists, creatives and game changers; people, perhaps ‘heroes’ in their own right, who have changed the world we live in.

Our strategy was to embrace that rich culture and ‘heroic’ DNA, to bring the conference brand and proposition to life, framed in a modern context against the dynamic backdrop of the city of Manchester, its history, its people and its vibrant energy.

How the heroes, innovations and history of Manchester changed the world would be a direct challenge to the conference delegates, a rallying cry – “How will you change the world we live and work in?”. This would be the opportunity for the industry to make its mark.


We have created a brand strategy and stand-out treatment to embody that challenge and embrace the opportunity and vibrancy that the venue city offers – a dynamic, energetic brand with Manchester’s historic industrial powerhouse architecture at its heart.

Our strategy and roll-out encompassed all event comms and collateral, including the 5 metre big ‘M’ as the brand centrepiece which sat in the middle of the conference venue.

We built the conference reach and raised its profile over a 9 month period, helping to attract further sponsors and key industry delegate attendance, as well as deliver the event itinerary and programme of activity throughout the conference.

“Distinctive, energetic and impactful. That’s what we needed and that’s exactly what we got from the team at OB. They really understood what we were trying to achieve by understanding the organisation, its flagship event and embodying the essence of the City venue within the brand. OB applied this thinking across every touchpoint of the conference. The colour and vibrancy will really make this a memorable event – I personally believe it’s been the best conference branding we’ve ever had.”

Mark Kowal – Senior Vice President, British Council for Offices

“We are proud and absolutely thrilled to be part of this exciting project – the first in-person post-Covid BCO conference will provide a fantastic event for the whole sector to at last come together and seize the opportunity to take the industry into a new era. Well done to our OB team for all your creativity and hard work.”

Julian Atkins – Director, OB Consulting

“After nine months of exceptional effort, it’s all over in two fantastic days for the BCO”

Julian Atkins – Director, OB Brand Consulting

© Photography by Stewart Writtle