The new face of the Global Engagement Summit

Our sleek new look prioritizes accessibility, brand consistency, modernity and accommodation.
 
By Kelly Gonsalves
 
Welcome to our new and improved website.
 
In preparation for our pivotal 10-year anniversary conference last year, the Global Engagement Summit executive board took a deep dive into a lengthy process of defining and reevaluating our brand identity: What is GES? What do we represent? What are we doing, and do our actions directly connect to what we’ve set out to accomplish?
 
We’ve spent over a year trying to tackle these huge questions, taking full-day retreats in cabins and engaging in weekly round-table discussions. We produced a refined mission statement, a fresh logo and even a comprehensive style guide to unify the look and feel of our materials (notice the consistent color palette, gradients and typefaces?).
 
We also did some massive reorganizing of our staffing structure, consolidating committees and shifting roles around – including adding a fundraising leg to our finance team and combining our international and American delegate search teams into a single Delegate Recruitment Committee, among other changes – in order to maximize our group’s efficiency. To that effect, we’ve also begun work on a detailed internal constitution to govern the inner workings of our organization.  
 
And now, we’ve built a brand new website to showcase what we’ve accomplished throughout this process and – most importantly – what we have to offer our delegates, facilitators, sponsors and alumni.

 For GES, our online presence is not only the face of our organization but also the informational hub of an enormous global network of social changemakers. Therefore, while constructing our new website, we prioritized four main objectives:

  • Accessibility: More than anything else, our website is a resource for anybody in the world who wants to learn about and interact with GES. As such, providing extensive, easy-to-access information about our organization and our flagship event – the Summit – is our most important goal. We’ve reorganized our navigation system to make finding the material relevant to your needs simpler and easier than ever, making page menus prominent, handy and neat.
     
  • Brand consistency: After doing some organizational soul-searching, we developed a set look and feel around our newly minted identity to ensure the world sees GES they way we do: a professional, cutting-edge, international organization that’s equal parts family and business.
     
  • Modernity: First impressions count. In the virtual world, that means visual presentation speaks volumes before the actual content ever gets a word in. In keeping with progressing standards for digital aesthetics, we aimed for a clean, minimalist design that emphasizes white space, full-bleed graphics and large text to maximize readability, along with ensuring multi-platform compatibility.
     
  • Accommodation: Our site receives traffic from a host of stakeholders affiliated with our organization: delegate applicants from around the world, industry professionals invited to speak at the Summit, partner organizations, potential sponsors, Northwestern University community members and many others. We wanted to create a site that welcomes and clearly caters to the interests of each and every one of these parties.

Our new platform is the product of an extensive research and evaluation process to find the best possible way to communicate and connect with our network. So take a stroll around. We couldn’t be more excited to embark into the new year with this beautifully restructured website under our belt.

We would also like to give a special shout-out to the engineers behind this redesign: Ana Cordera, who led the project, along with Judy Tsai, Renee Probetts and myself.                     

Each of our delegates come to the Summit with a project they bleed for – a fledgling startup they’ve birthed and nurtured through blood, sweat and a hell of a lot of elbow grease, an established organization they hope to improve with some fresh innovations or just a particularly loud idea that they can’t help but believe in.
 
For us, GES is our project. Behind the scenes, our staff has been toiling away at redefining, improving and growing this project we can’t help but believe in.
 
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Kelly Gonsalves is a Co-Chair of Media & Marketing at the Global Engagement Summit. Have feedback on our new look? Send us your thoughts at media@theges.org.