Case study: Branding Brighton Chamber of Commerce Summit 2020

Challenging times!

2020 - uncertain times for businesses and event venues - and organisers are suffering. Nevermore real was the brand word 'unite' chosen for the Summit 2020 than at this point, where we needed to rely on the support of members and the business community.

Brand use cases for the brand identity of the Summit 2020. ©sandrastaufer

“Thanks to Lee and Sandra – we love it! ”

Sarah Springford CEO Brighton Chamber of Commerce

The brief

Having attended the Summit a few times in the past I was excited to take on this task. But thinking of the event, the popular speakers and its place in the Brighton Chamber calendar, this challenge also created some pressure. How did we want the Summit to be perceived? And what personality should the Summit have for 2020?

Bringing together 400 businesses and entrepreneurs from across our city’s diverse business community, it’s a day for strengthening relationships and forging new ones. There are inspiring speakers, expert-led workshops and energising discussions, with plenty of time for networking built-in at every turn. The Summit celebrates the spirit of our open-minded, quirky city which makes it such a dynamic region to live, work and do business in.


Straight-away I thought to invite Lee Suttey of Visual Function to collaborate on this project. He brings an enormous amount of experience and expertise in branding and visual communications and we both adore typography.

Within the Brighton Chamber curator team we quickly established a brief, objectives, approaches etc. These meetings were invaluable especially as all curators came from different business directions.

The title UNITE allowed to bring together 'business' and 'Brighton' visually. The extensive mood board phase brought us back to the circle as a key element.

In these unknown times, with the UK leaving the EU and businesses having to come together to work harder, we felt it appropriate to offer a visual tone which communicated a sombre tone, but on the other hand offered clarity. The white backdrop and the simplicity of the illustration style used for this particular project definitely helped that vision. Keeping the palette a Brighton seafront railing colour felt right to make this 'local'.

The solution

We created illustrations as the 'day in the life of a Brighton business person' brand story and united these in a circle. The idea is that the assets are interchangeable and can be used by themselves too, as each business person experiences their business day differently. The circle builds the framework, representing the Brighton Chamber of Commerce, which itself also bears a circle as their logo mark. The ability to unpick the circle and use each asset individually allows us to be agile whilst maintaining a clear vision for the Summit visual communication. The assets will be used throughout the day for signposting too.

A touch of humour gave it the right tone of voice as for a Brighton business that is definitely needed. The illustration is framed by rigid and clear typography, beautifully crafted by Lee Suttey.

... and then someone threw in a COVID-shaped banana skin...!

Brighton Chamber Basecamp 'Bananas'


“Everything’s gone bananas!”

How a throwaway comment became the creative inspiration for a brand new virtual event taking place in October 2020. Interview by Lauren Psyk

For mountaineers, there are often mishaps on the way to the summit. We’d already spent hours preparing for the Brighton Chamber Summit, the October event which has become the highlight of Brighton business calendar. But then someone threw in a Covid-19-shaped banana skin and everything skidded to a halt. So, we found ourselves stuck in Base Camp, casting longing eyes up at the peak and wondering if there was another way to get there.

The result: Brighton Base Camp: Bananas. which took place 16 October 2020; the younger sibling of the Brighton Summit. Base Camp was a virtual event with inspiring speakers, great networking and workshops that could change the way you think. Although we all joined remotely, we were part of something exciting, intriguing, welcoming.

James the host
Brand use cases for the brand identity of the 2020 Brighton Chamber Basecamp 'Bananas'. ©sandrastaufer

Brighton Chamber Basecamp 2021 'En Route'

Illustrator Brighton

Another exciting event with a full programme, organised very well by the Chamber team, based on last year’s incredibly popular Brighton Basecamp: Bananas, brought together 200 businesses and entrepreneurs from across Brighton’s diverse business community.

Once again the Brighton Chamber Curators sat together to come up with a name for this event. We felt the name 'En Route' had the energy to take us forward, to start getting our businesses back on track after a difficult year with COVID. The concept: a map on a brain as we needed to think extra hard of innovative ideas to get this year going.

Illustrator Brighton
Illustrator Brighton

What's next?

I am excited to see the Summit Unite brand coming alive in 2021. This year we just had to be a little flexible and innovative. I am pleased we had an excellent Brighton Chamber team to support us. And we will be interested to hear what the members think on both days.


Key benefits of a successful branding excercise

  • Creates a memorable impression on consumers = positive brand story
  • Allows members to know what to expect from the organisation
  • Creates trust and confidence
  • Shows activity and innovation
  • Shows the organisation's relevance
  • Inspires, members & employees - brings together the tribe
  • Talks directly to the target audience
  • Generates new members
  • Helps with advertising
  • Builds financial value - new members = new revenue for the organisation
  • Leads to results