A decidedly unconventional client event

When KCG hired Thinkso to help conceptualize, name, and brand what would become its signature client event, we set out to banish the stodgy stigma surrounding financial services summits. The result: UnConvention, an invigorating, three-day event that broke the industry mold. Each year, we created a theme and immersive experience for “UnCon” that tied a market topic together with the event’s unique locale. Our work included branding the event with elaborate environmental graphics, entertaining content, and unexpected client gifts. We handled all communications, from invitations to dinner menus to event programs, and even ran the social media and event app.

“With Thinkso as our creative partner, we elevated a semi-regular appreciation event to an industry leading, multi-venue, multi-day, signature experience that featured world class thinkers, talent, and original content.” Jillian Reid, VP Marketing & Communications, KCG

Montréal, 2017

UnConvention 2017 was set in Montréal, a city in which alternative ideas and unfamiliar customs come together in surprising ways. Thinkso’s goal was to capture this eclectic, dynamic energy throughout the conference and across a range of media. Our editorial strategy fused English and French, with a solid dose of wit and humor. Shields and crests representing different facets of Montréal’s character, as well as the city’s logo, formed the basis for our visual identity system.

The neon crest we created became the signature graphic of the event. Blending old with new, we repurposed it in multiple forms, including a digital animation, window decals, and an actual light-up sign.

Philadelphia, 2016

UnCon 2016 was set in Philadelphia, an early leader in the publishing industry, the heart of the American Revolution, and home to one of our most accomplished Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin. Inspired by the city’s history, we built the event’s theme around “revolutionary thinking” throughout the world.

Posters printed in Philadelphia played a big role in galvanizing early American revolutionaries. We paid homage to this art form (and had a lot of fun) with posters of our own. They promoted and commemorated UnCon’s guest speakers, Franklin quotes, cheese steaks, the Bacon Brothers band (one of the night’s entertainment), and more.

New Orleans, 2015

UnCon 2015 took place in New Orleans. Nicknamed “The Big Easy,” the city is a melting pot and hotbed of innovation with unique culinary and cultural contributions. Taking inspiration from the surroundings, 2015’s UnConvention focused on themes of simplicity, transparency, and innovation — with the overarching goal of bringing greater ease to every part of the trading process. Cultural activities showcased New Orleans cuisine and music and illustrated how collaboration and creativity drive evolution and progress.

Nothing says New Orleans like a speakeasy featuring the jazz of Branford Marsalis. So we worked with KCG’s marketing team to create one.

Washington D.C., 2014

KCG’s first UnConvention was held in Washington, D.C. in 2014. The product of a merger the year prior, KCG was still new to clients. Thinkso created assets for the event that reinforced KCG’s brand and voice, and showcased how the firm represented a break with the industry status quo.

For the inaugural event, we focused on establishing the event’s brand—and reinforcing KCG’s. Details, such as custom coasters featuring UnCon’s signature cocktails, provided moments of surprise and delight, and signaled that KCG was no ordinary trading firm.