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Be the Change Group delivers big for International Maternal Newborn Health Conference 

In May 2023, more than 1,800 stakeholders will gather in Cape Town, South Africa, at the first biennial International Maternal Newborn Health Conference (IMNHC) with an important goal: to accelerate solutions to improve maternal and newborn survival and prevent stillbirths as countries strive to achieve the ambitious targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. As the agency of record for the conference, Be the Change Group will be there too.

In preparation for this event, AlignMNH hired Be the Change Group to develop the conference story and theme and create a unique brand identity to clearly communicate the purpose of the conference and its collaborative nature.

How we developed the brand

Be the Change Group’s interdisciplinary teams (Strategy + Communications, Research + Community Engagement, and Design + Development) brainstormed, iterated, and collaborated to develop what is now one of our favourite brands.  

“We all worked together to come up with the conference theme—which is actually ‘Together’,” says designer Alma Tabareh. “Once we had that, we all collaborated again to come up with the tagline. I think it really helped us to define and refine the whole concept of this event into such simple and effective language.” 

While the conference theme and tagline are central to all the messaging for IMNHC 2023, so is the exciting and bold visual identity developed after hours of research by the Design team. 

“I hoped to have elements from across ethnicities so that the brand could be more representative of South Africa as a whole, since there are so many different cultures there,” says communication designer Celia Chung.

Digital mock-up of IMNHC 2023 Brand Guidelines, showing how inspiration drawn from South African culture is woven into the brand identity.

“The main inspiration was indigenous beadwork, textiles, and artwork,” says Celia. “A few things that especially stood out for me were Zulu beadwork, with its bright bold colours and geometric patterns; modern Xhosa wedding dresses, which took their traditional textile patterns to a whole new level with very striking and timeless black and white designs; and Ndebele painted houses.”

Bringing the brand to life online

As we do with all of our projects, Be the Change Group worked closely with the client to deliver a brand that reflects the purpose of the conference, the priorities of the funders, partners, and participants, and the culture of the host country, with sensitivity and authenticity. At the time of writing, the conference is still a few months away, but the brand we created for IMNHC 2023 is featured on the website that we co-wrote, designed, and developed.

Digital mock-up of the IMNHC 2023 website, showing the vibrant colours, patterns, and photography of the brand identity, paired with the conference logo, theme, and messaging.
Digital mock-up of a page on the IMNHC 2023 website, showing the suite of symbols we developed to represent the different tracks/topics to be covered at the conference.

The site serves as a key resource for AlignMNH to use in promoting the conference and keeping the maternal and newborn health community up to date. It also drives awareness, attention to, and amplification of the conference’s objectives to key audiences. 

What’s next?

Members of our team will be travelling to Cape Town in May to provide support before and during the conference, and we’re excited to get a flurry of photos and videos documenting the IMNHC 2023 brand in action! With the conference scheduled to take place every two years, we’re looking forward to evolving the brand for future conferences and continuing our partnership with AlignMNH as it works to accelerate solutions to improve maternal and newborn health.

A group photo with the teams of Be the Change Group, AlignMNH, and Fenton in Washington, DC.

Want to learn more about the work we do? Check out some of our past projects in the Our Work section of our website.

Related links

  • AlignMNH Animation – Check out the animation created by Be the Change Group for the AlignMNH Opening Forum in April 2021. 
  • Women Deliver 2019 Conference Animation – Read about the animation, printed case studies, and more created by Be the Change Group for Women Deliver 2019—the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women in the 21st century.

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