UN event management

UN Environment

The interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme, required a full-service agency to develop branding and a range of high-quality communications to mark the celebration of this new global environmental convention.

The brief

The interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme, required a full-service agency to develop branding and a range of high-quality communications to mark the celebration of this new global environmental convention. The goal was specifically to utilise the first meeting of its Conference of Parties as an authoritative celebration, public outreach, and awareness raising event. This meeting was hosted in Geneva by the Swiss Government and brought high-level dignitaries and government representatives together under the banner “Making Mercury History”.

To bring maximum awareness to the Minamata Convention, the COP1 meeting provided critical communication opportunities for the Convention both for immediate awareness impact, and more importantly, to solidify the long-term dedication to achieve universal ratification, and deep support to implement its provisions.

The solution

We started by creating a strong and original brand concept that encapsulated all of the history of mercury, it’s cultural references, landmark policy decisions, and its journey toward the future. This concept of the golden fish was the backbone of the mercury story that was told throughout the conference via digital channels, video, animation, projection mapping, and multiple levels of print collateral. We created the new COP1 website to showcase all of the conference documents, materials, and event information in one place, with a seamless user experience. Additionally, we designed the live event around three key themes: Water, Land, and Air, creating distinctive, messaged event materials to transform the CICG event space. We managed the event coordination, liaising with suppliers, overseeing installation and deconstruction of a custom designed Mercury bubble installation, and designed and created all printed collateral and event giveaways.

Branding – the golden fish

The swimming fish represents progress, positivity, and the ongoing momentum of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The well documented history of Japanese paintings of ‘golden fish’ created a respectful and cultural link to Minamata and Japan. Marine species are also a gateway for mercury into all food chains. The silver motif within the fish represents a visual ‘flash’ of mercury, which is ‘dissolving’ as the dominant gold motif moves into the future, representing the positive progress of the convention. The gold creates a subtle reference to artisanal gold mining and the global gold sector, but gold is also a universal colour of celebration. In this sense, the visual identity supports the important sense of success of the decades of work leading to COP1. The golden fish branding was visible across the entire conference on banners, podiums, posters, wall projections, and in original high-end video content.

Collateral

The golden fish branding concept extended to all digital and printed collateral related to the event. We adapted the branding for and coordinated printing of folders, letterhead, posters, t-shirts, and the treaty itself, which was translated into six languages. We also designed the watch box and the chocolate wrapper for the conference giveaways.