Center for a New American Security

Quickly Building a Virtual Solution

The Challenge

With the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) needed to adjust their plans for an in-person conference with a virtual solution.

Our Approach

Expand upon the existing conference branding quickly, leverage third-party video streaming tools, and utilize WordPress to save time managing and uploading content.

The Results

In less than three weeks we were able to collaborate, design, and build a flexible, scalable solution that served thousands of simultaneous conference viewers/participants.

Assessing What's Possible

As logistical plans for the 14th annual CNAS National Security Conference became more complex with the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked with stakeholders to research options that would make a virtual event possible. We weighed our findings against factors like user experience, scalability, and perhaps most importantly: what was possible within the timeframe. 

To complement flexibility with speedy, pre-built functionality, the team chose to embed third-party services like Maestro for streaming and Salesforce’s fonteva for registration, and embedding where appropriate into the WordPress CMS.

Extending an Identity Online

Given the conference had always been held in-person, the brand identity was one that was largely rooted in print design. The classic yet modern look was one that was powerful and clean; it provided a solid foundation for our team to quickly extend the identity online, while also making design considerations for the overarching CNAS brand given our prior experience working with their team.  

Elements of the CNAS 2020 Conference brand book translated over to the digital conference website

Close Client Collaboration

Creating a site in such a tight timeline wasn’t possible without close collaboration — early and often — with our client partners. Leveraging Slack, Teamwork, and old-fashioned face to face communication (via video calls) helped us shorten the feedback loop and move quickly to launch in advance of the conference.

The 2020 CNAS digital conference site presented across devices of varying widths
After working with Savas on several design upgrades to our main website last year, we knew that they would be an excellent partner as we worked to transform our 2020 National Security Conference into a virtual experience. Their designers and engineers worked creatively and maintained a steady flow of communication; the website experience that we built together played a key role in making this year's conference sessions successful.

Christopher Estep

Communications Specialist, Center for a New American Security

Design and Build Quickly.

Some projects have tight timelines, and you need a partner (like us) that can come through in a pinch.