Rebranding an Annual Conference


Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH)


The Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) seeks to improve performance and reduce errors in patient care through the use of simulation. Established in 2004 by professionals using simulation for education, testing, and research in healthcare, SSH’s 3,700 members includes physicians, nurses, allied health and paramedical personnel, researchers, educators, and developers from around the globe. SSH fosters the improvement and application of simulation–based modalities such as human patient simulators, virtual reality, standardized patients and task trainers.

Since 2006, the organization has held an annual meeting called the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH). The meeting attracts approximately 2,800 attendees each year.


In 2014, Gavilan & Associates (G&A) conducted member and non-member research to gain insight on many facets of SSH membership and probe into the perceptions of IMSH. One finding indicated that many respondents thought they were members of IMSH, not SSH; another indicated that people joined specifically for the IMSH registration discount.

Clearly, there were challenges ahead, and a comprehensive marketing communications strategy was needed.


To address these findings, we invested in developing a new brand for IMSH – one that was not location-based (like previous marketing) and one that strongly connected SSH as the host of IMSH. Thus was born a new graphic identity, with supporting brand artwork, along with strategic messaging that communicated that SSH is the host of the conference.

The Gavilan team has the logo updated with the new location and dates every year, and creates a conference graphic theme based on input from a volunteer meeting planning committee.