Ryan Duffy

Medium Day live conference


On August 12, 2023, Medium presented the inaugural Medium Day, a 12-hour live virtual conference featuring hundreds of speakers across more than 250 sessions. Putting on an event of this scale and scope was a first in the company’s 11-year history. 


Marketing lead Design direction Design Copywriting Research Creator acquisition Session hosting  


A small internal team and I collaborated with creative director Hannah Swann to develop a unique identity for Medium Day inspired (but not constrained) by Medium’s core brand. One that embodied the bold, creative, scrappy spirit that makes the Medium community unlike any other on the internet. 

Given the huge scope of this virtual event, dozens of design deliverables were required: 

  • Logo and wordmark
  • Website 
  • Email and blog post assets 
  • Session key art 
  • Virtual backgrounds 
  • Speaker social media kits 
  • YouTube thumbnails 
  • In-event promos 
  • Social media assets 
  • Paid ad designs 
  • Slide deck templates

Primary logo
Unused logo concept
Email banners 
Session key art
Virtual backgrounds 
Speaker assets 
YouTube Thumbnails 
In-session promos
Paid ads

Positioning By design, Medium Day had a little something for everyone. Sessions on business, tech, design, politics, social justice, writing on Medium, and much, much more. 

From a marketing perspective, it was challenging to distill such a wide breadth of themes into a single resonant tagline. Ultimately, I decided on three refrains for use in copy and marketing materials, each serving a different purpose: 

Now is the time for human stories. Cribbed directly from the opening line of CEO Tony Stubblebine’s announcement post on Medium, this tagline takes a philosophical bent, alluding to our collective need for substance, authenticity, and personal connection in an age of AI and algorithm-fueled distraction and superficiality.

Virtual conference. Global community. This angle emphasizes the core mission of Medium day: to celebrate the global community of readers and who make Medium one of the most special places on the internet.

A free virtual conference at the crossroads of culture and creativity. I used alliteration to soften the prosaicness of this tagline, which conveys the cost, format, and broad themes of Medium Day in just a few words.

MarketingAs Head of Growth Marketing at Medium, it was my job to make sure people actually showed up to our virtual conference — on a Saturday!   

Medium posts We announced Medium day via a post from Medium’s CEO, then teased new speakers and sessions in subsequent posts.

Community outreach
In the lead-up to the event, we used Typeform to solicit suggestions from community members, incorporating that data to inform Medium Day’s programming strategy. 

Email I built a weeks-long drip campaign teasing new speakers and sessions, increasing the sense of urgency and FOMO as Medium Day drew closer. 

Speaker social media amplification We designed social media kits with beautiful assets optimized for all major social platforms to make it as easy as possible for our army of speakers to promote their participation in Medium Day to their own audiences.  

Sponsored posts
On the day of the event, we ran targeted sponsored posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote the live event to a wide audience as it happened.  

Push notifications On the day of the event, we used push notifications to invite app users to join the event live. 

Session hosting  In addition to organizing and marketing Medium Day, I also moderated three live interviews with creators: 

Discover Calm And Abundance Through The Radical Power Of Rest With Ximena Vengoechea, former user research lead at Pinterest and Twitter and author of the books Rest Easy and Listen Like You Mean It

The Singleton Paradox: AI and the Future of Warfare With Ben Zeibelson, PhD, Director for the US Space Command’s Strategic Innovation Group

How To Break Away From Overworking, Overdoing, And Underliving With Celeste Headlee, public radio journalist and author of the books Do Nothing and We Need to Talk


    Medium Day was a huge success. Over the course of 12 consecutive hours, we hosted:

    • 10k+ attendees 
    • 500+ speakers 
    • 250+ sessions 

    More importantly, we established a new way for writers and pub editors to connect with our team and each other — all while celebrating the unique power of human storytelling on Medium. 

    Made in Los Angeles