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The "Ideen-Salon" is based in Hamburg, the second-biggest city in Germany. Hamburg is known for being a "port to the world" and lies at the "Elbe" river. Although we do not want to be limited to Hamburg it may be an idea to make a visual connection to the city. But this does not have to be.
Another suggestion would be a visual interpretation of the "thought/idea -> word -> action" trinity.
The event itself is organized as follows: the idea owner presents his/hers idea in front of a small audience (typically 15-25 people), who will give well-ment, but critical feedback. That way an idea owner is able to gather feedback from other sources than friends/family and banks/VC. We deem this an important step on the way to a viable implementation of any non-trivial idea. Instead of being pressured into fabricating a business plan an idea owner can hone her idea by presenting and discussing it without the need to be perfect.
Other basic themes for the logo could be: "place of encounter", presentation, forum, discussion, manifestation, round table.
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salon_(gathering)
In any case, the logo needs to display the German phrase "Ideen-Salon" in some way.