Steps to Successfully Brand Your Event
Do you recall the last time you were at an event? Maybe there was an event theme or a logo plastered all over the place. It’s possible you remember a certain color scheme, imagery or even a memorable typeface used for the event name or positioning line. It could also be that you remember having a great time and the positive feeling extending to the company or organization that put on the event.
All of these elements – sights, sounds, colors and experience – are implemented by design in the hopes of conveying a personality or attitude desired for the event. Creating a true “experience” requires that all these elements come together to provide a multi-sensory experience for attendees. This not only includes the in-person elements, but also any online communication (social, web, email) and support marketing as well.
On the surface it may seem obvious why this is important. Cohesive branding helps legitimize your event and presents a buttoned-up look but there is a deeper and potentially longer lasting benefit. If your event is run well, the association with your company’s brand will elicit a favorable connection that can go a long way to build a loyal advocate for your company or organization.
The Phases of Event Branding
A good way to evaluate what you can do to better leverage your event brand is by looking at the phases of your event marketing.
There are a variety of event promotion items to gain your audience’s interest and build anticipation for the event. These can include:
Event invitations and registration materials – Physical pieces that include everything from printed invitations, registration packets and/or event details.
Event promotion and registration emails – Branded email marketing to promote your event registration, speaker announcements, or communicate event attractions or important information.
Social media post graphics and short promotion videos – maintaining a consistent includes graphics and images for posts promoting the event, background or temporary profile images.
Event website – a significant and often most important event marketing tool to provide the most detailed information about your event. Often serve multiple purposes including event registration and payment processing
Create an experience produces favorable memories for attendees by focusing on multi-sensory opportunities at your event.
On-site signage – One of the most visible aspects of your event includes signage and graphics. This can include directional signage, sponsor graphics, themed area graphics and more.
Event app – Mobile apps that provide an interactive event guide, attraction locator and maps are ways to not only enhance your attendees experience but can also be a unique feature to leverage sponsor involvement.
Experiential marketing elements – Another area that will bring opportunities to create lasting memories for your attendees are experiential marketing attractions. This can include the traditional sponsor sampling areas but has evolved more into the social and digital realm with virtual reality exhibits and attendee souvenir displays (photo booths & selfie backdrops)
Video and animation – customized video including presentations, animation sequences and custom video displays.
Branded promotional takeaway items and swag – a staple of most, if not all event branding promo items are a favorite for event attendees. Promo items can come in all shapes and sizes.
Even though your event may be over, you still have opportunities to maintain a connection with your audience and build on the equity established.
Post event surveys – Follow up surveys including email templates and a branding survey website provide an opportunity to gain attendee feedback and learn how to improve future events.
Event wrap-up video – A recap video is an excellent way to wrap up a successfully branded event and provides content for your website and social media outlets.
For AACOG’s IDDS Apprentice Training Program, we created a virtual graduation event, complete with graduate testimonials and a wrap-up graduation video for participants and their families.
Establishing an event brand doesn’t have to be difficult. With some pre-planning and addressing key communication needs specific to your event, you can create and build an event brand that transcends just a look and creates a true experience with a lasting impression for attendees.
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