When you hear the word brand, what comes to your mind?
A single or a set of attributes that represent a company or the products/services a particular organization offers. A brand can be represented by a certain color palette, theme, logo, design, symbol, or word.
In today’s highly saturated marketplace, event organizers need to establish their unique brands that can make a lasting impression on the attendees’ minds.
Before you begin (better not skip this section)
How to turn your event into a recognizable brand?
When promoting your brand through event, you need to focus on clearly demonstrating what your attendees can expect from the event. Because, from content to conversation, everything needs to connect with people in a real way. Ideally, you should let the brand tell your story.
Before jumping into the main course, please keep in mind these three branding elements –
With the voluminous cultivation of online and offline startups and marketing has been at the peak; audiences, potential customers tend to filter out old, unauthentic, repetitive contents both offline and online.
Since they get exposure to a lot of branding and promotional contents, the only way to build and preserve your event brand connection and boost effective marketing gigs with your customers is to make sure 100% uniqueness, originality and transparency while tailoring your features and content.
Once you assure the originality of your event brand, you need to figure out the metrics to keep it consistent across all touch-points. Brand consistency is basically a unified set of promotional, branding, marketing expression- with consistency.
Consistent stimulation of your event brand contents to your potential customers will secure a lasting impression about your brand to them.
Eventually, these specific forms of content delivery in your words, offerings, design, perspectives and advertisements become identical and recognizable to the audiences and spread brand awareness.
To make your event brand stand out, you need to dig into the metrics of your targeted customers’ predisposition or preference from a brand. Here’s where brand relevance becomes very important.
Not just unique and consistent, your event brand needs to give off a humane, relevant connection with your customers so that people can connect to your brand in a more emotional level. When it comes to relevance, however, the biggest challenge is to collect, interpret, and effectively use the targeted customer journey data.
But once you get a grip over the customer journey, it will be much easier for you to drive the engagement and relevant point closer to the end of the transaction.
Organizing (or participating in) events are a very effective way to create better brand awareness and increase overall value. Your event must represent your brand, but it needs to have its own branding attributes too.
The event brand needs to have distinctive personality and aesthetics that your prospects, stakeholders, distributors, and target audience can connect easily, without being too far apart from your organization’s own branding properties.
The entire event branding can be categorized into two segments:
- Online Event Branding
- Offline Event Branding
But in both cases, you have ways to make a statement with your event brand.
Let’s dig in.
Online Event Branding Tips
A successful event can be the single most effective marketing opportunity to increase brand recognition among prospects. As the entire world is now connected via the internet, what better way to market your events other than online marketing?
Here’s how you can brand your events using online marketing strategies –
1. A consistent web presence
If you genuinely consider turning your next event into a brand itself both online and offline, having a strong web presence has no other alternative.
Remember our earlier discussion on authenticity when it comes to assembling all your event components and turning them into a brand? That’s what happens when you decide to make a powerful web presence, which is through none other than an event-specific website.
Here are some stats for your better understanding –
- Web Credibility Research from Stanford states, 75% of a company’s credibility judgement is based on a company website. In other words, your event website serves as not just a doorway of your company but also a virtual interface of your brand itself.
- Another research conducted by CXL states that it takes as less as only 1/10th of a second for online users to form a first impression about your event brand, just by looking at your event website. Which means, the moment you have an eye-catching website for your event, the authenticity of your event as a brand is in the making.
Simply put, websites can do wonders to your event’s brand value more than any other implemented strategies ever did. No matter what your event is about, a website can generate goodwill among your potential attendees’ and more prospects, and deliver brand marketing messages – whether your event is small, large or in-between, previously well-received or brand-new.
So, how do you make an event website?
Well, it’s very easy to design an event website these days with many ready-made templates, including built-in event ticketing features. But as our goal is to establish a brand for your event, just about any generic website will not do the trick.
Things you must consider while designing your event website are –
- Website layout
- Device friendliness
- Logo placement
Remember, the first professional presence of your event as a brand begins with your website. You don’t want to lose the opportunity to make an excellent first impression of your site’s uniqueness and how it reflects the core values of your brand.
And to get the maximum benefit from an event website you must think what message you want to deliver to your potential attendee, what will be your event brand statement, what will be your brand color – all these components will help you to create the perfect event website that your brand stands for.
2. Strong social media footprint
Once you establish your web presence, you need to start working on your social media platforms. Social media, along with the web presence in combination, will solidify your event brand presence online, more than you ever thought.
If your products/services are targeted at younger population then your event brand must maintain consistent appearances on the massively popular social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, and various forums like Reddit, Quora etc. You can also maintain an up-to-date event page to maximize the reach of your event brand to your potential attendees.
No matter what kind of event you’re organizing, to give your online branding a complete coverage, consider utilizing all of these social platforms.
Creating a unique event hashtag can give you even more exposure. The regular appearances of your event name and brand logo on social feeds will create a subtle impact on the potential attendees. Competitions and giveaways on social media is another way to get people talking about your event.
Keep in mind, the more people talk about your event, the better it is for your event brand. These platforms will also enable you to gather data to analyze for future references, as you can track how many people are talking about the event or the brand online.
Here are some quick tips-
- Consistency is the key: Keep your logo, slogan, brand colors, business tones synchronized in all the social profiles.
- Website integration: It’s a must. Integrate your website with all of your social platforms to let your visitors explore all aspects of your event.
- Tell a compelling story: Turn the idea of a brand into humane, attention-grabbing stories by spinning a yarn about it. Involve customers in a brand story, and they will engage with it.
- Make them visual: Add infographics, photographs and other visual images to posts and take advantage of Pinterest and Tumblr, which can be used to store and share visual content.
Read more: How to strategically use social media on event marketing
3. Use an official event hashtag
The official event hashtag is where your attendees will gather online to discuss every aspect of their experiences before, during, and after the event.
It is very difficult to incorporate a sponsor into the hashtag itself. It’s an enticing opportunity to be sure, but it would more than likely result in a drop in overall engagement around the hashtag because of confusion.
As Mashable explains, the pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those key responses.
Make sure your hashtag is visible at your event, so your guests know to use it. Include it in handouts and display it on screens throughout your venue. Better yet? Give people incentives to use your hashtag and share your event on social. This could mean setting up a photo booth branded with your hashtag or creating a photo competition where the best photo using your hashtag wins a prize.
For your sponsors to get the most value from the official hashtag, they should be made aware of the hashtag as early as possible in order to include it in their messaging and to give them an opportunity to engage organically with attendees before, during and after the event.
- Boosts brand recognition very quickly
- Can easily turn into a searchable link for social media site visitors
- Helps to create online communities
- Makes spreading online event contents and updates easier
- Keeps your social profiles upgraded and engaged by participants
4. Email marketing
Email communication plays a vital role when it comes to communicating with your potential attendees, guests, and sponsors.
It’s an easier and faster way to build up communication than any other communication channels. According to digital marketers, it has also proven to be the most effective method of brand promotion.
So once you build up the email communication channel, you can use email marketing techniques to promote your event brand. Try to make your email layouts and designs to have similar aesthetic appeals (logos, fonts, colors, language tones) as your website. This will create a cohesive web presence for your event brand.
Related: List of email marketing tools to promote your events
5. Paid campaigns
Once you have your event website, active social media channels, and email marketing list, start running paid campaigns on various social media platforms or internet advertising such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to direct traffic to your event page.
You need to allocate a little more budget for this as it’s more expensive than other strategies. However, in most cases, the return is worthy.
Here are some key points that you must keep in mind to ensure your paid campaign upholds your event brand image:
- Always add an end date to your PPC campaign. Event organizers often make this mistake, and as a result, the event ads get displayed even after the event has been over. This looks unprofessional and harms your brand image.
- Add countdown dates to your event advertisements. It’s easy to customize online ads making them show an automatic countdown leading to the event date. This will create a sense of urgency among the viewers, and they will be interested to know your event better.
- Facebook ads are very effective for creating faster brand awareness about your event. Aiming your event page, targeted Facebook ads will take your event branding efforts to a newer height by reaching those audiences who are likely to participate.
6. Influencers and attendees as brand advocates
Last but not least, try to collaborate with social influencers. Trust us, it works!
Most influencers are more or less brand advocates. It’s all part of their act. They have a loyal follower base that could be a great channel share content and spread the word, either through social media or word of mouth.
You can ask your influencers to share personal pictures of themselves engaged in activities related to your brand. They could share a live feed or share stories to document their experiences.
Not only should they share content about the event once it ends, but they should also share content during the event to let their followers in on the experiences.
Offline Event Branding Tips
Most of the online branding ideas that we’ve discussed earlier is mostly part of pre-event preparation.
Now it’s time for some real-life, offline branding scopes. Live events are the best opportunities for any organization to showcase its brand to the prospects. The stakes and means of event branding change depending on whether you are arranging an event for you or invited to participate in one.
1. Solid brand visibility
Many pundits consider Apple Inc. as the most successful brand in the modern era. This giant company holds regular events to announce new products, innovation, and technologies.
All these events bear striking resembles the brand’s aesthetics, and also have their own distinctive flavors that make these events fun and exciting experiences for the attendees.
Taking a page or two from Apple’s strategy (wouldn’t hurt, would it?), first you need to select a theme for your event that reflects your organization’s values and visions. But we need to keep in mind the event could also feature its own branding. The venue design, decoration pieces, motifs and themes, using the logo as a part of the decoration – all should be in perfect harmony with your event and organization’s brand. So, when the attendees walk into the event location, they will instantly be transported inside your brands.
Here are some quick ideas for showcasing your brand (elements) during an event –
- Banners, posters, leaflets
- Merchandises for both attendees and guests
- Handy stationaries
- Scratch cards, voucher cards
- Food and beverages
Read more: 10 branding lessons from Apple that can turn the tide for you
2. Interactive kiosks
If your event held up a significant number of attendees and located in a high-traffic venue, renting an interactive kiosk can be a great on-spot event branding tool.
You can customize the information, application, navigation details, images and other exclusive event brand-related features you want to provide to your attendees.
There are many types of kiosk machines that you can use in your event; touch screen kiosks, internet kiosks, vending kiosks, self-service and photos kiosks. Depending on your event type, select the right kind of kiosks.
Renting a kiosk and customizing it for your event can be a bit of pricey but well worth it if you can squeeze it into your budget. Include some sort of game or interactive feature related to your brand. Upon successful completion, the participant receives a voucher they can redeem for promotional gear.
Here is how renting an interactive kiosk can help your event –
- Leverages your attendees’ self-service experience
- Assures more improved attendee experience
- Reduces overall event management cost
Suitable events for kiosks:
3. Real-time social media walls
With a real-time social media wall at your event, you can instantly take the extent of audience engagement to the next level. A social media wall is basically one or multiple screens that helps you share your live social media activities with the audiences and let them engage-participate.
On top of that, the utilization of social media can also empower attendees and let you magnify the impact of your event brand at the same time. And most importantly, these social media tools for live events can help you with numbers, figures, reports and analytics of repeatable ROI for your events.
- Effectively reaches out to your target audiences
- Helps to enrich your content strategy
- Provides good deals and great value to your audience
- Quickly builds trust among the audiences
- Helps improve Brand Awareness
- Builds winning partnerships and sponsors
- Helps you diverge networks
Suitable events for real-time social media walls:
4. Interactive graffiti walls
Digital graffiti walls can be a WOW-factor for flaunting photographic features, displaying event information and branding, and so on.
Basically, a graffiti wall is a highly portable station with compelling software to elevate any event experience to the next dimension.
Moreover, these graffiti walls and digital artistic tools allow you to share the illustrations made by the attendees on social media instantly!
Creates an interactive environment with easy social media sharing for attendees
Goes perfectly for events like exhibitions, trade shows, award ceremonies and corporate events
Makes customized stencils & branded covers for individual events.
Suitable events for interactive graffiti walls:
5. Gamification participation
To enhance the brand value of your event, gamification almost has no other alternatives.
Simply put, gamification is a customizable on-spot game plan for engaging the event attendees with the use of various gaming mechanics.
Unlike any other gaming skits, gamification enables very much event brand-oriented activities. In other words, gamification is about transforming event models into multiple levels of gaming schemes for attendees to drive engagement and customer loyalty.
Just incorporating your sponsor contents into the game plan, you can facilitate both attendee engagement and sponsorships.
The best thing about structuring gamification is, it can easily be integrated with all the latest event technologies along with the schemes like social media leaderboard or scavenger hunt. For instance, event gamification in event apps can spare you a reasonable amount of time planning and incorporating the schemes during the live event.
Here are some of the benefits of event gamification-
- Generates event ROI and revenues
- Facilitates easy and effective communication the audiences
- Turns attendees into pro-active, enthusiastic participants
- Makes a scope for crowdsourcing
- Boosts on-spot engagements with sponsors and exhibitors
- Takes attendee experience on the next level
Suitable events for event gamification:
Events are ways in which you can create psychological and emotional connections with the participants. Event branding does not just strengthen the relationship but also sustain it for a longer run. The benefits of event branding don’t end with the event.
According to your event type and objective, try the event branding strategies discussed above, you’ll find that the opportunities are endless, and you may come up with your own branding strategies.
Just remember to use all the accessible medium to reach out to your target niche and create thriving brand awareness. A strong event branding will help your future events become more popular and successful.