When we talk about branding, the first thing that worries us is the cost (and ROI, of course!).
Which, generally speaking, is quite high.
Maybe you’ve just started out organizing events, or perhaps you’re looking to promote your brand by organizing events but the allocated budget is not too great at this moment. So naturally, it will be tough for you to go all-out with advanced and costly branding strategies.
Here, we’ll include some effective yet, affordable event branding ideas for both online and offline. Some of them are well-known and some are really out of the box, but they all have one thing in common; they’re not going to rip you off.
Before you begin
Broadly, we can divide event branding ideas into two sections:
- Online (pre-event) branding
- Offline (on-spot) branding
While the concept of offline event branding is traditional (and well-known to all), online marketing could be comparatively new and complicated to some organizers. However, if planned and managed smartly, both methods can be cost-effective and yield a better outcome.
Affordable Online Event Branding Ideas
Having an excellent online presence is priceless when branding an event. Find below the list of super-effective online branding strategies you can consider for any type of event.
1. Create an outstanding social media presence
Billions of people around the world are connected through social media. Be creative, look for opportunities, and ensure you have a strong social media presence. How can you do that? Here are some tips –
- Provide special gifts or discounts to any user who uses the “check-in” option at your event on social media.
- Create a special place on your event premises where guests can take pictures. Encourage visitors to take pictures and share them online. Just make sure that your logo is visible in the background.
- Make good use of Hashtags. There are plenty of hashtags around which might be fruitful for your event; do your research and start a campaign.
- Go live on Facebook and YouTube, and live Tweet activities as the event takes place.
To make the most of these benefits during the event, you have to start early. Your online presence doesn’t build overnight. There are several social media platforms where you can try to boost your brand value.
2. Emphasize ongoing email campaigns
When it comes to low-cost event branding online, one of the sure-fire steps to target and engage the right set of your event audiences is to run email campaigns. More than 72% of marketers online consider email marketing campaigns as one of the most effective tools to spread brand identity-awareness and to leverage more audiences.
With a composed and consistent approach through the email campaigns, you can build your brand identity with significantly less amount of time, and set your event brand apart from the rest.
Here are some proven ways you can start your email campaign –
- In branding, first impression matters and people tend to remember the first thing they come across for a brand (or concept). Keeping that in mind, try to design your welcome email template in an appealing way; which should directly upload the idea of your both brand and event. Also, don’t forget to set up your email signature with additional information about your brand at the end of each email.
- Tailor your other email templates in such a way that defines and complements your event brand in every way. When it doesn’t mean that you can’t use a variety of contents, you can make your materials are cohesive just with subtle things like consistent fonts, content frames, color schemes, logos and watermarks, etc.
- Along with your brand image, incorporating strong and effective CTA in your email templates is a must to improve the user experience and effectiveness. Make an enjambment of your event brand and attendee in such a way that it encourages the attendees to take quick action.
3. Go big with Facebook
More than 2.5 billion people are active on Facebook, and without any doubt, this is the #1 social networking platform worldwide.
Creating just a little fuss here can have a huge positive impact on your brand.
If you can manage some fund, you might go for their paid ads. If not, simply create a Facebook page for your organization and follow your competitors or industry leaders.
As per company policy, Facebook allows you to follow other accounts via the Pages to Watch feature. From here, you can observe what type of content others upload and what gets the best response. This way, you can update your strategy. Also, you may consider creating a “Facebook event” for your event to get free social traffic to the event page.
4. Make the most out of YouTube
It’s nearly impossible to plan out your cost-effective event branding strategy online without YouTube, right from the get-go.
Even before setting up the target audience, you just know that your potential attendees are swimming around in the ocean of YouTube videos!
So without looking into statistics, it’s safe to say, you can just dive right into it for event branding, as long as it’s timely, relevant, and engaging.
Some key facts you should know before starting a YouTube video campaign –
- Choose the contents and the commentary of your content materials believable yet thought-provoking. There are billions of YouTube contents on many topics, so it’s almost impossible to come up with something 100% original. To make the right balance in between authenticity and enthralling at the same time, keep the contents fact-checked and easy-going and leaned-back.
- Don’t ignore the technicalities. Keep your YouTube business profile and the contents SEO checked. You need to make sure you get the maximum exposure out of each tailored contents. Map out the relevant tags, major title injection in video titles, descriptions that boost your contents’ search value more.
- Create videos that are not just brand promotional but also practically useful. For instance, if your event is primarily about a tradeshow or social gathering – you can make contents about how to assure safety at large events.
5. Create (and promote) state-of-the-art content
Doesn’t mean this has to be 100% original though!
If you can create content for yourself, that’s wonderful. Even if you’re not a writer yourself, you can always hire freelance writers.
Try creating content on “top 10 lists” “useful tips” “best industry practices” “things you should know” etc. and make sure all are SEO-optimized. Once your posts (if published in a blog) rank on search engines, you can easily link other social media activities with it.
Other than blog posts, try creating visual content like infographics, slides, gifs, videos, podcasts, etc.
All in all, the idea is very simple; create content (and promote those) as much as you can. Grab every opportunity that comes before you, but be sure to know your limits.
Overexposure can be harmful to your brand. You want your guests to leave with good memories, not be haunted by them. Through your content, try to make the event as well as branding as entertaining as possible.
6. Free e-book giveaway
To build a long term relationship with the audience, free e-book giveaway is an open and cleaver approach. If you have an event page (which is also a must), you can directly let people download it as a PDF for, and include as many links back to your website as you like.
7. Online forums and podcasts
Forums and podcasts are some exclusive yet cost-effective ways to share your content, market your brand, and gain endless prospects.
Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner, is one of the living instances of how powerful online forums and podcasts can possibly be. Just by weekly podcasting on social media, he turned a small follower-base into multi-million dollar brand!
For effective podcasting, look for a niche that complements your event brand. Be engaging, consistent, and regular with your podcast and forum contents as well.
Please remember, consistency is the key to all online and social media marketing efforts.
8. Organize Webinars
Audiences are more likely to be lenient towards an event that they’re previously familiar with. But, how do you make your potential attendees familiarize your event online when it’s the first time you’re hosting an event?
This is where webinar plays a vital role to build up the brand image and to keep the brand consistency flowing. Just like other online tools of making your event brand stand out; like website, blogs, social media activities, a webinar is a fantastic way to gauge and to tell a compelling story of your event brand.
The content topic of your event webinars may include teasers, a brief discussion about your upcoming event, sponsors, and any guest speakers/influencers attending.
9. Try out some PR strategies
To successfully reach out to the potential attendees in the dynamic event management landscape, you need that extra push in making event brand stand out.
A PR strategy will help you identify the stories in your business and will help you gain all the exposure your event needs – to become a brand!
What is the most appealing aspect or interesting story of your event that have the instant “buzz-creating” potential? It can be the guest speakers, the exclusive discount offers in ticket sales or literally anything that makes your event different than any other event to your target audience.
The deadly combination of social media presence and smart PR strategies is a sure-fire way to expose your event brand to the largest possible audience within a short period.
Budget-friendly Offline Event Branding Ideas
It’s a no-brainer that online event branding alone won’t be enough to build a strong relationship with your potential follower base. You have to put equal branding effort during the event and in all your offline branding materials. Here are some extremely important offline branding tips that will surely improve your brand value in long run.
1. Create a cohesive brand environment
Often, good and cost-effective event branding is all about looking at the bigger picture – assembling all the branding components altogether instead of focusing on elements individually.
Your venue, décor, and event attractions should all be part of a single, cohesive environment.
All the elements are essential to creating a branded environment; the key to s successful event is to focus on a bigger picture. All the event elements – from your invitations to décor to handout and signage – should be put together to build a cohesive experience for your attendees. Host a memorable event by creating an atmosphere that stands out from what guests are used to seeing in their day-to-day lives.
2. Focus on your brand name (literally!)
You have to be audacious when making event branding strategies.
And what could be a better way to show off your name or logo than writing it in big, bold, bright letters?
Display your company name or logo above the entrance, and draw focus towards it by facing a bright light towards it. Use the podium or the lectern to your advantage; print a huge backdrop and hang it on the stage.
Find places which will be the center of attention and fill them with your brand name and logo.
3. Select a theme and plaster it everywhere (not literally)
Are you a match-maker?
In the branding arena, it is a sacred match between you as the organizer and your potential attendees.
When focusing on an event to promote your brand, consider your brand’s theme, and start match-making! This can be very simple. Say you’re providing t-shirts or other free goodies to your attendees; make sure that the design and the colors go with your brand. It’s that simple! (And yet some organizers keep forgetting this!!)
Also, ensure any volunteers or staff wear clothes which will match your brand’s theme.
For example, car manufacturer Ferrari has a ‘theme color’ of red.
Do you think it’s a coincidence that many of their related products and PR stunts are either completely red and have red strips somewhere?
4. Make clever use of food and drinks to promote your brand
Very few people can abstain when it comes to free food.
While organizing an event, try keeping a budget for arranging free food and drink (whatever that would be), because this can be an excellent place to showcase your brand.
Here are some cool ideas –
- Try to serve food which is either produced by you or somehow related to your brand image (if applicable).
- The icing on cakes or biscuits should also follow the match-making principle. Be sure that their color matches your theme.
- Provide sweets and chocolates with your brand logo on the wrapper.
- Write your brand’s name over the icing of a cake, and if possible, draw the logo too!
The list could go on, but we think you’ve got the idea. Be creative in your way, and make sure to give them a strong impression.
5. Fill the event venue with your brand name and logo
If you want your guests to remember your brand, you have to show it to them consistently. An excellent way to do that is to decorate the premises with your brand logo. Try to get inside the minds of your guests.
Some possible event branding ideas to cover the event venue with your logo might be-
- Using your logo as a backdrop for a stage or podium
- Giving away napkins monogrammed with your logo
- Stamping your logo on catering items (place settings, cups, etc.)
- Decorating conference folders
- Using printed colored logos on attendee badges and lanyards
Although you have to be aggressive in showing your brand, remember not to inundate the venue with excessive branding – to the point it becomes distracting or irritating. You don’t want your guests to return home with your brand having made the wrong impression.
6. Prepare gift bags for the attendees
Who doesn’t like gifts?
This is a great opportunity for brand promotion; make sure to provide your guests with something that they can leave with. Try choosing items which are usable as well as long-lasting, to leave a memory of your event.
A gift bag doesn’t always need to be costly. You can fill them with sweets, provide pens and notebooks or other products. Try to incorporate your brand logo with each item.
7. Be creative with the merchandise
It’s important to ensure brand longevity by making sure your event is held in the minds of the audience for weeks and months afterwards. A great way to do this is to sell a little souvenir in the form of some cool merchandise.
The merchandise can include sashes, badges, and their brand slogan throughout to promote your event.
Choose the right (inexpensive) merchandise for your own event; just make sure most of the attendees would find that useful.
8. Arrange a photo competition with a custom photo frame and photo wall
Everyone loves to take a photo!
One brand promoting idea is to hold a photo competition. First, order a photo frame which is well designed and contains the key elements of your brand. Then, ask the guests to take pictures inside the frame and encourage them to upload those photos with a description of your event or branded hashtags.
You could provide them with a funny t-shirt to wear, a funny hat or sunglass to put on. Just make the picture and the environment charming and enjoyable. You can declare a prize for the best photo (the one getting most likes, shares, retweets or impressions) to engage even more participants. Later, come up with a unique photo frame displaying all the photos.
It may cost you a little but trust us, the outcome will surely surprise you.
9. Handmade fun and handy stationary
The more you will bring your brand symbol in front of your potential stakeholders, the more your event brand will get exposure.
The participants often need stationary while attending a seminar or event. Utilize this opportunity for more branding.
Customized handmade pens, pencils, note-pads, t-shirts, badges, wristbands, bags and even fidget spinners can bring you the desired publicity for your event with minimum cost, depending on the materials you’re using.
As people will carry these free customized giveaways home with them, these will act as memorandums for the event. This is a very tangible way of spreading the brand name across your prospects.
Without making it a long read, we tried to share some proven and effective event branding ideas with you. All of these may not be applicable for your events, but we hope you get a clear idea of what needs to be done.
The online branding ideas are more applicable for larger events, and the offline ideas can be applied for both larger and one-off events. It’s your decision which one you’re going to try (according to your budget and event type) but either way, these will help your brand and event become more successful.
Please share your experience in the comment section below, and if you think we could add some more strategies, feel free to share with us.