Have you considered hosting an event to promote your brand? You don’t have to be a large company to pull off this impactful marketing strategy. According to Home Business Magazine, hosting an event fosters brand awareness and increases your connections.
The key to hosting a powerful event is Event Branding. Think of your event as your brand with a twist. If you are considering hosting an event for your company we have pulled together a Comprehensive Guide below.
Before you start, make sure your company’s logo is top-notch. If your logo needs work, give it a fresh look and make sure you follow these guidelines for rebranding before sharing it with the world.
A Comprehensive Guide to Event Branding
If you have decided to host an event, you want to make it a “must-attend” event. Keep the following in mind, with a 1-time event, you want them to talk about it for years. For an annual event, you want them to come back and bring friends and co-workers the next time.
Follow this guide to achieve your goal without breaking the bank.
You understand the importance of branding in your business, event branding is similar.
Event branding is a combination of all of the elements that go into an event. The marketing, the location, the experiences, the sponsors, swag, and so much more. You should consider planning all of these down to the smallest detail.
The more unique the event, the longer it lingers in your memory. A powerful event can even create a brand all its own.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and look at the event from their perspective. Visualize the event from the first exposure, through walking into the event location, to the feeling and experience of walking out. You want them to walk away with powerful feelings and emotions after your event. This requires knowing them and tailoring that event to their unique needs.
As you visualize your event, did it have a consistent feel? If it didn’t start to change things that feel out of place or awkward. When you start with their first exposure the marketing information for the event through to the last piece, the follow-up survey you build the consistency necessary to brand your event.
Create an Event Logo
Consider taking your logo and morphing it into an event logo. This second logo should be on every piece of your material. It allows the event to develop its own brand and relationship with the customer. Because it includes your company logo, it makes an automatic connection within your customers’ brain.
Don’t worry, you are also going to use your current company’s logo in unique ways.
Create an Event Website
Use that event logo to be the basis of your event website. Spend some time on this, it may be the first contact that your customer has with your event. It should be visually appealing, match the theme of the event, and promote engagement.
Watch logo’s, fonts, and colors. They must be consistent across the website, across the marketing material, and the event itself. Pay attention to the design and make sure it speaks to your customers.
Here is your first opportunity to share your events’ value proposition. You want visitors to your website to make an immediate connection to your event and the benefit of attending. Ensure you are summarizing key points and highlight the uniqueness of your event.
Don’t Forget the Emails
If you are planning an event you will send multiple emails to all your attendees. Your emails should convey the event theme and message. Use this as another opportunity to engage them prior to attending your event.
The tone of your email is important to creating an emotional connection to your customers. There will be a standard set of emails that are sent to all attendees but train your team to ensure that other emails sent to the attendees match that tone.
If your event is formal, avoid gifs and emoji’s an email. All emails should reiterate the value in attending and your companies values.
You may also want to consider offering extra events, or SWAG to attendees who bring other individuals to your events.
The Promise, The Guarantee, The Event Tag Line
Be sure you are clear on what your customers are going to get from this event. This is your value proposition. Once you are clear on the promise, make sure you clearly express this to the customer. The final piece of the puzzle is to deliver it.
You are creating a promise to your customers. For example, if you are a direct mail printing company, will this event train your customers to create powerful direct mail postcards? Sum up the promise in a few keywords and use it as the event tag line.
Focus on the following things to ensure your event promise is powerful.
- Is Your Event Unique? Are there other events on creating a powerful direct mail postcard? How is yours better? What is the benefit of attending yours and not the other guys?
- Is Your Event Relevant? What are the needs or pain points of your customers? How is your event going to address those issues? This will require a deep understanding of your customer. Focusing on your customer’s avatar will help you identify those needs.
- Is Your Event “Real” and Authentic? You want to use your event to boost your brand’s credibility. Don’t fake it, your customers will notice. Be true to yourself and your brand.
According to Gallup, “Customer Satisfaction Doesn’t Count”. In general, customers who are only extremely satisfied on a 5 point scale do not frequent retail stores as much as those that are satisfied and engaged emotionally with the brand. Obviously, you should deliver a high-quality event but don’t forget to tie it all to their emotions.
So how do you create emotional connections with your customers? It goes back to your customer’s avatar. What language are you using when speaking with them? How are you engaging with them outside of the sale? Are you engaging with them on social media? Use creative name tags for your event. It allows you to address your customers by their name which improves their connection to you.
Events are a great way to connect with your customers on a deeper level so optimize those emotional connections to your brand through all your event material.
Unique Ways to Use Your Existing Company Logo
Previously we mentioned creating an event logo but that you would use your existing logo in unique ways. Check out this list to learn how to use your logo.
- Integrate your company logo into the event decor. You may think to include it on the first page of every slide, but have you thought about projecting it onto the floor for a social event? Think of ways to use your logo beyond just hanging it on the wall. (By the way, it should be there too.)
- Customize your food and drink. You may have already considered having a logo on the drinkware, but what about a company or event cocktail? (Be sure to include a non-alcoholic version.) Put your logo on cupcakes or cookies, during your coffee break. You can now event customize your straws. Think of ways to integrate your logo into the social side of your event.
- Personalize things for your attendee’s. The event doesn’t have to be large to have an emotional and personal impact. Address all correspond to attendees using their name. Be sure you know your audience, is this a first name basis field or do most of your customers use their title, like Mrs or Dr..
- Consider SWAG. Obviously, you would put your logo on the SWAG you hand out, but can you make that SWAG unique? Pens and stickers are cool, but what about branding something they would use regularly. Brand a flash drive or battery backup for your phone. This will keep your brand in the for the front of your mind long after the event.
- Be Social. Logo up your employees and have them visible to help at the event. You also want to share as much as possible on social media, it may help to have a dedicated employee to handle this task. Track your success with an #eventhashtag.
Create an Event Theme and Follow It
The theme may directly stem from your industry. However, annual events can be spiced up by creating a yearly theme. A theme helps to tie all the elements of your event together.
Depending on the location, that may lend itself to a theme. Holding an event on the beach? Follow the beach theme throughout the event. Possibly the social event is a luau.
Create a Contest within Your Event
People love to compete and win. If you have a portion of your event you want to highlight, promote it with a contest. Have attendee’s post on social media key takeaways from a lecture or pictures from the demonstration. The best picture, or the post with the most likes, wins a prize.
You are engaging your customers on social media, and they are sharing your message with their friends. The attendee may win but ultimately, you will win from the increase in exposure.
Do You Have an Event App? If Not, Create One
Event apps are great ways to engage your customers. It helps to keep attendees organized and gives you an additional engagement mechanism. Another added benefit is that you can theme it to match your event theme. Attendees can use it to send messages to speakers, to gain additional information. Attendees can also message each other. Using the messaging system will increase engagement across the event. This is another place where having a contest may increase engagement.
You don’t have to have an IT department to create an event app. Try using AppInsitute, it is free.
A lot of things go into choosing a location for an event. Often it comes down to cost and availability. If you can, find unique places for your event. check out a local museum as a great location for a creative company. What about using an old sign factory or reclaimed church. The more unique the venue to the more the venue draws in customers.
Sponsors & Speakers
Watch your sponsorship. It may feel great to get some financial support for your event but if you choose the wrong sponsors, you risk alienating your customers. Seek out sponsors who support your company and are in complementary industries.
Choose speakers wisely as well. It would be great to get a big name in your field to speak, but often that is outside the budget. Consider having loyal customers speak. It allows your real brand to show through. Make sure you speak to them beforehand to ensure that they will add to the event and not detract.
How do light and sound fit into your event? Keep both within your customers’ ideal. If you are a wellness company, it may be soft lighting and soothing music. If you are a rock band promoter, the mood and like will be different.
Are You Ready to Host the Must-Attend Event of the Year?
Now that you understand event branding, it is time to take your company to the next level. Check out our blogs to learn about online marketing, brand building, and networking. Of course, let one of our designers help you with all your logo needs.