Nowadays, we’re seeing much more purpose, meaning and objectives behind events, and they aren’t just an excuse to throw tons of money around. Don’t get me wrong, we’d welcome the days of dot.com parties, but typical reasoning behind throwing most events is to create some kind of lasting impact with specific goals in mind!
One of the challenges of event planning is finding a way to create and sustain buzz and anticipation around an event, to capture attendees’ energy, and to use it to grow the brand exponentially. Simply put, branding an event properly should create the momentum needed for attendees to “want” to come, to view the event as the “place to be,” and to spread the word before, during, and long after. What does branding really do? It separates you from the competition, and creates loyalty and awareness. It increases ROI (return on investment) and ROO (return on objectives), and builds equity.
Here are 5 steps to follow when you are ready to turn your next event into a branding machine, and to learn how to leverage the power of a shared experience!
1. Know your client and their goals: First things first. Identify the clients vision and figure out what they want to get out of throwing this expensive event! The vision is “the big picture” of what impressions, and memories you want to leave in your attendees’ minds. Decide on a theme and begin to give it some personality!
2. Start from the ground up: We all know that events begin the moment an attendee gets an invitation and continues to create memories that last a lifetime! A catchy and unique name is key, so make it stand out! Once you do have your name, get a domain name with .com extension. A unique brand requires a unique online presence. Plus, it’s easier to remember and give out to people. Connect your brand to your audience right off the bat!
3. Graphic Design: Brand identity encompasses several things: logo design, color palette, website design, and collateral materials such as programs, brochures, signage, gifts, gobos, napkins, centerpieces, presentation templates, clothing and event surveys. Compelling design and social integrations are critical and can extend the lifespan of the event. This is an opportunity to prompt emotional responses from your attendees. Use your vision to create synergy and a consistent marketing message which can be carried throughout. A good program with valuable content is also clearly important, but how it is all presented is right up there!
4. Engagement: Engage in a conversation and listen to what your audience is saying, and the dialog will be key to building your brand. It is increasingly more important for your brand to be social, so engage people on social media platforms by starting conversations. Let your brand speak, and be sure to request feedback post event, and to submit questions while still in the planning stage.
5. Offer Something Unique: Your brand needs to offer something that your competitors don’t. Keep way on top of current industry trends and technology to figure out new ways to showcase your brand (whether it be through interactive displays, or 3D projection mapping. Interaction is paramount and so much can be done here- take it to the next level!
Are you ready to plan your next branding machine? Remember, it is about creating an event that not only meets its strategic objectives, but creates an environment that supports those objectives in a fun and memorable way! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or on Facebook & Twitter!