Event Branding 101: Your Event’s Unique Story with a Cohesive Experience

event branding

Imagine you are starting to plan the perfect event. You’ve thought about how it fits into your overall event strategy and you are sure that the event will support your organization’s goals. This is a great start. Now, have you thought about how your event will stand out from the crowd? How will you create a memorable experience for your attendees?

You have many important decisions that you are about to make. Should it be a virtual, hybrid or in-person event? Should you hire entertainment? How many speakers will be on your agenda? Don’t even get us started on all the food and beverage choices in front of you. However, in the midst of all that planning, remember that investing thoughtful consideration for your event branding is a sure way to delight and engage your attendees.

Creating a strong event brand that complements your business or organization’s brand but stands out on its own is crucial to the success of your event. But where do you start? This article will explore the innovative tech, motion and graphic design features, and style elements that can benefit your event strategy. Read on to discover how to refine your event brand.

 

What is Event Branding?

Your brand is an important part of your organization’s identity. It’s made up of many things including your logo, your website, your values, and your mission. It is what people recognize about your organization, what they think about when they are connecting with it, and the impression that lingers in their mind after the interaction. 

Event branding is a seamless way to integrate your company’s vision into your events. Similar to your organization’s brand, branding your event involves combining those creative elements of your brand with marketing materials, digital tools, and planning to create a unique experience and form stronger relationships between your audience and your event. Your event logo, website, stage design, marketing collateral, and even your swag bags are all part of your branded event experience. 

Ultimately, a fully branded event will be able to stand on its own. It should still complement your organization’s brand and it will support your goals through a successful event experience that will stay on your attendees’ minds long after they have returned to their homes.

 

Why is Event Branding Important?

A well branded event can create positive brand associations for your organization, strengthen your industry foothold, create loyalty and appeal to sponsors and shareholders. 

For businesses interested in the value of event branding, consider the following values:

  • Experiential associations – Whether you’re offering an insightful panel of industry insiders, an inspiring speaker, or a helpful networking opportunity, event-goers are likely to remember and reflect upon their event experience. With strong branding, attendees will come to associate your organization with the positive experience they’ve had  at your event.
  • Repeat business – For customers already familiar with your business, a branded event can remind them of exactly why they choose to do business with you. Professional branding can help build engagement with your existing network through physical displays, digital marketing, and direct connections.
  • Competitive edge – Show your industry why you’re a force to be reckoned with. A branded event can increase recognition and establish your organization as an industry leader. Build an event that can propel your business to the forefront of the field and hone your competitive edge.

All these advantages can lead directly to sales. Reports have found that consistent brand presentation and recognition can increase revenue by 33 percent.

 

Elements of Effective Event Branding

What does it take to create a branded event? There are several moving parts, so it is important to begin early. The process starts long before your audience enters the event space, and a successful event can continue to benefit your business long after the main event is over.

Websites and Apps

Whether your event is in-person or virtual, the online space is the front line of your branding. Key aspects of digital event branding include:

  • Event website – Simple, scalable, and mobile-friendly, your event website should be designed for maximum access and engagement. Your business or organization’s name, logo, and even mission statement can welcome participants and introduce them to your event from the first click. Familiarize users with your event theme and encourage them to delve deeper into your organization while awaiting the main event.
  • Event app – These days, apps are essential to increase engagement and provide a fast and seamless way to connect. Recent numbers report that 83 percent of event organizers are using apps. Event apps can use powerful AI to assist in user participation and can even employ chatbots for problem-solving and digital support. 
  • Social media – Use social media tools to create more pathways for participants to engage with your event before, during, and after. Paid or sponsored posts can be an effective way to boost your numbers, and some companies have even found success employing influencers or brand ambassadors to get the word out about their events.

If you’re hosting a fully-digital or hybrid event, you can also explore digital booths, online communication tools, streaming, and even branded virtual reality (VR) events. The technology is there to make a real impact and draw more eyes to your brand through the digital world.

 

Onsite Branding

If you’re gearing up for an in-person event, there are several ways to bring your brand to the forefront of whatever is happening.

Consider the following ways companies are making the most of their events with consistent and striking branding choices:

  • Booths – For industry conferences and tech demos, the booth is king. Not only should your booth focus on business offerings, but it should also convey your brand’s image to anyone who happens to pass by. Focus on creating a sensory attendee experience with images, text, and even sounds to draw in participants. Your brand should be visible from every angle, from the signage to the demo displays.
  • Feedback center – Too often, events feel like a one-way conversation for attendees. Give participants a way to share their thoughts, opinions, and ideas by including a feedback area. Here, event-goers can write out or record their responses to the event and begin a dialogue with your business.
  • Something to take home – One way to keep your business in the minds of event attendees is with branded items or “swag.” This is a chance to thank your attendees for their participation and invest in your client relationships, so put some real thought in here. You want to give participants a way to take your brand with them after they leave the event.  Try thinking beyond the stress balls, tote bags and flash drives (unless those items go along with your event brand). Consider gifts that support your brand – bonus points if you have some sustainable options like virtual gift cards, access to online workouts or even a donation to a favorite charity.

 

Cross-Platform Elements

There are several distinctions between in-person and virtual events, and what works for one event venue may not work for the other. That said, with hybrid events becoming the norm, it’s beneficial for your event’s branding to bridge the gaps between your digital presence and your physical one.

Be sure to keep the following aspects of your brand identity across all platforms and promotional materials when considering the following:

  • Colors, fonts, and logo design – Your business is one-of-a-kind, so crafting a singular image across multiple venues and materials is essential. Your fundamental branding elements should be instantly recognizable whether someone is visiting your booth, in-person general session or your website.
  • Creative copy and taglines – A well-branded event should come with an unforgettable slogan. Create something that sticks in participants’ heads. Consider testing multiple taglines or slogans before settling on a final version. Aim for something informative, intriguing, and original.
  • Event name – Too often, corporate events are vague or unclear about their functions. Worse yet, events may take on multiple titles in various marketing materials. Choose an informative name for your branded event and solidify it across all platforms. 

 

Event Branding Tips For Your Next Event

Looking for a few ideas to make your event stand out from the crowd? In a recent study, 74 percent of consumers stated that branded event experiences made them more likely to buy the promoted product. The question is, what specific experience can you offer?

Consider the following branding ideas to revolutionize how you connect with your audience: 

  • Welcome video – Instantly captivate your event attendees by producing a welcome video for your event. Keep it short with sophisticated motion design, and your video may become a viral sensation throughout your industry. What exactly is motion design? It is a discipline that uses video production, visual effects, and animation to communicate a message.
  • Email campaign – After participants sign up, keep them regularly updated with a creative email campaign. Each email is a short reminder about the event itself and can introduce supplementary materials and useful information to your audience. Give each attendee something to look forward to in their inboxes every week.
  • Data tracking – Powerful data analytics are at the forefront of successful event branding. By tracking your audience’s interests and engagement numbers, you can better craft materials that speak to their specific needs.

 

Vario: Your Partner For Your Next Branded Event

Eager to begin the planning process for your next event? There’s plenty of work ahead to arrange an engaging affair, but you don’t have to take it all on alone.

At Vario, we’re bringing branded event solutions to organizations across the country. Our team can work with you to strategically build your brand, craft creative content, and execute a truly unique event. Whether you’re planning an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event, we have the expertise to bring your event to the next level.

 

Sources: 

Hubspot. What Is Event Branding? + 5 Examples to Inspire You. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/event-branding 

Eventbrite. 2019 Event Statistics and What They Mean for Your Events. https://www.eventbrite.com/blog/event-statistics-ds00/ 

Forbes. How Companies Can Harness The Power Of Event Marketing. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2020/03/30/how-companies-can-harness-the-power-of-event-marketing/?sh=32a8e4c12636 

EventTrack 2016. Experiential Marketing Content Benchmarking Report.

https://www.eventmarketer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016EventTrackExecSummary.pdf 

SEGD. What is Motion Design?.

https://segd.org/what-motion-design 

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