How to make the most of event branding opportunities

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By Ben Moorsom

What “irks” you about event branding?

If you’ve ever attended an event and been underwhelmed, then you can understand what ‘irks’ me about event branding – missed opportunities. There’s no excuse for missing opportunities to maximize your brand and create a robust, immersive and truly engaging event experience. And the worst thing is, the solutions that would take these events from ‘miss’ to ‘memorable’ are usually in the simplest of details.
Sample of event branding opportunity
That’s where branding lives, in the details – every detail of your event, pre and post communication.

One example of how a simple branding detail made a memorable impact is from a meeting Debut created earlier this year. After revealing the brand in the afternoon opening plenary, attendees left the session to ready themselves for a reception. As they took the glass elevators up, they couldn’t help but notice the giant logo, perfectly positioned within elevator site lines, branding the inside wall of the venue’s atrium. For the entire week, this brand constantly reminded attendees that they are a part of something important and potentially life-changing. For something as basic as an $80-dollar gobo, we made an impact that was priceless for our client.

Digging deeper

At Debut, we start by reverse-engineering the entire event experience. Find out what the critical messages are to convey to attendees. What do you want them to leave thinking, feeling and ready to act on? Factor in the filters attendees will be viewing everything through like lay-offs, results, market landscape, partnerships and so forth. And don’t overlook the required applications of branding – where and how will it need to be used? Of course there’s also the venue and the location to consider. Too many agencies think about where they can hang signage in a venue. We think about how we can transform a venue into your event.

Only after considering all of these factors can you start to create a well-branded experience. Only then can you dig to find those not-so-obvious, yet often easy-to-execute, cost-effective branding opportunities that make all the difference.

Event branding is even more important now than ever before. You have to dig for the information I mentioned above to ensure your branding resonates with attendees. They need to believe any goals set are achievable. They need to feel like the message is relevant to what they do and need to accomplish. And they need to feel a connection to the brand. Then you can design an entire pre- and post-communication campaign that is relevant and can emotionally engage your team to act on your objectives. And by utilizing what’s already been created for your event in post-communication, you continue motivating and inspiring your team long past the event, while at the same time maximizing your initial investment.

Engaging the audience

Branding, however, goes way beyond a logo designed and a PowerPoint template. Your event branding should be felt as an engaging, immersive experience that resonates with your team and causes them to want to achieve more. When planning, you really have to think of events as opportunities for your audience to more actively engage with your brand. One way to ensure this happens is to create event-branding guidelines to share with all supplier partners involved in the event. Suddenly every touch point with attendees, no matter how seemingly insignificant, becomes a part of creating the overall branded experience. Remember those details I was talking about earlier…

When branding is done right, it can actually add to the overall perception and value of an event. If that event is a truly well-branded, immersive and inspiring experience, it’s generally perceived as more innovative and engaging. It’s definitely more memorable, and it can increase retention well beyond the event.

So that’s what ‘irks’ me. What I’d really like know is: What ‘irks’ you about event branding? Comment below and let us know!

About the author

Ben Moorsom is President and Executive Creative Director at Debut Group, an agency that specializes in corporate business communicationand events across North America. Since 1997, Debut has pioneered new ways of delivering content and has mastered the art of creating greater perceived production value for their clients. For more information on how Ben and his team deliver better results by producing bold creative that is strategically grounded, emotionally engaging, and flawlessly delivered to meet any clients budget visit Debut at www.debutgroup.com.

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