Why you should keep your event branding simple

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Keep your event branding simpleSo, what does the book or movie The Godfather have to do with your conferences and events? I want you to think totally outside of your normal realm for this article.

I recently attended the PCMA Convening Leaders Conference in Boston, and a particular session struck a nerve with me: Beyond Best Practices…Explore Best Principles for Experiential Meeting, facilitated by Greg Bogue of Maritz Travel Company and Gary Schirmacher, CMP of Experient, A Maritz Travel Company. This was one of the best hour and 15 minutes I spent at the conference.

Here’s the leading point: Keep it simple. So, we all design a tag line for our conference or event branding. This is usually several words, and we know we have to meet our conference’s measurable objectives and ensure the tag line is used appropriately and speaks to our education and networking.

Greg and Gary take this one step further, and here’s where The Godfather comes in. We were asked to think of ONE word that describes the story. We came up with all sorts of things: mafia, murder, blood, horse’s head and so on. More appropriate words were respectful and family. Frances Ford Coppola came up with this word: succession. Think about it – what did Don Corleone want to make sure he did? And what were his choices? How is this different than our conferences or events?

Every time you speak or write that one word, you will be asking yourself “Can I describe this element, speaker, meal, etc. with the one word I’ve chosen to represent the meaning of my conference or event?”

An “aha” moment for me.

And the theme of this year’s PCMA Convening Leaders Conference? (R)evolution. Check out the twitter feed at http://conveningleaders.pcma.org/about/social-media and you will see how the one word was carried through. All general sessions had the word on the screen; red was the background colour, and the Beatles’ Revolution is still stuck in my brain! And several of the sessions I attended talked about evolution and revolution – where do you stand?

So next time you are brainstorming for a tag line, keep it simple and come up with ONE word. (It’s not so simple I assure you!)

What about your own branding? What’s one or two words that will describe you, that when people mention the word or words, everyone immediately knows who is being talked about?

I hope mine is “legacy of mentoring”. Ok, that’s three – I’d make a lousy editor! What’s yours?

2 thoughts on “Why you should keep your event branding simple

  1. Hi Sandy nice post and it sounds like a great session. As a Beatles fan any excuse to play the fab four works for me. The points which resonated with me were the simplicity of the theme and the importance of the "narrative". I believe it is so important for so many reasons that conferences have this narrative throughout the event. I normally brief my speakers to cover in part three main themes no matter what their session is about and that works really works.

    And regarding the overall theme. It is important too. I am running and event called whostolemyaudience? which looks to support organisers to turn round declining conference numbers. I think we are simple enough here in our messaging!

  2. Hi William. thanks for the comment. So, did you see the Fab 4 Grammy Salute? I'm only 17 again!

    Love the whostolemyaudience! That should get attention

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