You may not be aware of how critical branding is, but think about it. You can recognize a Starbucks cup a hundred feet away. Glistening golden arches serve as a siren call, beckoning you to McDonald’s. Why then, would you place less emphasis on your own company’s branding? A brand is more than just pretty colors and a recognizable logo. It’s the feeling that’s linked to that logo, to that slogan, and to that jingle. Your organization deserves to have the same kind of care taken when it comes to branding as large organizations do.
Which brings us to events. Your live events are unique moments to showcase your products, services, and your brand. Being up close and personal with your audience means the impression you make *should* be a lasting one. When your event brand is not in the spotlight, you’re doing yourself and your organization a disservice. Generic meetings, conferences, and trade shows aren’t always memorable. For marketers, that word “generic” might as well be a four-letter word.
So how would you rate your event branding game?
I’m not here to denigrate plain text or rich text (RTF) emails. They certainly have their place in the business world. But when it comes to marketing your events, your brand needs some attention, because something as seemingly simple as an email can strengthen your event’s brand. Customizing your event email marketing and templates to match your organization’s branding makes the message(s) you’re sending to recipients abundantly clear. It’s also important to have your tone, logos, font, and pictures all consistent (you’ll find this best-practice again and again). So, plain text event emails? Meh.
Let’s start with your registration website. Your event’s website is your biggest and best promotional tool – it’s the first place your audience looks for key information, and where they’ll spend the most time interacting with your brand in advance of the event. If your brand is absent, or not fully in the spotlight, you get a low rating. If it’s simple, easy-to-navigate and the branding is consistent (logos, color scheme, font, imagery, content tone) you get high marks! So check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Effective on-site branding is more than hanging a few banners with the company logo slapped on it around the venue–your branding should be a key player during the entire live meeting experience. Does your check-in kiosk reflect your brand? How about your on-demand badges? Do they include your logos as well? Do your giveaways and break stations reflect your brand too? Is your mobile event app branded? Do you have an event #hashtag that can be used by attendees to share their amazing experiences on social channels? When it’s time to throw the best closing night party for your guests, have you really thought about where your event branding fits?
Successful branding is an integral part of a savvy marketer’s playbook. Your live event marketing should resonate with your current and potential customers. Your one-of-a-kind brand should be given the spotlight it deserves during the entire lifecycle of your events: from event registration web pages to fully branded mobile event apps, onsite, on-demand badging and digital signage, your attendees will be fully immersed in your brand, creating memorable experiences. Think about where you are now, and where you need to be to put the best spotlight on your brand at your next event.