An event planner or a marketer has many event marketing tasks to take care of once the date of the event is finalized. From booking of venue to sending invitation to guests, both online and offline, there are a lot of tasks that need to be done. Here are a few quick steps to event branding before, during, and after the event:
- Set clear brand guidelines.
Not all businesses have their own brand guidelines. If you fall into this category, it’s time to create a set of brand rules that cover all the details of your brand, like colour palettes, fonts, and voice. Once these guidelines are in place, you should communicate these expectations to your entire marketing team. They will then have to ensure that the final output with words and graphics is in sync with the top brand development and that there are no deviations from it.
- Create a sub-brand.
Every event has a unique concept that will attract their audience, whether it is the keynote speaker, the opportunity to interact with a celebrity, learning a new skill, or pure entertainment. Use whatever this may be as a selling point to create a new sub-brand for your event—one that goes hand in hand with your core brand identity. There are numerous examples of this concept that you can learn from.
- Create and use branded imagery.
You have to think about ways to make the most out of your event’s brand once the details are finalized, so think of creating a suite of designed imagery that will be used throughout your marketing campaign that includes email signatures, social media cover images, and event invitations.
- Keep brand fatigue at bay.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of brand fatigue from the constant use of the brand in marketing efforts via email, social networks, and your website. To prevent this from happening, build intrigue and anticipation into the minds of the audience through new ways of disseminating information and event teasers without going overboard. Instead of repeating the same core message with the same branded imagery, keep your efforts fresh, on brand, and tailored to each marketing platform. Don’t spam your contacts either. Instead, target your marketing campaign to a specific demographic region using relevant, compelling content.
- Start your physical branding exercise.
You will need many visual prompts during the event itself in order to highlight your brand, which your audience first became familiar with during your pre-event marketing days. Physical branded materials may include table toppers, gift bags, menus, name badges, etc. Ensure that all of these materials follow your brand guidelines, from the logo right down to your choice of font. It’s a good idea to provide branded content on the day of the event itself too, such as case study videos showcasing your work or a live “tweet wall” displaying real-time tweets with your event hashtag. This helps to reinforce your message and build a connection with the audience.
- Study your competitors.
Your focus should be on doing something different for each of your company events. How do you do that? First, allocate some time to study what your competitors are doing. Study their past events that were successful with their audience. What can you do to create something as unique as that? For example, a competitor could have given away a downloadable e-course at their event. Perhaps you can give away something slightly different, such as a digital code to access an upcoming live seminar featuring a prominent presenter in your field. It’s important to monitor what your competitors are doing, but it’s also important to go back to why your company exists in the first place. The idea is not to copy your competitors but to stay innovative.
- What should you do on the event day?
On the day of the event, go beyond letting your brand be known only by a logo. Every aspect of your event should match with your brand’s personality, including your choice of music, entertainment, and decorations. Remember that a brand is not a mere product, a promise, or a feeling. There is more to it. It’s the sum of all the experiences that the users and audience carry home with them about the company and its image. It’s your job to act before and during the event to shape that all-important brand experience.
- Evaluate each event.
Post-event evaluation is even more important. Start with counting your successes, which is sure to give you a feel-good factor about what went extremely well. The examples could be that you reached or exceeded your attendance numbers or that you saved money on the venue. Or perhaps your customer service team was incredible this year.
Ask each member of your team to share at least one achievement they are proud of, celebrate it as a team, and see how it can be codified as a best practice to be repeated and improved upon next year.
Then comes the actual calculation part. Evaluate how many leads from the event turned into actual sales. How much media coverage did you attract, how much research did you carry out, or how many individual presentations were you asked to do? Jot down all the nitty-gritty details of the event, and sit down with your team to discuss them. You and your team can come up with new ideas at this stage as to how to better manage the event the next time you plan it and what things to take care of. The more you brainstorm with your team, the more ideas you will get.
Hosting an event involves a lot of money, so plan the event in such a way that you reap the most benefits out of it. Last but not least, recognise that you never operate in a vacuum, so it’s always worth undertaking a classic SWOT analysis to think about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the current year and act upon them.
Hermit Chawla is a Marketing Manager at Sprak Design, who loves sharing thoughts about Branding Services, Lifestyle Design, Branding Firms, Exhibition design, and more.