If you browse the cereal aisle at your local grocery store, you often find two kinds of products: brand-name and generic. You can buy a box of name-brand Cap’n Crunch, or you can pick up its generic equivalent, Admiral Munch.
While the brand-name product fulfills your expectations, the generic one is just that: generic. They pinched pennies and ended up with a so-so product. You’ll think twice before buying it again.
The same goes for your event. When you cut corners with the branding of your event—the stories and visuals that set you apart from your competition—you’ll end up with a bland event that leaves your participants uninspired.
Here’s how to give your event branding a unique flavor that your participants can’t resist.
1. Don’t Hold Back Any Punches
Your company is the expert in what you do. Whether that’s home improvement products, consumer electronics or financial services, all of your event attendees are there to learn about the newest industry innovations. And they trust you to give that news to them.
They want to get that information from an expert source—that’s you!
Create your brand with this in mind. Don’t be afraid to make bold statements, push your industry further and cut straight to the heart of what your attendees want to learn from your event. They’ll be glad you did.
2. Turn Past Experiences Into Lessons
As a kid, you launched your bike off a ramp and fell. Though painful, that skinned knee taught you a lesson. Companies often learn tough lessons, too.
Past experiences, whether positive or negative, can be repurposed as content and teaching tools for your next event. Every Facebook comment, Yelp review or piece of client feedback can be a lesson for your team.
With all of your most important people under one roof, real-life examples like these can be an incredible opportunity to educate, as well as to listen and learn. No matter the example, the most important thing is to take action based on what you’ve learned.
3. Bring Emotion into The Picture
Every great movie has a way of eliciting laughter, tears, hope and empathy from the audience. How do they do it? They tell a great story and create relatable characters.
In that way, a great event is like a movie. Creating a storyline with an emotional pull draws people into your message, and helps attendees appeal to you. Your cast of characters—emcees, keynote speakers and more—helps communicate your story and connects people to your brand.
While you shouldn’t expect to bring your audience to tears, bringing emotion into your event is a great way to get your attendees hooked on your message.
4. Give Your Brand a Personality
Imagine your event was a person. Would it be annoying or captivating? Would it be bookish or outgoing? Would you want to hang out with it?
Questions like these, however hypothetical, can help you get to the heart of your event’s personality.
With the right blend of eye candy, content and entertainment, your event can hit all of your messaging objectives and keep a fun, welcoming environment conducive to learning. Add personality to your event, and make your brand something that people would want to be around.
5. Think Tech and Mobile First
Mobile devices are everywhere. Most everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and new cars have touchscreen computers. Little kids even have tablets specifically for them.
Accordingly, when building a great brand around your event, incorporating tech elements should be a top priority. Find your audience where they already are—on their mobile devices—in order to build immersive brand awareness, even when they’re in line for coffee or mingling with attendees after the event.
A strong social media presence for your event should be a given, and an Instagram page is a must—the video- and photo-based service now draws more users than Twitter.
This mobile-first approach also builds FOMO for your event. Provide share-worthy moments to encourage social media participation, and you’ll whip up a sense of longing for them to attend next time.
6. Don’t Do The Same Thing as Last Year
Last year’s event was great. An awesome keynote speaker, immersive workshops, impeccable strategy and a fantastic appearance. You got praise and handshakes for weeks for being at the helm of such a cool event.
Want to get even more success than last year? Avoid the temptation to do the same thing again, but take what you learned from last year’s event and expand upon it.
Use insights from participants and data to maximize your opportunity to draw in new brand advocates and keep your current ones loyal.
Learn how to immerse your audience in your brand with an extraordinary event experience.
With more than 18 years of experience as a strategic leader for ITA Group, Maura has helped craft strategic and targeted communication campaigns for some of the world’s biggest and best brands. When she’s not helping ITA Group clients motivate their participants through dynamic print and digital campaigns, you can find her at a Tears for Fears concert or playing with Gabe, her dog.