Last Updated on July 10, 2022
One of the more common reasons for a business to hire an event planner is that they’re looking to raise awareness of their brand. They’re looking to get people talking about what they do, and maybe capture some leads in the process. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that – it’s a perfectly valid reason to host an event, after all.
The problem is that a lot of people don’t fully grasp is that branding at an event is every bit as complex as it is elsewhere – perhaps even moreso. Do it right, and you’re sitting pretty with a whole ton of satisfied, loyal customers. Do it wrong, and, well…
I think you can fill in the blanks.
Here are just a few things every business needs to understand if they’re looking to have a branded presence at their events.
It’s Really All About Trust
These days, reputation management is something that’s easier said than done. The birth of social media has changed how we communicate with one another, and in so doing it’s changed our expectations for how we should communicate with and relate to businesses. They’re a whole lot more demanding than they used to be, in other words.
What that means for you from a branding perspective is that no matter what sort of event you decide to run, you need to make sure you’re working to foster trust amongst the attendees. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and always act in the interest of your customers. A well-managed event is a great way to show people that you can be trusted – to make them feel good or excited about your business.
As Maya Angelou puts it, “People will forget what you did, people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
A Bad Event Can Do A Ton Of Damage To Your Brand
Now, in regards to the above, it’s important to understand that, just as a well-managed event can do great things for your business, a catastrophic one can cause damage to your reputation. If you oversell tickets, for instance, it’ll show attendees that you can’t really manage logistics. If your event is boring, they’ll start to associate that with your brand. You cannot afford to do things in half-measures; you need to go out of your way to ensure your events are all awesome.
Branding Starts Before The Event
While branding on the show floor is important, that’s not what you really need to focus on. It’s the marketing you’re going to do in the days leading up to the event. It’s how you talk to people on social media, it’s what you do to get people interested, it’s the content you release and how through an understanding you demonstrate of your target market. In short, events should be looked at as part of your overall branding strategy, not as unique entities in and of themselves.
How Your Event Looks Definitely Matters
Here, I’d like to direct you to a piece by marketing expert Jennifer Beatty on Color Theory and how it influences brand identity.
“When you are choosing color for your own unique identity, whether it be for your business, your personal brand/image, or your special event, you need to be mindful of your choices and select a palette that is an authentic representation of you,” writes Beatty. “It should represent your core values, goals, and true self so that when clients/customers/guests approach your business or attend your event, they get what they anticipated. Their expectations are met.”
In other words, how your event looks influences how it feels, and how it feels influences how your guests feel – both about the event and about your brand. Make sure you design the décor for your event with the core values of your business in mind – you wouldn’t, for example, feature posters of comic book characters and superheroes at a business conference, but they’d definitely be found at an anime or comic book convention.
Whatever You Do, It Needs To Be Consistent
Here’s the thing about people – we like consistency. When we come to understand that a person or organization will behave in a particular fashion, we become more than a little uncomfortable when they act out of character. With a business, this discomfort might even extend as far as ditching a brand for a competitor.
You need to understand whatever brand identity you’ve fostered with your audience, and stick to it with your events – how you run them, who you run them for, the type of speakers you invite; you get the idea.
Done right, an event can do great things for a brand. It’s important, though, that one understands the process involved in event branding. Otherwise, their business could be in for a rather rude awakening.
There's more from where that came from...
« Previous Post
I’m not all that surprised so many people try to avoid public speaking. It’s absolutely terrifying, and probably one of the most difficult things most people are ever going to do.
Next Post »
A good guest speaker can be the most memorable aspect of an event – but only if they’re properly managed. It isn’t enough to simply plop down an orator in front of an audience.