Part 1: Understanding Event Branding
What is Event Branding?
Event branding comprises several elements contributing to the event’s identity, including its name, logo, swag, website, and event collateral design. Similar to a company’s brand, event branding is made up of several elements.
Event branding can be done digitally and onsite. While some elements in the event remain the same for the company, such as the logo, website, apps, etc., event branding must stand on its own.
Even though event branding is part of event marketing, it still requires planning and strategy. All event branding elements should unite to form a cohesive look for a successful event. The digital features, including websites, logos, event apps, slogans, and the onsite look of the venue, make an event brand.
What is the Purpose of Event Branding?
Event branding is what makes your event unique.
Event branding is more than just about the aesthetics of the event. From the venue’s look to customer support, event branding covers the entire event experience.
An effective event branding strategy allows you to build brand event recognition by displaying consistent looks and attitudes across all aspects of your events.
A survey by the University of Loyola, Maryland, shows that a brand’s signature color can boost recognition by 80 percent.
Here are some more purposes of event branding:
- Creates recognizable event identity.
- Differentiate the event from other events.
- Helps to explore the event further.
- Helps in further expressing the end goal of the event.
Fundamentals of Event Branding
Before you start building a strategy for your event branding, understanding all the factors crucial for telling the right brand story is essential. Only after doing this can you determine how branding elements come together to communicate the event’s vision and provide it with the needed recognition by the target audience.
Therefore, let’s begin with understanding each element first:
Understand Your Type of Audience
To ensure a successful event branding strategy, you have to be clear about the audience you are hosting at your event. This includes understanding the demographics of the audience as well as nuances like the type of language they use for communication and the standard channels and format they use to acquire information. These will help us understand how to design the event branding and disseminate the event collateral to them.
For instance, if the audience is frequent email users, you can create an email blast with essential sign-up information. If they are more active on social media, a visual post would resonate with them.
Similarly, the branding colors would also depend on the tastes and preferences of the audience as well as the theme of the event.
Decide a Theme or Narrative for Your Event
Setting a theme or narrative during the event is super important to add further meaning to your event and the entire experience.
Creating a theme or narrative includes utilizing creative visuals such as logos, symbols, and slogans.
Moreover, ensuring consistent messaging across all platforms is crucial for successful event branding strategies.
For this, you have to come up with an event tagline that encapsulates the event’s purpose and goal while serving the purpose of attracting new customers.
Here is an example from vFair’s event Discover Next’s landing page showing how the tagline works with your event:
Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Incorporating social media marketing campaigns for your event branding success is essential.
We discuss the social media marketing campaign ideas in detail below. Still, on a high level, these include announcing sponsorship opportunities, creating brand awareness, and posting engaging content are the keys to social media event marketing.
With these strategies and more, organizers can experience running an effective event branding campaign for their brand.
Like event marketing, event branding should continue even after your event ends. The effort you put into creating and executing the right event branding strategy can also be used further.
You can easily repurpose your event content for social media campaigns to establish uniform and powerful planning strategies throughout your events.
This includes making the proper arrangements for recording your event in advance, grabbing highlights such as keynote speakers, etc.
For example, here is a pre-event picture from vFair’s event that can be used for social media event marketing:
A common practice by marketers is to repurpose content from past events to promote the upcoming event.
One way is to post highlights from the past event on social media platforms to expand reach for the upcoming event.
Repurposing content from past events increases reach and enables viewers to trust you for a reliable event experience.
Learn the Basics of Aesthetics
Event branding is about aesthetics, but only if you follow the rules.
First, you have to consider the event’s logo. Usually, the event logo used is the same as the parent company, but it can have slight modifications. However, if you are hosting an event that operates autonomously, there is much room for creativity.
The next thing to consider regarding the basics of event branding is the typography, font, and color. The design plays an essential role in multiple components of event branding, including the event landing page, social media content, and even the color palette for the event mobile app.
For in-person events, merchandise such as t-shirts, tote bags, pens, and other swag giveaways are part of the event branding. Even for creating these, it s necessary to ensure that the color palette resembles that of the parent company or event.
A general rule for all event types is to ensure that the aesthetics used for the event branding reflects the same personality as the company.
Here is an attractive landing page created by professionals at vFairs for T-mobile’s career fest:
Part 2: Why Event Branding Matters
Event Branding Goals
Event branding directly impacts the experience your audience has at your event.
The right event branding strategy can help you execute a memorable event for your audience.
Studies show that 74% of consumers engage with branded events marketing experiences, which makes them more interested in the products being promoted at the event. ( report by Event Marketing Institiute 2016)
Event branding integrates the positive emotions of a product, shapes how the attendee thinks about it, and establishes the long-term impact of your event that results in higher sales, new customers, and brand advocates.
Apart from the above, here are the most common event branding goals:
- Attracting sponsors and vendors
- Gaining recognition
- Communicating the event’s vision
- Creating trust among consumers and brand
- Generating new interest from prospects
Effective event branding goes beyond providing an exceptional event experience. It helps the brand events receive a positive response even when the event is over.
Digital Event Branding Channels
Most attendees register and prefer receiving information digitally. Therefore, understanding digital event branding and its elements is essential to influence these registrants.
Here are the primary digital event branding elements to consider when putting event branding into action:
Even a website is the most crucial digital channel to invest in. Your event website or landing page will give your audience the best positive impression of your event.
Your audience will generate the first impression of your event, product company, and everything about you from your website.
Investing in creating a customized event website with a fully branded landing page, registration page, contact page, and more will increase the audience of your event.
Your website should be the leading resource for your stakeholder, who will need all the information about your event.
Social Media Channels
Your target audience should be able to recognize your brand from different branding elements used in social media collaterals such as colors, themes, etc.
Your social media channels will put your brand, event, and you out there for the public to take an interest in. A few things to remember when creating social media collateral is consistency with your branding. Your target audience should be distinct from different branding elements in creating social media collaterals such as colors, themes, etc.
Other than this, you can pique the interest of your audience by uploading event teasers, event backstage pictures, and other event highlights.
Influencer marketing will make a difference at your event. Influencers are internet celebrities that can make your event shine on their followers and increase the registration turnout.
Besides grabbing an audience for your event, influencers can create a following around your event branding by promoting your branded swags.
One way to do this is to give away the branded merch or any other goods you have kept as swag for your audience to the influencers.
Influencers can then promote your event by showing the branded swag to their followers and creating anticipation among them.
Onsite Event Branding Elements
If you plan to host an onsite event, there is so much you can do to kick off and end your event with excellent branding.
Here are onsite event branding essentials:
Every sign from the entrance to the exit should speak of you and your event. Place fully branded signage at your event to stamp event memories into your attendees’ minds.
Branded Map and Agenda
An event map and agenda help attendees navigate the event better. Branding these items will signal them who the organizer is and attach that reference to their subconscious.
Food and Drinks
Offering good food and drinks can always go right. You can make it branded by offering branded reusable water bottles, cutleries, food boxes, and more.
Do not shy away from investing your money in food and drinks at your event. This type of event branding can increase the life of your event even after the audience is left.
Set up branded photo booths where attendees can take pictures. You can request attendees to post their photos with the photobooth on their social media profiles using the event hashtag.
This will keep your event in the talks even after it’s over. Also, this is an excellent way to promote user-generated content, which is the best way to create interest among potential attendees for your next event.
Onsite Event Branding Ideas
With a suitable event branding strategy, you can create an event experience that resonates with attendees and delivers a long-lasting experience.
Deliver a Smooth Event Check-in Experience
The first thing your onsite event attendees will notice is the check-in process at the event. You have to make sure you offer a trouble-free entrance to your registrants.
One way to do this is by offering contactless check-in through mobile event apps. Attendees can quickly check in at the event site through personalized QR codes.
Self-check-in facilitates a seamless check-in process for attendees and reduces wait time and the need for event staff at the kiosk.
The other way is to create customized badges for attendees. Customized badges are great for showcasing event branding elements, such as logos. You can assign a nice QR code for each badge for quick check-in and scanning at the event.
Display Compelling Signage
The tried and accurate means for effective event branding is by displaying signage. Signage amplifies your brand’s presence at the event. Moreover, if you are part of an exhibition, design your booth with all your branding elements.
As far as printing collaterals are concerned, please make sure your signage accurately reflects your brand.
The key is to remain consistent with the overall event marketing strategy.
Ensure a Seamless Event Experience with a Mobile Event App
Mobile event apps are a game changer for event branding.
A white-labeled mobile event app will allow you to customize the entire experience for your attendees. You can customize the app with the logos, colors, fonts, and messaging you have opted for throughout the event or your parent company displays.
You can offer attendees a way to find a way to the venue with a branded floor map. You can add all the event branding elements to the virtual exhibit booths and floor maps within the mobile event app.
vFairs mobile event app lets event organizers display posters within the mobile app through the poster listing feature. You can create a sign to showcase your event branding to the attendees through the mobile app.
A mobile event app is more than just a medium to showcase event elements. Apart from offering contactless check-in, you can easily verify and record attendee arrival through mobile event apps.
Offer Swag for a Memorable Event
Offering swags is one of the critical components of hosting an event worth remembering for the attendees.
Swags are more than just a delightful experience for customers; instead, it is a hit opportunity for event organizers to put their event branding elements into the display.
It is a known fact that when people get offered something for free, they are more likely to incline toward it. Therefore, choosing what to gift the attendee at your event should be a rational thought.
You can create customized hoodies, jackets, backpacks, or any other stuff where you can use your logo and colors to display event branding elements.
To make sure your event branding has made it to social media platforms, you can ask your attendees to click their picture with the giveaways and post them on their social media accounts.
This way, you can use the user-generated content to boost brand recognition for future events.
Virtual Events Branding Elements
Event Registration Page
Your event registration page is among the earliest opportunities to showcase event branding elements.
You can custom-create your event registration page with event branding elements such as your event logo, event tagline ( if you have one), branding colors, etc.
It would be best if you also kept in mind to remain consistent with your branding with fonts, typeface, etc.
Also, could you create a user-friendly and intuitive event registration page to grab the most attendees?
You can create your registration page in a way that you can collect crucial information such as attendee name, company, job title, etc.
If you have one, your logo should first associate your event with your parent company.
If you are hosting the event autonomously, your logo should be your point of uniformity that will further help you market your future events.
First thing first, place your logo in your customized registration form. Next up, your logo should be visible on your event website, social media posts, and other collateral which attendees will interact with.
Font impacts the feeling of your virtual attendees.
Film director Errol Morris conducted an experiment with 45,000 people, concluding that typeface impacts our feelings towards what we read. Therefore, make sure you choose a typeface associated with your event goal.
A typeface is essential for putting the right event branding strategy in place. Each typeface ignites specific types of emotions. Therefore, you should be mindful of using the right kinds of typeface throughout your event marketing.
For instance, all the call-to-action buttons for your event serif or sans serif font typeface are recommended. Also, make sure the font size is easy to read.
Call to Action Buttons
Call-to-action buttons should be sprinkled throughout the virtual event features. Call to action drive people to register for your event and significantly impact core event KPIs.
Virtual Event Branding Ideas
Let’s explore all the possibilities of successful event branding at a virtual event.
Set up an Event Landing Page
First impressions matter. Keep this in mind when you design your event’s landing page. Make sure that the design and copy on the landing page complement each other. It must help the users understand what the event is about and how it’ll benefit them.
The page’s primary focus is to get people to register for the event and ensure the landing page layout contains the branding elements that offer a user-friendly and intuitive user experience.
Remember to sprinkle CTA’s (calls to action) relevantly into the landing page; CTAs help drive more registration and give purpose to your event and event branding.
Virtual Exhibit Halls
Customized virtual exhibit halls are a great way to showcase your branding elements. One way is to choose hall templates and add branding elements such as your logo, theme, colors, etc.
Another way is to custom-create an exhibit hall with a branded exhibit booth. Branded exhibit booths are a great way to channel your branding elements and give branding opportunities to your sponsors. Your sponsors can choose from various interactive booth designs, graphics, and colors and insert like to their web pages.
Similar to virtual exhibit halls, virtual auditoriums are filled with event branding opportunities. You can sprinkle your event logo, exhibitor’s logo, and branding colors, but you can even place brand messaging at certain places in your virtual auditorium.
However, it is essential not to go overboard with all the event branding and marketing opportunities in your virtual auditorium, but creating a fully branded auditorium will do the job for you.
Create Hype on Social Media
Several social media platforms offer cost-effective and unique opportunities for event marketers to promote their events and leave a mark. However, your choice of social media platform should align with where your target audience is at.
Constantly tailor your content to suit your audience and the platform’s algorithm. Keep your branding in mind while creating your event content and place your logo, tagline, website link, etc, wherever appropriate. You can also collaborate with influencers whose brand is in sync with your brand identity. This helps create better synergy between the influencer’s audience and your event brand.
Event branding starts before the event and remains in the picture post-event. Therefore, it is essential to ensure consistency throughout the event branding strategy.
A successful event branding strategy involves ensuring consistency across all mediums. Ensure all the event branding elements align with the event’s brand identity, parent company, and purpose.
The more consistency you achieve with your event branding, the more your event will resonate with the audience.
Time to Brand Your Event the Right Way!
A solid event branding strategy ensures your event remains memorable before, during, and after the event is over. So, investing the right amount of time in creating and communicating the right event brand is crucial.
After this extensive guide on event branding, there is no option for you to keep your event branding low-key.
We have shared everything you can do to create and run a successful event branding strategy for your next event.
As for the key takeaways, it always helps to validate your event branding and make necessary changes. So, remember to send a post-event survey asking people what caught their eye, if they enjoyed the event, and what memorable moments they appreciated. The results will help you with future event branding!