Event Branding: The 2018 Guide
When people think of your event, what do they think of? No doubt, there are certain colours, fonts and services that come to mind, but what else? Personality. Attitude. Aesthetics. Your relationship to your prospects, customers, partners employees. All of these factors combine to make your event brand.
Whether you are hosting your own event or are making a presence at someone else’s event you are going to want to get your brand out there.
What Is Event Branding?
Event branding is about capturing the essence of your brand and giving it its proper due in your event marketing efforts. This can be done both through digital branding (event websites, event apps, event email marketing) and through onsite branding (event booth, banners, cupcakes).
While your event brand should reflect your organisation’s brand, it can (and should) have a brand of it’s own. Maybe people normally think of your company as the fun sales technology company while at the same time they think of your event as the fun, Wild West-themed user conference. Your event brand can and should include your organisation’s brand with a little twist.
Why Event Branding Matters
Because your brand matters. Properly representing your brand and shaping how your attendees, partners and sponsors remember it are absolutely critical to the growth of your event and your business. Take a look at the following statistics:
79% of marketers cite increased brand awareness as the main focus for B2B content marketing.
A signature colour can boost brand recognition by 80 percent
45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.
60% of US millennials expect consistent experiences when dealing with brands online, in-store, or by phone.
Consider Apple: When you think about this tech giant, a handful of ideas most likely come to mind. Creative. Different. Modern. Streamlined. Hip. Apple is an example of a company that has a has a rock-solid brand. On top of that, Apple does a great job of maintaining their brand across their websites, ads, retail stores, products and every aspect of their events. Their annual Worldwide Developers Conference is known for its creative sessions, streamlined design, hip entertainment and modern innovations.
Your company might not be the next Apple, but there’s definitely a thing or two that you can learn from the way that they and other all-star companies approach event branding. Let’s dive in.
Digital Event Branding
This may be the era of live events (the Event Marketing 2018 report reveals that live events represent the single-most effective marketing channel), but one reason that events have become as popular as they are is because of how well they can work in tandem with digital marketing strategies. Your event website, event app, social media and event email marketing campaigns all represent valuable opportunities for succeeding (or failing) in communicating your organisation’s brand. Here’s how:
Event Website: Design
Your event website may very well be the first touch-point that a potential attendee (or customer) has with your brand. It is essential that you clearly communicate your brand here.
When creating your event website branding you will want to keep the following in mind:
One example of a great event website design is GitHub Universe. GitHub is a tech brand known for their fun personality and minimalist design. Their Universe event website is both fun and minimalist in design—it also includes a far-out space theme that Github’s users may not not usually associate with the brand. Github Universe Event Website.
If you are using an event management platform to design your website, make sure that you have the ability of using custom fonts, colours and CSS for your website. You’ll also want to make sure that you can remove any event software branding. It’s your event and your website. You should have the option of branding it the way you want.
Event Website: Templates
Handcrafting your event website so that is completely on-brand can be a time-intensive task. But hey, whoever said that beauty is easy?
Actually, it kind of can be.
Some event success software, like Bizzabo, allow you to create event website templates to use when building future event sites. Simply create a beautiful event site and save it as a template.
Event website templates will save you a lot of time.
And presto! You have an on-brand website template that you can build-off for future events. While this can be useful for annual events (like user conferences or summits) it can be a real life-saver when it comes to event series (like recruiting events or roadshow events).
Event Website: White Label URLs
Along with the overall design of your website, you’ll want your event website URL to be branded to. That is, you’ll want to create your own custom (or white label) URL. If you were to use a website building service like WordPress or Squarespace, your site would come with a WordPress or Squarespace branded URL. Similar to white label event apps, a white label URL is personalised to your unique needs.
While the choice is ultimately up to you, having a white label URL will help you provide your event attendees with a seamlessly branded experience.
Email Marketing: Design
The majority of event marketers believe that email is the most effective channel for promoting events. And for good reason. Email marketing gives you the ability to directly reach out to prospective attendees, event sponsors, speakers and partners. Once these contacts have registered for your event, email will be your primary channel for communicating important updates and reminders to them.
Given the LARGE role that email will play in your event success, you’ll want your event branding to be front-and-centre in it. This means that similarly to your event website, you’ll want to showcase event brand colours, fonts, logos and themes in your email marketing design.
Email Marketing: Templates
You’re going to be sending out a large volume of templates. Having email templates that you can duplicate and tweak for segmented audiences is going to save you a lot of time. Email platforms like Mailchimp allow you to create email marketing templates easy-peasy.
Today, event apps are big. According to a study conducted by Event Manager Blog, over 40% of event planners use event apps. In a more recent study that we conducted, over 80% of the participants that we polled said that they use an event app for their event strategy.
According to one study, the majority of event marketers use event apps.
If you’re using an event app, chances are that you’ll want it to represent your brand. While some apps require thousands of dollars to provide you with a custom experience, others will charge you far less.
Social media may not be part of your brand, but if it is, there are several things to keep in mind. Having a event hashtag will make it easier for people to talk about your event, while having a handle or page will make it easier for people to learn about your event.
Not only will this help you in solidifying your event brand, it will also make it easier to track and analyse discussion about your event. Some event software offer the capability to track and analyse social media data for you. Event software integrations like this will save you oodles of time.
Digital branding questions to ask yourself:
What are the fonts, colours, logos and themes of your event?
Does your event website match your event branding?
Are you able to use custom CSS to customise your event website to your specifications?
If you are using an event management platform to manage your event website, do you have the ability to remove your provider’s branding?
Does your event website have a white label URL?
Given that email marketing is the most effective event promotion channel, how are you using it to reflect your event brand?
To help you save time and reduce errors are you able to create email templates with your email marketing platform email?
Does your mobile event app match your event branding?
Onsite Event Branding
Events are where the magic happens, so it’s only natural that the branding should happen there too. How you represent your brand will differ on whether you are hosting or attending an event—however many things will remain the same. Your event booth, banners, and swag (free branded give-aways) are a few opportunities—but the the real magic is in your overall event design. If you’re hosting your own event, you have the power of communicating your brand in every way that you design your event.
For the full article, and to find out more about event design, booths, social walls, project mapping, banners and posters, free branded give-aways and even cupcakes, CLICK HERE