Hosting an event is, of course, all about promoting your brand. It’s about creating a positive experience for attendees so they come to associate the good time they had with your brand. While there is no one way of promoting an event, there are a few event branding ideas that have time and again been implemented by event planners with repeated success.
1. Find the Right Venue
Think about it; which venue will garner a more positive response: a lavish multi-room theater hall, or a high school gymnasium? Luckily, there are plenty of suitable venues for rent. Try to look for a venue that is a close match with the theme of your event. If you’re hosting an IT-related event, for example, then a contemporary setting would be more fitting than compared to, say, an old-style countryside venue.
In addition, the venue should also have the basic requirements for your needs. If you plan on having a guest speaker, then the venue should have a lecture hall or stage of some sorts. If you plan on serving cocktails, then there should be a fully serviceable bar. Always check with the venue administrator to see what kind of accommodations and amenities are available.
2. Create a Sense of Exclusivity
In the world of marketing, exclusivity is a good thing. Make attendees feel like they’re a part of something special that not everyone gets to experience. How do you do this? There are multiple ways to achieve this end.
One way is to create VIP access for high-profile and loyal clients. Another method is to offer limited-edition event swag. You can, for example, hand out branded tote bags or apparel and make it clear that these promotional items will not be available in future events. Guests have to attend the event to get their hands on these one-time-only items.
There are still other methods as well. You can also, for instance, release a new product at the event, and give a special discount or add-on to the product that is exclusive to event attendees.
3. Market Before, During, AND After the Event
A conference doesn’t just provide a single day of event branding. The weeks leading up to the event and even after the event are all precious moments for marketing your brand. This is where being social media-savvy pays off. Hopefully, you should already have an existing social media presence on prominent social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Engage with your audience and keep them in the loop about updates. You can further your marketing endeavors by handing out freebies, such as a discount code within 12 hours after the event as a thank you to guests for attending.
Also, keep in mind that being active on social media doesn’t just entail sending pics and written posts. You need to be more creative than that. Why not consider something more engaging like a social media contest? Create some sort of fun game with giveaways for winners and anyone who participates
4. Incorporate Technology
You can take the event branding even a step farther by adding an interactive kiosk. This can be a simple photo booth that takes pictures with the brand name appearing in the background or as a caption. It can also be interactive games with a brand-centric theme. Red Bull, for example, had an excellent interactive kiosk game that promoted its brand and even awarded participants with a prize. Watch the video of what the energy drink maker did for its interactive kiosk.
With the rise of virtual and augmented reality, it would be silly not to incorporate it in somehow. This aspect of incorporating tech goes beyond showing off how innovative you are as a brand, it creates an experience for your guests. Since the world of virtual reality is new to the masses, it is a great way to create meaningful memories with your guests.
5. Be Different than Your Competitors
It may be tempting to emulate what your competitors are doing, especially if they had a successful track record. However, do you really want to be seen as a copier? It can really pay off to take a road seldom traveled by others within your own industry. Remember, you share the same demographic audience with competitors, so if you merely copy what other companies are doing, some consumers will definitely pick up on that.
So how can you do things differently? Study what your competition is doing. What have they done that has been successful, and how can you spin that to create something unique? If a competitor held an event and gave away a downloadable e-course, for example, then 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. It’s not to be like your competitors — remember to stay innovative.
Hosting an event is a huge investment and undertaking. If you’re going to go through all that trouble, then you might as well reap all the benefits of it. The way to do that is to milk the event by utilizing the latest event branding ideas.