It’s the best venue. It’s the greatest theme. It’s the most awesome entertainment. It’s the most exclusive guest list. But is it the best branding?
Yes, it’s time to talk about the down and dirty, nitty-gritty of branding your events, because branding has a direct, and very powerful, effect on turnout, money raised, and even the amount of fun people can have at your event.
What is Branding?
It’s a marketing term that simply means a coherent and consistent communication strategy: branding covers everything from the name of the event to the background of a Twitter account. Figure out what your event is really all about, and put that at the centre of your branding strategy. That way, every single piece of communication you send out—whether a tweet, an invitation, a promotional email, or an ad—speaks eloquently on exactly the same thing, in exactly the same language, in exactly the same way. This all starts with the name.
Look and Feel
Is your party an after dark social for singles? Maybe you’ll want to use a sophisticated double entendre in your name. Your color palette, language, and materials are going to be entirely different from a summer festival. Carry these throughout your communications: your social media headers and imagery, your word choice, everything. The idea with good, solid branding is that people should be able to identify the event even if the name is obscured. “Oh, that’s the same image as I saw on Facebook; that’s Lisa’s party,” or “Those are the Xerox corporate colors and that’s the VP of Sales; this is for the conference,” and so on. At the very least, people should be able to infer what kind of an event it is simply from the name.
Maintaining Brand Consistency
It’s not branding if you keep switching it up—it’s chaos. We’re not saying ride out something you clearly know isn’t working. We’re just saying that you should put in the time at the start to avoid having to redo all your branding later if there’s a problem. You cannot afford to change the name of a party once it’s out “in the wild,” otherwise you’ll have a Facebook page that says one thing and a Twitter account that says something else entirely, and that’s not what you want.
Branding as Courtesy
Good, consistent branding gives your potential guests multiple clues as to the nature of the event. Your guests should be able to glean the goals and messages of the event from its branding, and there shouldn’t be any guesswork. Guests do like pleasant surprises at a party, but they don’t like surprises as to the nature of the party. This leads to Ed Hardy shirts at your sophisticated casino night and awkwardness all around.
When done well, branding is just another way of communicating what your event is all about to the potential guests, and the clearer, more consistent, and more attractive you can make it, the happier you, your team, and your guests will be.