A cohesive, memorable brand is a must for any event. Sometimes lost in the pre-event logistics of securing speakers, attracting exhibitors, and tackling that endless list of on-site tasks, on-point branding remains critical for helping your event meet its goals and ensuring a consistently professional, polished impression for attendees and anyone else who comes across event materials.
Fortunately, branding opportunities abound before, during, and after the event – whether you’re holding it in person or online. Most professionals are familiar with the basics, like creating a unique swag bag for attendees and designing directional signage that incorporates the company’s colors and tagline.
To take event branding one step further, consider these opportunities:
Agenda and session previews. A great event brand experience starts long before flights are booked and suitcases are packed. If your attendees are forced to click to a confusingly separate site or navigate a clunky off-brand third-party menu within your website as they learn about available content and plan out their schedules, their brand experience is already suffering. Instead, make sure you offer a single, streamlined portal that incorporates your company’s look and feel in every corner of the page. Related emails sent to confirmed and prospective attendees offer further opportunities.
Badges. For in-person events, name badges worn during the event may feel like a minor, mundane component. But depending on the event size, they might represent thousands of all-day, always-on, portable brand reinforcements. After all, badges will likely be visible in social media photos and perhaps even on the streets as attendees break for lunch and hit after-hours sponsor parties. Avoid going generic by taking the time to consider badges’ design, layout, and functionality. Within the limited space, include the most important taglines, logos, and other elements to optimize these “tiny billboards.”
Reception and entertainment. Brand building doesn’t stop once the sessions end and the exhibitor booths close up for the night! Reception decor is probably already a given, but cocktail names and menu items are just a few additional items that present fun branding opportunities. If your event has a live performer, they may even be able to incorporate some planned clever or humorous references to your company and product into their on-stage performance and audience banter. As long as the mentions feel genuine, attendees will enjoy the connection and expand their positive, memorable association with the brand and company.
Post-event content. In the age of hybrid events and maximum content access flexibility, your opportunities to enhance event branding continue after any in-person component concludes. Don’t send attendees who are interested in viewing sessions on demand to some third-party site or rough, jarring pasted-in playback component. On-demand sessions, follow-up communications, and other content sent and made available after your event’s main dates should be just as seamless and beautifully branded as earlier materials. Increase engagement and provide a consistent experience, reminding attendees (as well as those who didn’t attend but were forwarded a link or were sent select sessions afterward as part of a nurture program) of the event’s key themes and your company’s value.
With 2022 event calendars expected to be even busier than what we saw this year, standing out may seem challenging. Thoughtful branding before, during, and after the event goes a long way in impressing attendees, increasing favorability, and ultimately helping you close more deals.