Events are powerful things. For an increasing number of organisations “live communications” (events to me and you) are becoming the number one way to enhance brand value. So in this post I thought I’d look, in detail, at how you reflect your brand at your event: using events to bring your brand to life
All the ten examples should provide some food for thought for any organisation that run events, and importantly, that company doesn’t need to be an events company. When putting the list together, I thought about publishers, associations, brands, political parties, charities and all the other types of organisations who are now running live events. So I hope this helps every event organiser to better reflect their brand during their events.
Using Events to bring your brand to life
What I’ve decided to do, as an example, is to show how Gallus Events try and reflect our brand at the events we run. All the images are from events which we’ve been associated.
Ten ways you can ensure that your brand is reinforced during your event
1. Have something on show that people can talk about.
This is a pretty simple one. We try and have a centre piece or two at our events. “having something to talk about” can act as an aid to help people network. It’s also great to see people taking pictures and talking about them on social media. The audience for your event is not just the one in the room!
These little things are statement pieces I suppose. They say, we are different. This was our registration desk at a travel show. It’s just a little bit different and we think it shows some character.
2. Interactive spaces are a great way to engage your attendees.
I think interactive spaces say, on behalf of your brand, “we want to hear from our customers and clients, and we are listening”. This is a crucial part of the success of any brand. TED Conferences have been keen on these interactive spaces for years and they have replaced the traditional exhibition.
For most events just having a few interactive spaces will add a lot to the experience. They are also great at supporting your attendees to get in the right frame of mind. At Tech Fest we knew we had some attendees who were afraid of “Tech” so we used an interactive space to help them to think about any of the “Tech” they loved. It was subtle but they started thinking about tech in a very different light.
3. What does your choice of venue say about your brand?
We’ve done our best to stay away from traditional meeting rooms. Although it’s not possible all the time it’s a great idea to book a funky venue, if you want to reflect an innovative brand. The venues you use can say a lot about the culture behind your brand.
4. How does your event staff reflect your brand?
With your on-site team, do you want to go the informal or formal route? Is it a serious demeanor or is it a fun one that you want your staff to reflect? Is it suits or tee-shirts? And how many staff do you have? And what do they do? You have to make a few choices when you think about the staff at your event.
5. Do you want your events to engage the inner creative?
We always try to have little creative elements spread out across the event. Creativity doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and I believe whatever you spend it is always worth it. Having an environment that is creative should reflect well on a brand that tries to do things differently. Most brands try to stand out and being creative is a great way to do that.
6. How do you personalise the event experience?
I would say this is one of the most important elements in reflecting your brand. Increasingly when we deal with companies we are looking to be recognised as a person and not just a number. We give our attendees personalised mugs. It’s pretty easy (and cheap to do).
I love arriving at an event (this rarely happens!) to be welcomed by someone who says “Hello William, great to have you back at our event, we hope you see the changes from last year…” Or something similar, something that says, we know you and we will treat you differently. Because you ARE IMPORTANT.
7. Do you have an audience or do you have participants?
Similar to number six this is an area that is becoming increasingly important to attendees. If you just gather them in a room and speak to them, they are unlikely to think much about your brand. There’s no conversation there. And people love to communicate. It’s so easy to build this into every event, not just a conference, but product launches, dinners and awards. Engagement is a key to successfully building a brand.
8. How BORING is your event?
As event organisers, we now have a tool kit to avoid boring events. Meeting Design allows us to think very differently about the content we have at our event. Providing texturisation in that content says that you are a modern and nimble organisation. If you just have traditional keynote sessions, well, what do you think that says about your brand? The structure of the content will reflect your brand; so choose it wisely.
9. How is your brand reflected outside of the meeting?
I would say this is one of the most important elements in reflecting your brand and it is interesting and worrying how often it is missing. You are never going to have all your audience in one space at one time, so how you interact with those NOT AT THE EVENT is crucial. You need to show the love for those not fortunate enough to be at the event. A brand cares about everyone.
10. Communication – spread the love (over a period of time)
I’ve left this to the end because it is one of the biggest mistakes that events make: forgetting about the attendee experience before and after the event. You can do all of the nine points above, but if you fail to engage – and demonstrate value – before and after the event the brand will suffer.
Too many events just take the entrance fee and fail to engage with their attendees before the event. And too many organisations fail to follow up post event: even if it’s just a simple thanks for attending our event. How a brand engages post event is a clear indication of how much their attendees really mean to them.
There is no better opportunity to enhance your brand than having your clients, customers, followers, members or supporters in front of you in an environment you control. But of course the flip side is true. If you mess this up, that relationship may end. Events are crucial for an increasing number of organisations. Live is where it is at and in that environment you have to take very good care of your brand.