GBEA 2015
Speakers podium at Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2015

Events are fantastic marketing opportunities to launch your brand or to reconnect with your customers. Sure, they require a lot of resources and planning but throwing a great event can really boost your company – after all, who doesn’t love a good party?

Events come in different shapes and sizes and how your brand comes across at each one is important. Events are a great place to launch your brand as you can connect your brand with your audience, letting them experience what you stand for and linking to any sales and marketing strategies you are running at the time. This is what helps you to build a valuable relationship with your customer, and in turn will lead to more referrals over time.

The temptation at events is to tell potential customers as much as possible about your brand in an attempt to convert them to customers. However, this information overload can sometimes be totally overwhelming. To effectively help you give your audience the information they need about your product or service there are a number of options at your disposal that don’t involve heavy sales tactics. These can change based on the following:

–        The aim of the event

–        The kind of event

–        Target group

–        Preparation time

–        Budget and resource

Explore multiple avenues  

Before you decide on the materials below, take the time to think about the scope of your event, the objectives and especially analyse the target audience. The materials you use at branding events are merely the vehicle to reach the goal. You should also involve a call to action on your materials, whether this is to drive downloads or to direct people to your website to place an order, you need to identify what your aim is and develop a customer journey to get them there.

Flyer

Flyers are often the best way to get a lot of information across in a tactile takeaway format. Flyers with an individual corporate design are perfect for distributing to visitors. Sending them out pre-event to your target audience is a great way to build buzz.

Tip: Format and material will make all the difference. Think about the types of paper you use. Even small little details can give your flyers an interesting feel, and gives people a little tactile surprise!

Poster

Around your city you’ll see plenty of professional poster designs showcasing what’s on. They draw attention to themselves and are really very effective at announcing events.

Tip: Stick to artistically demanding high-quality design. Orient yourself with design trends, such as minimal design, which should match the appearance of your brand. Strong images and beautiful illustrations work wonders. Select only the most important information as text elements, so that they are easily readable by all.

Business cards

Business cards come in to their own just about anywhere where people physically come together. You’ll leave a lasting impression with a smartly designed business card, which represents you and your company authentically.

Tip: Format, text and paper thickness are critical. We all remember the American Psycho scene right?

Website and landing page

Bringing a digital element to your event is now a must. You should set-up a dedicated landing page to capture pre-event registrations, as well as launching event-related competitions or sharing photos. This can be done easily through websites like EventBrite.

Tip: Give your event special room on your site and really grab the visitor’s attention. This can be done through banners, pop ups, blog posts or an updated home page.

Social media

Social media holds the potential for helping you to draw in new clientele. Make sure you change your photo and header to match the event. Using social media allows you to create another channel to engage with your audience through and also allows you to create a campaign theme using hashtags, making it easier for users to follow your campaign.

Tip: Prepare specially designed posts before the event, which you can post to those guests already invited or registered to share. Using a countdown of images in the style of the event increases the anticipation and reminds guests that they will soon have an important date.

Booth

The booth is central to your event presentation. Not only is the architecture, design and functionality important here, but so is the branding of the stand. In large halls or at events where there are more interesting layouts, you need to make sure you are noticed.

Tip: Decide early on a key visual for your event, which you can ensure is reflected and repeated in other elements of your event marketing collateral.

Banners

Both online and office banners are a classic way to drum up business for your event. The brand message and other useful information about the event should be placed clearly and in a nice clean design.

Tip: Animated banners outperform their static counterparts significantly. Use simple animations, which do not last longer than 15 seconds, and integrate a call to action in the final frame.

T-shirts

Employees must wear the brand at the event – they will immediately be seen as a point of contact and they will give an overall sense of unity, professionalism and structure.

Tip: Do not lose sight of the size of the design in relation to the t-shirt. Your t-shirt design might look super good on a TV screen, but you will need to consider the format and to adapt it to the standard size of the printing plate.

Merch / giveaways

Everyone loves a giveaway. Whether it’s a pen, bag or even a sticker, people love free stuff! If people are walking around with a bag emblazoned with your logo it’s free advertising and will make your logo more recognisable.

Tip: When you are giving away your giveaways, try to give them away personally, with a message explaining your brand story. This means that they will be able to talk about your brand if someone asks who you are.

This is just a selection of tactics you can use to effectively brand your event. Identify your goals, priorities and target audience, and you will find the appropriate branding mix in no time. The better the design and organisation of these, the better final effect this will have on your potential customers.

 

 

By Laura McLeod, senior digital marketing manager, 99designs