Event Branding Guide: What it means, why it matters, and our top tips!
You’ve created an event because you believe you’ve got something unique, fresh and exciting that you can offer to your attendees. If you can capture and communicate this uniqueness in the right way for the right people, not only will you boost attendance at your event, but you’ll also have created a community of attendees who are engaged with your event messaging.
How do we achieve all of this and more?
With event branding.
What does event branding mean?
Event branding is the unique identity that you give your event. Think of your event as if it was a person standing in front of you. What would they sound like? What kind of things would they say? What would their values be? What kind of clothes would they be wearing? All of these elements that go into our identities as humans can also be created for events, and translated into names, symbols and logos, colour schemes and event messaging.
This is how you’re telling the story of your event, and the better you can flesh it out and breathe life into it, the more attendees will want to engage with you and your brand.
All of these different elements should be designed cohesively so that when they come together, either at the event itself or across your assets, attendees become immersed in a recognisable experience.
A quick reminder:
It’s important to distinguish between your brand and your event brand too. If your business is hosting an event, your business brand and your event brand can coexist. Your event branding should be able to stand on its own two feet and be fully understandable to people who’ve never come across your company before.
Why does event branding matter?
Properly communicating your unique event branding is what’s going to set your event apart from the rest. Investing the time into developing the identity of the event will give you more USPs to hook into around the marketing of your event experience.
Think of music festivals for example. Coachella, Glastonbury and Download festival all offer a similar formula of experience to their attendees, but it’s the identity of each event that makes it unique, and helps to attract the right music fan to the right festival.
Each of these festivals have succeeded in creating and communicating their own unique brand identity, which in turn drives higher engagement and attendance within their key demographics. If you resonate more with an event and the experience you think it’s going to give you, you’re more likely to want to come along. Smashing your event branding gives your event that unique feel that your attendees won’t be able to find anywhere else.
What makes killer event branding?
Event branding is about more than just ordering some event merch with a logo slapped on it. Don’t get us wrong, logos are an important part of an event’s identity, but without a cohesive strategy to support it, you’ll struggle to send the right message to your target audience.
Take a look at some of the key things you need to be thinking about when you’re creating your unique event brand.
Who are you talking to?
Invest time in understanding the target audience of your event. Once you’ve got a core understanding of who your audience are, what’s important to them, and the best ways to pique their interests, you’ll be able to construct an event brand that strikes a chord with the people you want to be speaking to.
Keep the experience at the heart of everything
The core element of your event brand is the experience that you’ll be offering your attendees. All messaging around your event branding should hook back into how your attendees will benefit from attending your event. This is called your value proposition, and it should be clearly recognisable across all event communications. Is it your exclusive location? The star-studded line-up? The jam-packed itinerary? The sought after networking opportunities? Think about why your attendees simply have to be in the room on the day, then create your event branding around this.
If in doubt, keep it simple
While it can be tempting to get lost in creating an elaborate backstory story around your event and its offering, ultimately it’s the simplest stories that have the biggest impact on the audience. Make sure all key decisions are hooked back into the core purpose of your event. Have clear in your mind exactly why you’ve decided to host this event, and let that guide both your decision making process and your event branding strategy.
Your Event Branding Checklist:
Now we’ve got a grasp of the strategic elements of your event branding, it’s now time to translate these into real assets that your attendees can interact with. In order to create an immersive and cohesive attendee experience centred around your event branding, you’ll need:
- A recognisable logo
- A creative colour scheme
- A catchy event name
- An attention grabbing tagline
- A unique brand font
- An established tone of voice
- A bank of core, key messages you want to convey during your event.
Digital vs Onsite: Achieving seamless event branding no matter your medium
Now that you’ve completed your event branding checklist, you need to know which tools and platforms to use to create a slick, seamless and immersive attendee experience that’s based around your unique event branding. Whether you’re hosting your event in person, digitally, or even a bit of both, there are a wealth of tools at your disposal to ensure that all elements of your event spread the same key event messaging and branding.
In Person Events: Your branding tools:
Whether you’re opting for step and repeat board, banners, flags, or event making the sustainable swap to digital signage, you can quite literally plaster your venue with your logo, colour scheme and unique event branding.
Containing all the vital information that attendees need to make the most of your event, an event brochure is a tangible asset that communicates not just the essentials, but your event tone of voice and core messaging.
Let’s be honest, everyone loves a bit of merchandise. Not only does merchandise leave your attendees with a souvenir of their incredible experience, extending the legacy of your event even further, you can also use the creation of the merchandise itself to further engage attendees in the experience. Opt for sustainably sourced materials to strike a chord with environmentally minded attendees, or invite your guests to craft their own designs and have it printed right in front of them! A unique, customised way to remember their event experience.
Digital Events: Creating true event brand immersion
- AV Production: More than just a zoom call
If you really want your event to feel like its own immersive world, online AV production can be used to take things up a notch and really engage your attendees with your event brand. Use tools like live streaming, slick transitions and cutting edge technology to keep your content engaging and your event immersive
- A bespoke event platform
Just because your attendees aren’t sharing the same room, doesn’t mean they can’t come together to enjoy a cohesive, branded event experience. By creating a bespoke event platform that’s crafted around your key messaging, you can create a unique experience that reinforces the brand identity of your event.
Our top tips (3-5)
- Make your branding a priority from the get go
It’s obvious when an event brand has been stitched around an existing event format. By prioritising your branding from day one of your event planning process, it will become a core element of every part of your event experience, a difference that your attendees will be able to spot from a mile off.
- Consistency is key
Stick to a couple of key event messages and make sure they’re consistently stitched into every asset to do with your event. You only have a small window of time to make an impression on your target audience with your event promotion and storytelling, so you need all of your assets to be telling the same story, otherwise you’ll confuse and lose your target audience.
- Make it memorable
Creating an event branding is a chance to really get creative and translate your unique value proposition into engaging and exciting assets that get your attendees talking. Whether you’re hosting an online or in person event, the world’s your oyster when it comes to creating a killer event offering. Not only do you want your branding to be memorable, your event itself needs to deliver on these promises, and be remembered by your attendees for all the right reasons.
Need a helping hand in balancing the strategic and creative elements of designing a killer event branding? The team at First Event is jam-packed with creative geniuses and strategic whizzes, who not only know how to speak to your target audience through event branding, but how to deliver the kind of event that keeps your attendees talking for all the right reasons. Get in touch with the team to find out how we can make this happen.