The more successful events are typically hosted by the brands that standout the most. For example, Coachella: it should be categorized as a music festival but in essence, it’s more of a visionary fashion show. Then there are corporate events like Dreamforce. Rather than being just a business conference, it’s more of a show to attend when you want to stay abreast today’s technology.
What we’re saying is that branded events can take a life of their own. Even first time attendees know what to expect because of the fame these successful events have earned themselves.
Now, just because these events have earned their bragging rights, it doesn’t mean there’s not a checklist of to dos in order to deliver an outstanding experience to attendees.
For event planners who are involved with organizing events of this magnitude, we’ve created a list of items you need to check off in order to build a following and deliver a memorable experience that will urge people to attend year after year.
Of course, a brand doesn’t mean much if you don’t deliver on it. Check off the items below on your to do list to create an experience that drives attendance and creates a loyal attendee following.
Checklist for Shaping a Captivating Brand Experience
For starters, in order to shape a captivating brand experience, you should perform a venue walkthrough and think like one of the guests would. Both corporate event planners and social event planners have been a guest/attendee at an event once upon a time. More than anyone, we should know what to look for in terms of amenities and features in a venue that would facilitate delivering a gratifying experience to all who are in attendance. So…
- Were the meeting rooms easy to find?
- Were you able to spot the bathrooms? Were they clean and functional?
- Did you notice how you can enhance an attendees’ experience (like where they can recharge their devices or find nearby parking)?
- Are the food and beverage stations within reasonable distance to where event activities, workshops, performances, etc. will be held?
Accommodations, accommodations, accommodations is the name of the game!
Choose Sponsors, Speakers, and Panelists who are Associated with Your Brand Message.
Where on earth does it make sense to invite a crocheting expert to ohhhh...I don't know...let's say a food festival? Nowhere. Think! Who are the influencers that the fans and followers of the brand love? That’s who you want to invite to speak, sponsor, or be a part of a panel discussion for your event. You’re looking to keep the event branding consistent in every aspect of the layout and scheduled activities.
Now the last checklist item to ensure successful branding at a large event…
Create a Visual Magnet That Exposes the Brand
It’s quite effective to create a visual focal point. For example, when you enter the Magic Kingdom, no matter where in the park you’re standing, you’re able to see Cinderella’s Castle. Your visual magnet is what you want to use to drive the brand message home. Consult with the venue manager to find out where on the site’s floorplan you could find a pivotal point to place a branded attraction or visual that will draw everyone’s attention.
Besides visually exposing your brand message throughout your event, you want to make sure that you consider branding at any area that an attendee must cross. Let’s talk about how you can:
Make all Touchpoints Brand Inclusive
A touchpoint can be described as a place where the guests/attendees at your event will interact with the brand. For example, you may want to use a large plasma screen to project an invite asking everyone who passes to share images and videos throughout the day on social media. Or the first touchpoint may be the branded registration packet you send out. Another required touchpoint would be the entrance to the event where you know for sure that everyone has to cross.
The point is, you want to leverage from these interactions by plotting them out using the suggested list of touchpoints below. When corporate event planners first perform a venue walkthrough, they should create a list of the possible areas that would be ideal for creating a branded touchpoint. Just think about all the ways you’ll be able to deliver on the brand promise for each touchpoint you jot down. Once you have your list completed, you’ll want to brainstorm the various ways you can elevate the brand experience even more.
Let’s say you’ve been chosen as the event planner who will be in charge of organizing a nation-wide conference that supports a charitable cause. In order for the brand message to resonate with the invitees you will have to trigger emotion by connecting the audience with the issues that the organization is facing. So include pictures, branded graphics, and short but solid facts about the issues that the organization is trying to bring awareness to.
The following list of touchpoints are great areas to include your brand message:
- Registration packets that include a success story in the literature
- Entry point
- Paper programs, maps, schedules
- Name tags
- Mobile device charging stations
- The focal entertainment area or on the stage(s)
- Plasma screens all over the event
- Any furniture (like tables and chairs)
- Swag bags
- Invite people that are able to share one of their own success stories. You’ll want to use these stories as an event highlight. People want to get involved and donate to causes that are actually helping or resolving the issue at hand.
An experienced corporate event planner knows how to brand an event and convert it from an ordinary event into a remarkable experience for all who attend. Keeping all of our checklist and touchpoint items in mind will safeguard your goal to deliver an amazing event experience with successful on-site branding. You must live up to the brand promise in the way you organize each aspect of the event. By doing so, you will build a loyal following of fans that will want to come back each and every year!
For more tips on marketing and branding for an event, keep checking back on our blog each week to stay on top of the latest in event marketing strategies.