Building your brand is about more than just a design and a logo. It’s about creating a lasting awareness and positive associations in the minds of your audience. You want customers and business partners to remember your company vividly based on the brand you build. Maybe you’re the eco-friendly catering service with amazing holiday bashes, or maybe you’re the dog-loving software company with hilarious pet-related swag. This is where event branding comes in to play.
A great event can be the key to emblazoning your brand in memories and building a recognition so strong that your audience will think of your company any time your industry is a topic of conversation, or recognise your products on a shelf halfway across the store. Brand building can be a powerful technique, especially when paired with unforgettable events.
Let’s dive into some top event branding tips, big and small, that will build your brand’s image and identity in the minds of your audience.
1) Build and Maintain an Event Hashtag
Every branded event deserves an eye-catching branded hashtag. A hashtag is like announcing that there’s an ongoing conversation just waiting to be had. Hashtags are how hundreds to thousands of people can talk about the same subject without all knowing each other or sharing a social network of friends. A hashtag is how you make an event real in the digital world and generate anticipation from your audience, even for those that can’t attend.
To start a hashtag, first decide what your tag will be. Choose something unique, memorable, and directly related to the event. Then start connecting all your lead-up social media to the hashtag and invite your audience to join the hashtag with their own content and discussions as well.
2) Emphasise the Brand’s Personality in Every Event Aspect
What is the difference between a visual design and a memorable brand? The answer is personality. A brand that is just a name, colours, and a logo is unmemorable. Consider how many brands you’ve forgotten that had all the physical aspects of branding but no spark of life.
Your brand has a personality. It’s a combination of your values, your company culture, and the reason you’ve chosen the brand elements that you have. What is your brand’s personality? Is it fun and quirky? Serious and single-minded? Are you dog-lovers, eco-warriors, or thrill-seekers?
Work that unique personality into every aspect of the event. Make your decor funny, if you’re funny. Or make it extreme, if you’re extreme. Personality is what people will remember. It’s what brings your logo and colour-scheme to life.
3) Events in Vivid Colour
Personality is the soul of your brand but colour is what makes it recognizable in an instant. You see that signature bright-red-and-white swish and you know you’re looking at a Coke can. As a culture, we use colour and pattern recognition to identify brands from a distance, even if we can’t make out the details. So make your colours memorable: Use them in everything.
Don’t just get coloured plates and napkins. Transform your venue with swaths of colour. Use coloured lights, acres of fabric, or vividly printed booths to make sure your entire event looks like a branded product.
4) Use Your Logo in Creative Ways
One of the most important tips in event branding is to use your logo. Anyone can emblazon their logo on the wall, or a banner, or event swag. But the most memorable brands find new and interesting ways to work their logo into the event design. You can make a functional, interactive version of your logo. You can embed your logo in a statement wall or show your logo in a photo-mosaic where each of the component photos is meaningful.
The more creatively you can use your logo, the more memorable and iconic your brand will become. People will remember the originality even more vividly than the logo itself. And with the logo at the center, your brand will become memorable.
5) Turn the Venue into Something Unique
Company event venues tend to be plain, and very functional. They tend to have large blank walls in neutral tones. If you have a booth, you need to transform the space allotted into something unique and completely separate from the rest of the event and other booths. If you’re the sole host or co-host of a company event, then you have the opportunity to completely change the look and feel of the venue. Use set design techniques to change the shape, colour, and purpose of every room that your event fills. Create a branded wonderland unlike any venue space your guests have ever seen.
6) Host Sub-Events Throughout the Event
One big event is great, but every event needs highlights and sub-events. At a wedding, this would be the Cake Cutting, the Toast, the First Dance, and then later, the games of limbo and twist contests that carry the event into the night. For a corporate event, however, your sub-events can be anything that suits the brand. You can have speaker presentations, raffles and contests, a happy hour mixer, a three-legged race; it really can be anything. Choose your sub-events based on a few key points. Make sure to match the interest of the event guests, the tone of the event, and the personality of your brand. But also make it fun and more interesting than your guests expected from the event itself. Surprise them. Interest and engage them. Make them laugh and teach them something new. And keep your schedule lively.
7) Branded Snacks are Unforgettably Delicious
One of the best-known branding tricks in the book is edible branding. Branded snacks like M&Ms in the shape of your logo, cupcake brand displays, spectacular cakes, and pizza art are just the beginning. If you make brand designs that people can eat, they will remember. Challenge your design team and your catering staff to come up with the coolest, most deliciously interactive branded snacks you can.
8) Competitively Creative Swag
Every event needs swag, and swag can be memorable or immediately forgotten. A plastic bag with a branded pen, notebook, and t-shirt is nothing special. But you can also get very creative with the swag and how you present it. Make sure that it’s easy to carry around and that you include a few items that are undeniably useful during the event itself, as well as after. The more creative your swag and swag-branding, the better your event branding process will be.
9) Take-Home Event Decor
Also, consider take-home event decor as a form of additional swag. Invite everyone to pull a flower from your flower wall, or take home a table centerpiece. Get creative in building your event decorations and statement walls so that the components can be hand-chosen and taken home as event swag. People will truly remember an event where they get to take a piece of the set home with them.
10) Follow-Up Online Events
Finally, don’t forget to keep the momentum going with follow-up events online. Invite guests to share their event photos and award a few categories of a winner for funniest, cutest, most creative, and most compositionally beautiful photos. Invite guests to share their event stories, help them connect with chance-met new friends, and roll that post-event enthusiasm into greater brand engagement and possibly attendance of your next event.
Enjoyed this article? Request a free consultation with one of our senior event producers to customise a branded event of your own and to learn more about event branding in general. Or contact us directly with any questions, suggestions, or comments you might have.