You’re in the throes of planning your biggest bash of the year. It’s easy to get excited about sourcing speakers, finding sponsors, and booking your venue, but you can’t overlook an often-forgotten component of event planning: event branding.
Event branding is a must if you want tangible results from your event. Without event branding, your attendees won’t learn anything about your business or products — which would waste time and money, wouldn’t it?
But how do you brand an entire event? Let’s look at how event planning works and our ten expert tips to do it right.
What Event Branding Is And Why It Matters
Event branding blends the vibe of your event with your business’s products, services, and goals. This not only creates a consistent ambiance that your attendees will love, but it also folds all of your branded elements into the event, including your:
- Branded messaging
Event branding helps your event stick with attendees long after it ends. It’s also a helpful strategy for:
- Standing out: If there’s fierce competition in your industry, solid event branding can help you inch ahead of everyone else. It also sets you up as your industry’s unique trendsetter, leaving competitors in the dust.
- Better cohesion: You want all of your brand elements to fit into the event. It needs to make sense, so attendees aren’t left scratching their heads. But with the right brand appearance, you can create a cohesive event that seamlessly blends into your brand promotions.
- Increasing brand awareness: Look, the purpose of this event is to get people to notice your company. If you’re too subtle, you risk putting on an event that gets zero results for your business. Go big and be seen to ensure you get returns on your hard work.
10 Must-Follow Event Branding Tips
Event branding doesn’t happen by accident. Your event planning team has to methodically add branded elements to every facet of your event to get results. Follow these ten tips to make the most of yours.
Follow a Launch Plan
Planning an event is like launching a product. You can’t announce it the day before: you need a strategic approach to squeeze more ROI out of this event.
Create a launch calendar at least six months before your event. Your launch calendar should be the home base for all event promotions, including your:
- Website announcements
- Social media posts
- Email blasts
- Influencer partnerships
Plan when you’ll post and what you’ll say well in advance. Planning allows you to account for different audience personas, customer journeys, and calls to action in your event promotions. Sure, it’s more work, but this is the key to achieving accurate, measurable results from your event.
Put Your Logo Everywhere
This is the easiest way to start event branding. Your logo is non-negotiable. If you’ve gone through a few redesigns, ensure you’re pulling the right logo for this event. Attendees will become familiar with the logo, so ensure you use the correct graphics.
Speaking of consistency, your attendees expect to see consistent branding at the event. If you’re using different colors, fonts, or graphics, it will look out of place. And if it’s egregious enough, attendees might think they walked into the wrong room in the conference hall.
If you want attendees to trust you, you need consistent event branding. You can keep everyone on your event planning team on the same page by creating brand guidelines for the event. This document should list your color hex codes, fonts, sizing, logo, and messaging rules at a minimum. With the guidelines in hand, it’s much easier for your team to stay consistent as they divide and conquer.
Pick a Theme
Who doesn’t love a themed party? Themes provide a framework so you can design the entire event around a creative experience. You can pick a theme based on the time of year, your location, or something else entirely. If you’re in Florida, maybe you plan a “Fun In The Sun Soiree.” Or you could host a “Spooky Sales Spectacular” in October.
As long as you pick a theme that works for your brand, industry, or products, it can also help you master event branding. It’s a readymade framework that ensures your programming, decor, and more all fit into one cohesive vibe that attendees will appreciate.
Check Your Messaging
Did you capitalize a product name in one banner but forget to capitalize it in another? Minor slip-ups can tarnish the brand experience. Always run your messaging past several people and check it with a writing tool such as Grammarly.
Promote the Event on Branded Channels
It would be best if you shouted about it from the rooftops every time you host an event. Everything from your website to your social media should mention the upcoming event.
You need to promote the event on branded channels to build an association between your brand and the event. This is a much-needed trust signal. Some attendees will verify the event’s legitimacy by checking out your website and other branded channels, so ensure they know it’s reputable.
Everyone knows half the fun of any event is the free stuff you get at the end. Swag bags are a prime branding opportunity, so make sure you add your logo to all merchandise. As long as you opt for swag items that attendees will use repeatedly, your logo will get some serious air time long after the event ends, which is a big branding win.
Brand Your Catering
Did you know you can brand components of your catering? For example, if you provide a boxed lunch, you can add logo stickers to the boxes. If you’re offering alcohol during a networking mixer, craft a signature drink that features your brand or event name.
It’s easy to get caught up in your head when planning an event. Sometimes it’s good to have an outside perspective. If you aren’t sure whether a particular color scheme, event theme, or workshop makes sense, get feedback before you commit.
That might mean running your ideas past another team internally. You can also create a focus group made up of your favorite customers. However you prefer to collect it, feedback is a must for event branding, so don’t be afraid to ask people for their opinion.
Work With a Graphic Designer
We love Canva, but this isn’t the time to DIY graphics if you aren’t a graphic designer. You need a solid graphic designer in your corner. They can help you create visuals that tie disparate elements into one flawless idea. Plus, graphic designers ensure all of your branding elements are high-quality enough for a professional printer, so they’re a must for in-person events.
You’re planning a big event, so shouldn’t it get results for your business? Invest in branding from the start to ensure attendees have a cohesive experience — while bringing in results for your brand. These ten tips will take you far, but if you need hands-on help, Endless is here to save the day. Our tech-first approach for in-person, hybrid, and virtual events makes event branding a breeze. See our work in action.