Event branding: creating a bold identity for virtual events
Creating an impactful first impression and a memorable identity for an event is crucial. Event branding is, indeed, one of the central pieces in setting up an event that attracts attendees, engages them, and makes them loyal.
But, what are key elements that make up an event brand? Why is it so central in building a successful event? And, how do you go about creating a successful event brand and bringing it to life?
We´ll tackle these questions and give some must-read tips to elevate your event branding.
Event branding captures the very essence of an event: a name, symbol, or a design. It is closely intertwined with the brand of the company organizing the event but can have its own identity.
At its core, It represents how a brand sees itself and the image it wants to project to the public.
Event branding epitomizes a brand’s personality, and it is developed and expressed through several elements. Some of them include the event´s advertising, its merchandise, social media tone of voice, etc.
Why event branding is so important
Developing an event brand is crucial because it helps event organizers shape their image in the minds of attendees, increase brand recognition, build credibility, and boost the public´s favorability.
Event branding not only makes a significant impact on consumer impressions but influences what they expect from events. Thus, a strong event brand can serve to ramp up excitement before the event day and drive attendance.
Also, it differentiates your events from other competitor events. It brings to life what you stand for and why people should choose to attend your event instead of others.
A perfect example of event branding is INBOUND, one of the largest marketing conferences for professionals. While it is hosted by Hubspot, the event has successfully created a brand for itself. It is now widely recognized among marketers as one of the best conferences in the world and attracts thousands of attendees year after year.
Undoubtedly, a big part of its world-class status is based on featuring high-profile speakers at panels. But a crucial part of its road to success has been building impactful, eye-catching, and distinct event branding.
Creating impactful event branding
To create a strong event brand, the event must reflect a distinctive look and feel, that attendees instantly recognize and remember afterward.
When thinking about event branding, a well-designed event identity is a first important aspect in the process. An aesthetic that is appealing, and combines visually striking colors and fonts, serves to strengthen an event brand.
Then, creating a branded environment by choosing adequate materials and identifying strategic locations to place branding is key. It can boost a brand’s visibility and ultimately make a mark on how attendees remember the event.
With large in-person events, cooperating with local authorities to roll out event branding across a city also comes into play. For instance, key transport hubs and central streets can represent high-reach touchpoints for event branding and graphics, such as banners.
With virtual events, there isn’t a physical venue for organizers to place branding, but creating an immersive branded environment is as important.
In the age of Zoom, that can prove challenging and events struggle to convey a bold identity. Therefore, we will review some tips to do so if your event is 100% virtual.
Virtual event branding: how to do it best
Choose a white-label platform to host your event
As discussed, hosting an event on Zoom strictly limits possibilities on distinctive event branding. Contrastingly, a white-label platform allowing full customization of the event environment can impress attendees and enhance your brand´s recognition.
Some key features to look for include an immersive virtual lobby, branded registration, and personalized event landing pages. If implemented well, these can be the difference to stamp a brand personality impactfully.
For in-person events, organizers typically brand the stage and other key locations. Virtual events can display ads or materials running alongside the main broadcast. These help to reinforce the brand´s presence and association with the content discussed.
Event Mobile app
A captivating mobile app can also be an effective tool in conveying an event´s identity. An event-specific app typically includes comms feed, programming of sessions, speaker’s information, and sponsor´s ads.
Importantly for branding, an app constitutes a customer touchpoint that can be personalized, putting to the fore event materials.
Merchandising and gift boxes
In-person events commonly give out merchandising items, such as branded bags, notebooks, pencils, office goods, cups, etc.
These serve to boost a brand’s image in customers´ minds, as attendees often keep hold of them after the event.
While this might seem more difficult for virtual events, it’s not impossible. But, rather than giving out single merchandise items, organizers can put together a personalized and beautifully designed gift box. This can please attendees and encourage them to share on social media.
For instance, INBOUND sent out nicely branded gift boxes including useful items such as handsoap and a webcam cover.
In summary, event branding is fundamental to an event´s chances of succeeding. It reflects how a company thinks of itself and the identity it projects to the public. Branding is designed, developed, and reinforced through various visual touchpoints, including the event´s aesthetic, and physical signage. In virtual events, event professionals can bring it to life through a customizable platform, and event app, and branded gift boxes.
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