Why it's important to make your brand shine bright with every event you hold.
Never underestimate how much a poor event can damage your brand.
Events are, by nature, a one-hit-wonder. Your one chance to wow your audience with slick organisation, neat pre-event marketing, top technical wizardry, exciting content and thoughtful follow up. It's no mean feat.
I remember a time, twenty odd years ago, when my first boss left a small, thirty people event in New York in my inexperienced hands. 'How hard can it be?' I thought with an immature cockiness which would have inadvertently tripped me up had that boss not checked in on my progress several times in the run-up:
- Had I spoken to the facilities teams to arrange printed booklets?
- Had I arranged the portable graphics for branding the room?
- Had I got stage walk-up music for the presenters?
- Had I got the feedback forms ready for event follow up?
- Had I branded the hotel key cards?
These, among so many other questions, were swiftly answered with a nervous "On that!" while I frantically made the necessary calls to get things lined up and ready.
Without her checking in, I would have most certainly failed to add that "spattering of sparkle" to the event. Yes, the event would have taken place. The basic organisation I'm confident I would have achieved, but importantly, her high standards would not have been met, and, in her eyes, that would have been a big fat fail.
That's because she knew, much better than I did back then, that a bog-standard corporate event wasn't enough. You needed to strive for stand-out because that was what was going to achieve good brand equity.
You see, it's hard enough getting the basics right because even the tiniest of blips can ruin your client's experience. You simply can't undo the effects of poor organisation - a name badge spelling error, a vegetarian not being catered for, a dodgy microphone, a long queue at the reception desk etc etc. All these things have to be considered, planned and well executed to just get past GO! ... It's only then that you can turn your hand to the stuff that will actually make it into a client's memory bank in order to collect your £200!
So, what is it that adds sparkle to your event? Here are the things that have made it into our top five:
Get creative - Theme your event and give it a punchy title from which everything will spiral out from. Think a touch of marketing spin which will make it easy to link everything back to. Things like;
your event's visual identity - perhaps that's a designed wordmark, a set of graphics or a special colour palette which will feature across all event materials.
an agenda with themed presentation titles
a themed lunch menu and/or gift
Find the fun - Regardless of how corporate your event is - it's really important to engage people. Depending on your audience, it could be anything from a simple quiz to a fully immersive VR experience. Despite common conference formats of theatre-style audiences sitting in a dark room all day experiencing death by Powerpoint, it'll do much more for your event reviews if you find a way for your audience to participate.
Do the taste test - You know how it is... it's essentially the Snickers ad in a nutshell "You're not you when you're hungry"! Well that applies to your audience. Supply top-notch food that people would go as far as commenting on after the event and supply plenty of it.
Brand something they wouldn't expect - It's the little things. My old boss had a few that some would consider crazy. Branded butter made it to the table one year! An ice sculpture, hotel key cards, robes and slippers. But it's all to achieve the imprinting effect when it comes to your brand. Making an impression which leaves a mark or a memory that your audience won't forget.
Be oustanding in your environmental and social considerations - if it's important to the legend that is David Attenborough, it should be important to each and every one of us. We all need to achieve rolling credits at the end which state "The environment was not harmed in the making of this event"! Perhaps you might want to consider a charity element to your event too.
Going it alone when you haven't arranged an event before isn't easy. IGNITE can help you with the basic rule book for event organisation plus add the wow factor through creative ideas to hook back to your central theme. The event and campaign builder tool within ourbrand.online can also help you output automated branded event collateral across a number of languages. Ask us for a demo.
Add the sparkle.