How strong is your company’s offline presence? An event is a golden opportunity to build your brand in front of a live audience. The key is to go beyond the typical overhead banners, posters, and leaflet handouts.
Here are seven branding strategies beyond the run-of-the-mill methods. These ideas are on the unique end and will help create more of a wow factor and can be helpful even if you’ve already a master of event marketing.
1. Brand Videos
Okay, videos in of themselves aren’t exactly unique. However, there are plenty of ways to use videos at an event in a more creative way. Why should you use videos? Because audiences are 10 times more likely to engage in video content than they are with an image or text-only post.
Venues are also a great place for digital signage. Aside from swapping out logos, your sponsor’s logo, and notifications, you can also show videos of your latest products. To make it more interactive, you can add a scannable QR code, or include touchscreen features that allow visitors to navigate between different videos.
2. Give Back
Make it known that a portion of proceeds from ticket sales will go to a charitable organization. People by nature believe in the goodness of man, and if you’re committed to a noble cause, then that will reflect well on your brand.
You can pick any charity, or support an organization being supported by your sponsor. Mention the charity on your promotional material, which also provides free publicity for the organization. Giving back in this manner is a win-win situation for everyone involved. You get a philanthropic image boost, while a charity receives some much-needed funding.
3. Be Provocative
Provocative in this sense doesn’t mean showing more skin. It means daring to opt for a crazy branding idea that may seem borderline counterintuitive. Sometimes, you just have to take a risk on a crazy idea. Hans Brinker, a budget hotel chain in Amsterdam, did just that with this YouTube promotional video.
The company touts its pledge to sustainability by emphasizing how low-quality its rooms and services are. The video was quite successful and has almost 400,000 views as of the date of this writing. That translates to publicity and visibility.
With a little imagination, you should be able to come up with an in-event campaign that is similarly provocative.
4. Use an Attention-Grabbing Prop
The vodka company Absolut held an event to promote the release of its latest flavor. One of the in-venue props included an actual apple orchard with ripe apples. Each apple contained a sticker with Absolut’s logo.
You can do something similar with a prop that is related one way or another to your industry. If you’re a travel agency, for instance, then maybe you can include a giant and rotatable globe in the center of the venue, or cover the walls from floor to ceiling with a map of the world. If you’re a home remodeling company, then maybe you can dress the venue to look like a residential home.
5. Brand the Food
The food can be more than just about keeping the guests’ tummies’ happy. Use the consumables as another way to brand yourself. Napkins and the food packaging can be adorned with your logo. We recommend going even further and putting your logo on the food itself. Foods like solid chocolate bars can be imprinted with logos and lettering.
If you want to be really creative, you can imprint a special message on a single food item or wrapper. The lucky guest that gets this message can redeem it for a special prize.
6. Create an Event Scheduler in a Magazine Format
Instead of just a regular paper scheduler, consider creating a full-length magazine that contains the event’s schedule and other fun content. The pages can contain a wealth of information, such as a transcript of a pre-event interview with the speaker, info about your sponsor, and QR codes or coupon cutouts. A professional-looking magazine makes the item a keepsake for guests, who may be more inclined to hold onto it after the event.
7. Add Gobo
What is gobo? It’s a type of lighting effect where a stencil is used to create a logo or message on the wall, floor, or ceiling. Light is shined through the stenciled image to create a very visually appealing effect. Gobos can be static or move about. Gobo is popular for electric dancing and rave events and is often used in conjunction with strobe lighting.
Don’t be shy about pushing your brand at your event; modesty doesn’t win you brownie points. Be willing to push the boundaries a little with unique branding strategies that aren’t the typical methods we’re all accustomed to seeing.
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Venueseeker, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 6 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.