If your event was a person, who would it be? Someone you’d chat with? Go to lunch with? Perhaps, let babysit your kids?
Would you treat events as you would telemarketers and screen their calls? Or would you treat them like family—and screen their calls.
Jokes aside, we often forget that an event’s external reputation can take up an identity of its own. What does your event stand for? Why should someone attend yours instead of a competitor's? These are questions people use to evaluate events. That means no matter if you’re running multiday meetings or a world-class conference, your event needs to stand out from the competition and express its unique brand.
Experiences Start As Soon As Your Event Is Discovered
The event experience begins the moment an attendee discovers an event. How you portray the event experience and guide attendees through their decision-making process will determine your success. If attendees can effortlessly understand what your event is about, they’ll be more likely to purchase a ticket or register for your event. It’s your job to make it a memorable one from the very start.
But when attempting to define, understand and promote your event brand, there can be an influx of impersonal things discussed. Target market strategies, return on investment or technology requirements, to name just a few.
Consumers Care About Who You Areؙ—Not What You Are
Event branding helps you build a relationship with your audience. People by nature humanize things. Just look at anyone who talks to their pet or adds googly eyes to inanimate objects. We give personality to things that likely have none, because doing so makes them easier to connect with—more relatable. They’re coming to your event for a particular reason, so by creating an event brand that promotes who you are, you can gain trust, build loyalty and gain exposure from those who resonate with your message.
By building a strong brand that works across all of your communication channels, you share a cohesive message about the core components of your business—who you are, what your event is about and the benefits your audience will get by attending.
Here are some ideas to discuss internally before you begin branding your event like a pro:
Explore your event’s brand personality
Dive into questions related to personality traits like your brand’s gender, education level, sociability, trustworthiness, etc. And don't just look for positive traits either. Like all people, your brand will be flawed. Dig into its flaws and embrace them.
Ask the why behind the reasoning
Exploring why you view your brand’s personality the way you do will allow you to understand whether you're holding true to brand values or whether the brand is being misrepresented in the marketplace.
Visualize your event brand
A powerful method is to have everyone bring in a picture of someone they think represents the brand's personality. Pay attention to subtleties, such as clothing and cleanliness. Is she or he well-dressed or kind of a slob? Does he look tired or is she full of energy? Small details can say a lot about who your brand is.
Evaluate your event brand and who you want it to be
By understanding who your brand is instead of what your brand is, you can begin to formulate effective marketing strategies and company values around them.
Brand Personality’s Impact on Brand Experiences
If you want to sell tickets to your event, you need to have a brand and let the personality of your event show through. People want to align themselves with something. Personifying your event will give your attendees something to become invested in and want to be a part of.
Brand loyalists don’t just love a brand for its products alone. They feel connected to a brand’s personality.
Experiential Marketing Drives Brand Love
Leverage the benefits of experiential marketing to promote your brand holistically. Brand experiences will evoke a long-lasting emotional connection. An experiential marketing activation has the power to bring your brand personality to life. As a two-way dialogue with your audience, this form of marketing is engaging and interactive. There’s a human-to-human element, so it’s easy to understand why your brand’s personality would shine through.
The best way to connect with a consumer in a cluttered world is through an authentic experience. That experience can convey your messaging and create an emotion around your brand in a more memorable way than traditional ads.
Stay Authentic—Anything Less WILL Miss the Mark
But how do you know if your experience is authentic? Just look to the uniqueness of your brand. If you can replace your logo with your competitor’s logo on the brand experience, then have you created an authentic experience? (The answer is a resounding, “Heck no!”)
Authenticity stretches beyond your own brand personality. Consider how you’ll position your attendee as the center of the experience and the value they’ll receive from participating. When developing your brand experiences, personality absolutely must be considered at all design stages. If the experience doesn’t feel like your brand—if it doesn’t encapsulate your true brand essence—your audiences will be able to tell, and it will miss the mark.
By connecting with the brand’s values, beyond its messaging, someone walks away with a meaningful appreciation of your brand. This forms a deeper, more complex connection than one would achieve through a TV spot or print ad. An interactive experience involves multiple senses, so information gathered becomes more explicit. As a result, your marketing dollars are more effective.
Related: Building an experiential event is the best way to immerse your attendees in your brand, messaging and content—and get results. Take a look at six reasons experiential events will work for you.
Bring Your Event Brand to Life
Your event brand and the experiences you work so hard to create are the core of your success. If you cut corners when positioning your event brand—the experiences, stories and visuals that set you apart from your competition—you’ll end up with a bland event that leaves your attendees uninspired and unlikely to return.
Once you understand your event's brand personality and how experiences impact your attendees’ perception, you’ll be able to deliver event experiences that get people talking in a way that translates into positive, long-lasting action.
It's time to prioritize doing over having. Download our ebook now and make sure you’re effectively engaging attendees in today’s experience economy.