Event marketers and organizers are working hard to earn the trust, attention, and preference of attendees, sponsors, and vendors. Branding has come to the forefront as a way to stake claim on the worth of an event and to portray it in its desired light. Building a brand isn’t easy but it is worthwhile. Strong brands are proven to outperform weak ones on almost every sustainable criteria of success.
Here we look at five key characteristics of a strong event brand. Check your own brand against these measures and find ways to improve.
Events and meetings tend to share a common set of characteristics. In the B2B event space you’ll find that most offer the basics of speakers, panels, and Happy Hour, and many offer extra perks such as VIP access, LinkedIn Groups, or galas. But event marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to separate from the crowd with the same ‘ole, same ‘ole. Your goal as an event marketer and organizer is to find that part of the event brand that can be actively communicated in order to create a distinct advantage over competitors. Maybe it’s through appointment matching and hybrid events, mobile content, or some quirky location, unique theme, or unusual format. Whatever “it” is, a strong event brand will use it as leverage.
The right name can communicate the uniqueness of an event, separate it from competitors, make it more memorable, reinforce the positioning, and it can be the seed from which remarkable brand imagery and messaging can emerge. Event owners who take the time to devise a name that fits the personality and positioning of the event will find themselves with a much stronger brand. “Roll Out The Barrels” is a fitting name for a wine harvest event and much more distinctive than something like, “September Wine Festival.”
Defined as, “Evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully-irresistible way,” “compelling” is a label we would all wish to bestow. And while achieving that exact definition might be a far stretch for an event brand, there are certainly some ways to move the needle in the right direction. A compelling event brand garners more than a passing glance from attendees, sponsors, and vendors. Advertising, promotions, publicity, social media—use these tactics and others to build a buzz, but don’t settle for the usual. Strong brands are creative in how they message and present their value to the market.
In the world of events, strong brands are those that form strong bonds between the event and its attendees. Strong brands find a way to share the story or message of an event in ways that engage and involve its audience. Strong brands use events to create deeper connections between the people and companies involved with the event, as well. They use mobile, social, and email to deepen and extend those relationships beyond the boundaries of a single ‘event’. The strongest event brands are also the most engaged.
The Holy Grail for many event brands is formed when it establishes something so strong that other brands of equal or greater quality seek to affiliate with the event. The synergies created when great brands come together bring all to higher levels. A great example of this is the Olympics. The Olympic brand is so remarkable that sponsors are willing to pay as much as $100 million to have their own brands associated with the Games. On a much smaller scale, you can find examples of top events in many industries where the event brand is so strong that sponsor positions go quick.
When it comes to branding, you need an event management platform with the tools and features necessary to strengthen your brand. Let us show you how the Certain’s customizable platform can help you manage every touch point and deliver a seamless brand experience to your prospects and attendees.
Learn more about branding for meetings and events. Download our latest guide: The Event Professional’s Guide to Branding.