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For businesses looking to promote their brand, ethos and culture, events can be the platform they use to project their voice. Branding plays a pivotal role in events, and businesses put a lot of effort into nailing it ahead of the day. Whether that’s an eye-catching, custom exhibition stand or bespoke t-shirts for team members, branding speaks volumes at events and businesses will invest big to ensure attendees listen.
For small businesses, standing out from the crowd can be difficult when you’re up against the big guys, however, in today’s article, we’ll be providing you with actionable guidance and advice - so you can master business branding at events.
Find your voice
Nailing your voice is critical at any brand-driven event. If anything should direct your event strategy, it’s the tone and character of your business. Start with the foundation: what do you do? Who are you targeting? What makes you unique? Once you can answer those questions, it’s time to think about your positioning and how you can get this across at events.
Are you young, preppy and playful? Or are you sophisticated, suave and exclusive? Think about what will pull attendees towards your brand and how you’ll get this across in your event branding. Once you have a clear vision of your business’s personality, it’s time to integrate it into your event communications and aesthetics.
Get the team on board
You know your voice, now it’s time your team get to know it too. It’s important that the team understands your branding vision, as they’ll be organizing, meeting and engaging with attendees on the day. It doesn’t matter if you’re hosting a large-scale experiential event or an intimate product launch with select clients, getting your team on the same page is vital. If you’ve contracted staff specifically for the event, it’s even more crucial. It can be as simple as a 30 minute pre-event presentation or as detailed as a full staff training day - just make sure your colleagues feel comfortable representing your brand voice.
Whether you’re launching invitations to your mailing list of clients or sending a post-event thank you message to the people you engaged with on the day, a consistent approach to communications will ensure your branding stays memorable and focused. If you have the resource, an excellent way to ensure consistency is by nominating a brand champion to oversee marketing activity around the event. This person can proof email campaigns, create posts on social media and give the sign-off on event materials.
For smaller businesses with a smaller event team, this might not be feasible. In this case, getting the team on board with your branding is essential, so that they can uphold your brand voice consistently themselves.
Be strategic with giveaways
If events are your battleground then branding is your ammunition. Exhibitions and trade shows are understandably brand-heavy, with each exhibitor intent on attracting attention and attendees to their stand. ‘Giveaways’ are the go-to for marketing teams at events, but are they really that effective? If you’ve attended a multi-exhibitor event, it’s likely you’ve left with a bag full of cheap logo-stamped pens - and while you might use them, it’s unlikely you’ve given second thought to the businesses who gave them to you.
If you’re going to give away promotional items, be unique and provide something that other businesses don’t. Whether you tap into the human passion for food by dishing out tasty burgers with logo-branded napkins, or you offer free iPhone cases adorned with a subtle but memorable tagline, make sure you give away special and unique items to see a return on your investment.
Use a holistic approach
In a world where we’re exposed to an almost endless stream of advertisements and marketing messages, a holistic approach to event marketing is essential to get through to decision makers. The combination of effective digital promotion and strong physical presence will keep your brand consistent, ensure you get in front of the right people and stand out against competitors.
Ensure your brand is at the forefront of every interaction at the event by utilizing display materials like colourful dump bins and counter top units. Together with a focused social media strategy and targeted email campaigns, you can build a thorough and consistent approach across all of your marketing channels.
Using a clear brand voice, a team-wide effort in your marketing activity and memorable giveaways on the day, you can champion your business branding so that your events are a guaranteed success.
Siobhan Scott is Marketing Executive at shop4pop.com. With over 40 years’ experience creating and producing full event and retail campaigns for large national clients in a variety of industries, they’ve been able to transfer their expertise from Simpson Group to the new web-to-print website - shop4pop.com.