Creating an event is a multilayered undertaking. One layer that often gets lost in the mix is marketing. Just as vital as your event’s theme, logistics, catering, entertainment and production planning is the strategy that goes into the marketing and branding of your event.
When creating an event, keep in mind that the event is a marketing tool for your business. Whether a seminar, conference, customer hospitality experience or even a seasonal celebration, your event can market and brand your business. If done successfully, your event can solidify your market positioning, thought leadership and industry power. If executed poorly, your event can be a marketing nightmare that will hinder your brand’s ability to recruit brand loyalists — and new customers.
When marketing your event to champion your branding, keep these creative event marketing strategies in mind.
Identify Your Audience
Who are you inviting to your event? What are their business requirements and long-term goals for success? What are their hobbies and interests? Seek out and identify the personas of your target guests and attendees — and structure an event that not only speaks to their professional interests, but personal interests as well. If attendees to your event are golfers, travelers, outdoor enthusiasts or sports fans, create an experience at your event that speaks to their personal interests.
The better you identify your audience, the better you will identify themes, speakers, entertainers and special event perks that will turn your audience into brand fans. Your event will be a bigger success if attendees actually enjoy the experience you create for them! You will only create the ideal experience if you take the time to know your attendees.
With a little creative planning, you can tailor an event that not only markets your brand, products, services and expertise, but also captivates your intended audience by connecting with them in a personal way.
Go Sales Subtle
If your corporate event has the underlined intention of launching a new product or service, be subtle about it. Don’t overwhelm your attendees with the latest bells and whistles of your new product, service or innovation.
Leverage video, music and even unique cuisine that speaks to the theme of your product, service or innovation — maintain a consistent marketing of your core message while at the same time keeping attendees engaged, entertained and at ease.
Don’t overwhelm your guests with product information. Rather, entertain them with product awareness and allow them to consider their preferences when it comes to your new product. A little sugar can go a long way when it comes to introducing something new — so think of a fun and memorable way to solidify your product or service in their minds, without boring them to tears.
Hiring entertainers in costumes to distribute themed gourmet cupcakes while an amazing band plays its signature song can put a vision in your attendees minds and hit multiple senses at the same time — dazzle them with strategic visuals and sensory experiences that promote them not only remembering your event, but remembering your marketing.
Bring The Tech!
Your event needs to be tech savvy, from the proper lighting, staging and production requirements to the use of monitors, video and real-time social media. If you are going to all this trouble to create and host an event to market and brand your business, why would you go low tech?
There are technologies you can feature at your event that enable brand interaction and the opportunities for attendee social media sharing. If the tech element creates a pricey event proposition, consider sponsorships to leverage the tech that will make your event not only memorable — but fun. Create a signature bar staged with dynamic video displays.
Welcome your attendees to a magical place with luminaries filled with LED candles guiding them into a new and mystical land. Take a chance on a facial recognition vending machine, like high-tech marketing company SapientNitro in London did to create marketing excitement for its brand.
Leverage the event technologies you can budget to create not only a professionally executed event, but a dynamic event that uses tech tools, gadgets and mainstays to welcome and intrigue your target audience.
Don’t Be Stubborn, Hire Outside Experts
Don’t shoulder the responsibility of delivering a professional, entertaining and memorable event that correctly markets your brand all on your own. You are busy running your core business! An event consultant can assist in managing == and branding – your event effectively.
Today’s event marketers are experts at targeting the mission and opportunities of events in terms of brand development and brand awareness. You don’t need a fleet of event experts to pull off an exceptional event! However, bringing aboard one brutally honest, fearless event consultant with a proven track record in creating branded events to promote marketing initiatives is a wise move. Remember, you want your event attendees to not just attend, but take action later as new or recurring clients.
With the right pinch of professional event finesse and spectacular hospitality delivered at one massively engaging and branded event, you can secure brand loyalists — truly a marketing feat to celebrate.
Event Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Event Marketing
Focus more on the event and the customer experience and less on closing sales. This will strengthen your brand in the eyes of your customers which will lead them to buy later. Remember, that you want their attention more than anything.