3 Event Branding Tips

Onur Mete

One might think that event managers should not bother about branding because nobody is branding their events. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we look at events like for example the NYC Marathon, Coachella, the CES or the WWDC - all of them have very strong brands, even if they don’t appear that way.

The brand is often mistaken for the logo. Yes, the logo is part of the brand, but the brand is much more than a visual icon. The brand is the personality of your event. It is the name of your event. It is the way you communicate. It is how you make your audience feel.

A brand is crucial to differentiating your event from others. It is part of the perceived value your participants are paying (or traveling) for.

1. Research brands within your industry.

Chances are that there are already strong brands playing within your industry. Do your homework and investigate them very closely. Pay close attention to the following points:

  1. Are they consistent with their communication?
  2. Do they have a professional visual brand?
  3. Do they have reviews? If yes, what are they being perceived?
  4. What is the quality of their events?

Based on this information you can find the distinctions between yourself and your competitors and think of how someone else would answer the questions above about you and your event.

2. Focus on your key resources and capabilities.

This means, you have to first identify your strengths and weaknesses. Becoming a world champion in Olympic Weightlifting with very long limbs or playing in the NBA with a height of 1,70m is just very unlikely (there are exceptions like Spud Webb, of course).

This does not mean that you should hide from big challenges, but rather that you should focus on where your strengths are. E.g. if you have a strong content team, focus on content. If you have access to a network of excellent speakers, maybe that could be your Unique Selling Proposition. Other ways to differentiate your event from others could be by size, event frequency, special locations, etc.

3. Be consistent

In order to develop a strong brand (within the event industry) you have to be consistent. Inconsistency does not only kill your brand but also creates doubt about what your event is really about. Consistency has to be communicated on different levels:

  1. The values you communicate: Imagine Green Peace hosting a party at a Steakhouse. Not very consistent.
  2. How you look Changing your visual language can be inevitable at times but doing this too often will prevent you from being recognized.
  3. The language you use Make sure the language you use suits your brand and is consistent over time. Sounding super strict and conservative in one mail and making jokes about the pope and sending cat memes in the other one will create confusion.

This is certainly not a complete guide on event branding but sticking to those few tips will already give you a competitive advantage over the vast number of your competitors.

Any remarks? Feel free to comment below!