24 Jan How to place live brand experience at the heart of your event
After working with Dorset Business Awards as brand communications partner, we shared our thoughts with Dorset Business Magazine on what it takes to create a positive live brand experience at an event and the vital role it plays in brand engagement.
People are talking about your brand, whether you like it or not.
The aim of a successful event, should be to stir genuine positive feelings with your audience. Those emotions are then associated with your brand. A great event plays a vital part in shaping the conversation about your brand and if executed correctly, can control the message. A brand experience is a great way to increase the volume of the conversation too.
Your Marketing department will have masses of PR and content opportunities to work with; the chance to open dialogue and engage well before the day itself and then reach the masses far beyond the event.
Stay true to your brand.
To create a live experience that feels genuine, it must feel both organic and relevant. Guests can sense if you’re being disingenuous, and this turns them off. Ask yourself: “Does this feel like something our brand would do or say?” and “will this speak to our audience?”. If it isn’t authentic, forget it and change direction.
At Global we help our clients to “adventure”. We help take them out of their comfort zone, get creative and take risks. Our brand personality represents that of an “Explorer.
If we were to suddenly deviate and communicate as anyone else, we would become unauthentic and unbelievable as a brand. It’s important to stick to your values, message and tone of voice in all communication: especially in events where you are literally face to face with your potential customer.
There are great examples to learn from.
We keep getting calls about the DBAs. We are hearing a lot of people say that it was the personal nature of the awards they loved this year. Our strategy was to ensure we put the audience at the centre of the event, so that they felt included. The guests were the event.
The visuals we created put faces to the names and gave an authentic impression of each individual story. This was key to inspire and resonate with the audience.
The chamber’s role is to lead with an authoritative voice; ensuring Dorset’s business needs are met. They want to ensure everyone is involved, recognised and the success stories seen. It was imperative for us to re-enforce the central message – “together we succeed” ensuring it was reflected on the night, at every touchpoint.
It is good to always ask yourself: What will be their first impression? What is their last? Once again, you get to control the conversation: the first impression happens well before the event itself, through pre-event marketing; the last impression is yours to shape at post event follow up.
Maximise the ROI.
The reach of the event isn’t limited just to those attending. We’re living in a connected world and there are endless ways to go beyond the event itself to maximise exposure.
Good practise nowadays includes creating your own event hashtag and encourage the sharing of user generated content (UGC) with the hashtag on channels such as Twitter and Instagram. This will help you to track the conversation around your event and curate stories. An added benefit of hashtags is that it can increase brand awareness: anyone who sees the hashtag can view other related posts and engage in that conversation.
Follow up email marketing can be a great way to thank attendees and share news from the event. If you’ve taken any photos or videos, be sure to share these too. You could even incentivise the sharing of UGC with a contest – perhaps winning tickets to a future event or something similar that will nurture that relationship between your brand and the audience.
Throughout the whole process, it is important to adopt a data-driven strategy: and gather as much content and data as possible, assess who is engaging with you along the way and swiftly engage. It is essential to debrief – to assess what worked and what didn’t. This enables you to maximise ROI and to use the experience to shape the success of events in the future.
- In this brand engagement era, a typeface and logo alone will not win you customers. Connecting with your audience through a positive live brand experience is a great way to engage.
- Understand your audience and be authentic – always stick to your brand values and personality for a believable delivery.
Ensure that the big idea is strategized around your key message and is re-enforced at every touchpoint.
- Use your live brand experience platform to engage with your audience and create a buzz, pre, during and post event with careful campaign planning.
- Use the event itself to encourage interaction and generate huge amounts of content and data for use, pre, during and post event. This will continue the conversations and bring longevity to the whole campaign, ultimately maximising ROI.
- Debrief. Remember that every single event that you create is an opportunity to learn.
Want to find out more about how you can make brand experience work for you at your next event? Give us a call on 01202 727070 or send us an email.