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Getting the most out of brand events

Cheryl Cox, Senior Account Manager

The author

Cheryl Cox

Senior Account Manager

A well-planned and executed event is one of the most powerful tactics a business has to bring its brand to life and engage face-to-face with its audience. However, they can be risky, both from a brand and financial perspective, if they’re not done properly.

If you’re considering organising an event for your brand, here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you maximise its success.

Get the plan right (and stick to it)

Planning an event with the aim of gaining national media coverage is a very different proposition to an event designed for customer activation. Everything from the attendee list, content/activity, and time of your event should be led by the overall event objectives.

Brand events can be used to meet a variety of objectives, but the majority fall under three main categories - sales generation, brand awareness and media relations. Here’s a list of metrics for each that can be used to determine the success of an event.

  • Sales generation: Direct sales at the event, lead generation, registering interest.
  • Brand awareness: Website traffic (new sessions vs. repeats), social following, reach, mentions and engagement, brand searches, share of voice.
  • Media relations: Volume of coverage, quality of coverage, media attendance, new press contacts, referral traffic.

Is your brand event on-brand? 

Regardless of your event’s objectives, your brand will be under scrutiny throughout, meaning it’s crucial that your event meets the perceived brand expectations of your attendees and delivers an authentic experience. 

If you’re a new quirky lifestyle clothing brand for hip twenty-somethings, booking a hotel conference room with cabaret-style table layout to reveal your summer collection probably doesn’t match up with your brand expectations.

This means thinking hard about how your event reflects on your brand. Will the event venue reflect your brand’s persona? Is the content of your event delivered in a manner that matches your tone of voice? Does it differentiate from an event your competitor could host in the same way that your brand does?

If your event aims to be as on-brand as the rest of your marketing activity, you need to ensure that none of your attendees are left confused or let down. Remember, someone who attends your event is sacrificing their own time to find out what you have to say; don’t let them leave disappointed.

Build a shareable story for your guests 

A successful brand event is one that sticks in the memory of its attendees and, dependent on the purpose of your event, makes them complete a desired action (makes a journalist cover your brand / makes a customer buy your product) and/or makes them share their experience with their own audience.

With this in mind, a well-executed brand event should be tailored in a way that influences WHAT you want attendees to say or think about your brand once the event has finished. A well-crafted event creates a narrative that is supported by any key messages/taglines, branding or giveaways, reinforcing how and for what reasons your event is remembered.

Build your event for social 

Events shouldn’t just cater for the audience that physically attends, but also for their own social audience, which could mean promoting your brand out to tens of thousands of people.

Savvy event organisers ensure that social media is built into their event from the start, held in an environment that enables and encourages social sharing, and provides something that their guests will want to share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.

Additionally, the rise of video streaming platforms like Facebook Live and Periscope can also play a very effective part in how your brand can engage with your own social audience through the event.

Events can be incredibly powerful contact points for brands to speak with the media and consumers. They provide a unique opportunity to interact and engage physically as opposed to through billboards, TVs, computer and smartphone screens; this is why it’s so important to get them right. An event that may not cost the earth, but gives your guests something new, unique and true to your brand is invaluable when you’re looking to engage with your audience.