Branding your event is really important for business, but attendees don't want to see your logo and brand colors plastered all over the venue. Too much, and it all becomes “background music,” losing its visual impact. Besides, your brand is more than your logo and colors anyway — it’s the total perception people have of the company, whether they’re employees, customers, or event guests.
So, what are some branding ideas that will draw positive, memorable attention? You want buzz, not zzzzzzzzzz. So think beyond the same-old-same-old.
1. Set The Tone
Everyone arrives at an event wondering what to expect. Wow them and build anticipation with a colorful entry that visually announces your event theme. Think balloon tunnel, life-size cutouts of your products (or the real thing), musicians. Use projection mapping to completely transform the space.
And think fun, however that relates to your company culture. Too many business events are too serious. A little whimsy or self-humor can personalize your brand and get your guests smiling.
2. Blend Branding Throughout
You needn’t be blatant by hanging “in your face” banners and posters. If your event has a theme, use that as a starting point.
Remember, just because your marketing department insists on using precisely-correct brand colors for official materials doesn’t mean you can’t take some creative license with those colors for your event. Every color comes in a full range of hues, from the palest pastel to the brightest, boldest dark shades. Use that to soften the mood here and brighten it (or draw attention) there.
3. Table Settings
Instead of tablecloths and/or napkins that boast your branded colors, use lighting to subtly colorize your table. A gentle wash, a patterned spotlight, or almost any image you want created with projection mapping can really help set the mood.
If you must have a centerpiece, you could go with pretty brand-color flowers, but why not use your products instead? A short stack of sweaters, a square of sod and a tiny mower for your landscaping company, a loose pile of semiconductors. Better yet, put the semiconductors in glass jars and let guests at each table guess how many there are. Prizes!
Without getting too cute about it, you can even incorporate branding ideas into the food you serve. Desserts are best for this. You could add chocolate logos to a piece of cheesecake, but wouldn’t it be more fun to serve truffles coated in variations of your colors?
Selfie ops are a must, no matter the demographics of your audience, so give ’em backdrops that depict your brand in some way. Not a boring banner — 2D or 3D lighting techniques can do wonders here, even if it’s just a faux picture frame. Create an “Instagram museum.” Or display products people can interact with. Consider hiring a roving photographer, too, to capture folks as they arrive and throughout the event. That way, both you and your attendees will have great material for social posts.
There’s nothing new about branded promo items, but try to give yours a more dynamic twist. Useful is best, to give the item longevity, but fun and interactive is better. Put a (branded) wind-up toy at each place setting, and let guests play while they’re waiting for their meal or the presentation. Or give tiny (branded) wrapped gifts they have to open for the reveal. Whatever you choose, put something different at each place to spice it up and get people more engaged.
Or go wacky, using a swag gun to fire (soft) goodies into the audience.
If your event is more exclusive or your guests are higher-ups in the corporate world, choose a gift that befits that. (On the other hand, that’s still an “expected” approach. All those A-level folks might be more impressed with something on the lighter side that’s creatively different.)
Consider handing out gifts or a swag bag as people leave rather than at registration, so attendees don’t have to haul their stuff around with them (especially if they’ll be dressed up).
Immersive Doesn’t Have To Be Overwhelming
With some creative branding ideas, you can design an atmosphere that takes attendees inside your brand, so they not only absorb your event’s content but leave feeling they know you better — and like you even more.