Hosting a corporate event is a hugely effective way to build brand awareness and start valuable conversations with customers. The positive word of mouth generated by a well executed event can provide a better return on marketing spend than many other more costly marketing activities. Whether the format is an intimate breakfast meeting or large-scale launch, there is an event to suit all brand messages, topics and budgets.
Clear Signal have particular experience in branding and managing successful events, including a Thought Leadership series for BLP Insurance and 9 consecutive years creating, managing and producing the visual brand for The Sun Military Awards.
If events are not yet part of your marketing spend for 2017 then consider these 10 points:
1. Start by identifying the audience and size of your event - what is your ideal delegate profile and their demographics?
You should begin the process by surveying a long-list of delegates to form an understanding of their roles, business challenges, what they would achieve by attending the event, and how likely they are to engage further. Managing this process carefully is key to its success.
2. Let the event take shape
Once this understanding is clear the event can take shape - size, budget, format, visual theme, amount of delegates, suitable location(s), content and pre and post-event communication. How will it fit into your bigger communication goals?
3. What will your event be about?
An event can build brand awareness in a variety of ways; through raising the profile of a pertinent industry topic, promoting sales and subscriptions, launching a product or stimulating debate on a connected theme. Think hard about messaging, delegate participation and engagement - no one wants to sit through a long and tedious PowerPoint presentation!
4. The event begins from the first communication
The journey an attendee takes begins from the very first invite (a simple ‘save the date’ email for instance) through to attending the event on the day, interacting with your staff, networking with other delegates, and post-event communications and feedback.
5. Create a visual brand or theme for the event
A considered and consistently applied visual theme will strengthen the brand message and create a memorable and positive experience. This could be an extension of your existing brand or a new sub-brand designed specifically for the event. Developing the right visual materials, from invites, e-shots, signage, banners, itineraries, give-aways, video and brochures can make or break an event; therefore this element of event production should form an integral part of the planning process. The amount of visual collateral you will need will depend entirely on the scale and scope of the event.
6. Make it an experience
By utilising experiential marketing (a strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a brand) you have a chance to massively amplify awareness, offering an impactful and memorable experience.
7. Add a social dimension
The event shouldn’t be a ‘single’ moment; utilise social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc) to create a buzz around the content and theme as well as promoting the event itself - stimulate debate, conversations and engagement among delegates and a wider audience. You never know how far and wide it could go!
8. Plan the big day down to the last detail
It goes without saying that planning every detail is key. Whether organising internally or working alongside an agency partner, it’s vital to ensure all stakeholders have up to date information on confirmed delegates, venue location and logistics (itinerary, catering, parking, presentations, networking, etc) and communications materials. Set dates for these communications - from save the date, to full invite, to confirmation, to reminders and event specific details and literature - all need to be planned and executed in advance.
9. Post-event communication
When the event ends it doesn’t end there. Keep the social media channels active; invite feedback and conversation. Ensure your delegates receive a post-event follow up summarising the content and theme. This could range from a simple e-shot to a personalised whitepaper integrating content and imagery from the event. Think about how the event could appear online - guest speakers and presentations could be filmed for addition to your website and/or YouTube, another reason to communicate with your delegates and promote the content to a wider audience!
10. Follow up those leads!
Self-explanatory of course - but the leads (and sales) generated from your event need to be followed up diligently and swiftly. Positive brand equity is built on service excellence - by providing an engaging and well executed event followed well crafted post event literature and communication, adds a personal touch to the sales cycle. These multi-touch points all positively influence brand awareness and experience - the ultimate outcome.
If you would like to know more about our event management services - or ask us about previous events we've hosted and managed then please contact us on 01256 370910 or send us an email.