Event Identity: Turning Attendees Into Evangelists
Does your event brand have character? Is it inspiring? Does it tell a great story? When the message hits the stage, do you have the attention of the audience like its their favorite Ted Talk of all time?
What is Event Character or Identity?
Isn’t this the same thing as event branding? No.
Event identity is often smushed under the heading event branding. In reality it’s a feature of branding. It includes a company’s name, logo, colors, graphic design assets, and the style, appearance and arrangement of these elements. These run throughout, in this case, an event.
Once you decide on an event logo, use existing brand themes for the visuals of your virtual event. Be mindful not to overlook what are sometimes considered trivial aspects of event identity. Let’s take a deeper look at why event identity is in a category of its own.
The Beginning and the End
In the multimedia project, Brain Rules, by John J. Medina, the molecular biologist says people are likely to remember only 10% of the information they hear. However, “if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.” That is to say the event identity made up of your logo, colors, font, and tone of voice will certainly impact the recognition and trust of your brand throughout the customer journey. Let’s look at what makes up your virtual event identity.
Elements of Event Identity
The great ones evoke a memory or emotion from your audience, based on their relationship with your brand. It should be simple, easily recognizable and stimulate a visual connection. Audiences respond best to images and logos laid out in a clean and simple way, according to Psychology of Design. Simple designs cut through the noise, making it easier for your virtual event guests to process information.
The psychological effects colors have on your attendees will influence audience opinion and emotion throughout the event. For example, using certain shades of blue instills feelings of loyalty, calm, and serenity. Using yellow in the right way conveys a sense of creativity, happiness, and intellect. Be inspired to create the right mood with color at your event using Pantone’s Guide to Communicating with Color.
There’s a reason hundreds of font styles appear in the drop down menu for writing emails or word copy. In the same vein as colors, different fonts evoke different emotions. By using the right one you encourage decision making and inspire people to share your stuff. How does the below comparison make you feel? Which one inspires action?
Here are the top 10 most loathed fonts according to graphic designers: The Werd from The Marketing Machine.
Tone of Voice:
Anyone ever tell you it’s not what you say, but how you say it? So as a result, we change how we say things, making sure our words conjure up the right images. Likewise, when the tone of voice is bad, a company’s event identity and brand comes across as anything but inclusive.
If this is true, tone of voice is the personality of your event, telling audiences who you are and what you stand for. Is your audience teens? Use an authoritative tone and expect to turn them off. But if the hallmark of your brand isn’t “fun”, don’t try to be. Cater to who you want to attract to your good name.
Event Branding is Different
Event branding is the foundation of your brand, whereas event identity is the visual execution of your event brand strategy. Or think of it this way. Event brand is how you visually communicate the look of your brand based on how your event strategy was developed.
Nail the Basics
Attendee experience is a basic thing to consider when developing a brand for your event. Whether virtual or hybrid. Quiz yourself on these questions about your audience?
- What’s important to your them?
- Does your event brand communicate to them why they matter?
- Does your event branded content tell a story that shares common beliefs at the core of the organization?
Here’s how you can build a powerful, on target branding experience for all types of virtual and hybrid events.
What’s Important to Your Audience?
Are they buying? Do they want education and collaboration with like minded groups? Are industry trends critical to their job function?
Assess the wants and needs of your audience and how you’ll deliver on what they want in meeting or event environment. Try asking these questions in a pre-event poll:
- What is the ideal balance of networking and content they want?
- What challenges or problems are they facing that they hope you can solve for?
- Do they want active engagement or are they a passive listener?
Knowing the motivation and desire of your audience for attending your event let’s you adapt messaging to powerfully align with the overall company brand. Plus you can create specific branded experiences or stories for each event you host.
Align Your Brand To Communicate Why Your Audience Matters
Brands have to resonate with the audience. Paint a picture of why they matter to your organization by way of brand messaging. This is not as easy as it sounds, consequently, we are seeing the rise of “Brand Storytelling” companies entering the market. This is in direct response to the demand for big and small brands to align their messages to what their audience wants to hear and feel.
Don’t mistake brand alignment with what you want to communicate. Rather it’s the story your brand tells to your audience. Drawing in elements of your event identity and crafting a great story brand will pave the way for sharing rich content that feels like it speaks directly to them.
- Interview stakeholders, customers, and partners about what they think of when they see your event identity and brand working together.
- Evaluate how similar or different that is compared to what you think.
- Create an outline for this, because you really can’t work through it without one.
- Do all the thinking beforehand and then fill in your story based on the feedback and interviews obtained from your “community”.
Finally consider an outside agency like Woden to help craft the perfect version of your story. Communicate every big and little way in which your organization can help your customers and event audiences while at the same time boosting your competitive edge.
Does Your Event Brand Compliment Your Belief System?
Communicating your company culture and belief system across the organization is the secret sauce to meetings and events being successful. Make sure you know the story behind the organizational culture, for example, what makes your company unique and appealing? This will make all your events resonate back to your brand story.
Experiential marketers already live this concept. Engage your event audience with your brand. It’s a must do to make them feel like a necessary part of your success. At events, weave in immersive storytelling to share your culture’s story. Naturally acknowledge the community around your company. This will bolster your brand identity and the event experience, leaving a lasting impression with your internal culture and external community of clients, prospects, and partners.
Albeit the global health crisis is still forcing us to remain socially distant, live events, for the moment, are primarily still sitting stage left. But your opportunity to shine in both the virtual and hybrid channels is rivaling the branding and marketing opportunities as you can reach a much larger audience of attendees.
Connecting with your employees, customers, prospects, and partners in a timely and impactful way is critical. We help you create memorable, five-star virtual, live, or hybrid event experiences that elevate your brand and inspire your audience.
Get in touch for a discovery call to learn how we might help your brand character impact your story through visual imagery, creative direction and production development that will help keep your brand on the map.