Live events are gaining steam and growing in popularity in just about every industry. In fact, according to Bizzabo’s Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends, most event marketers believe that events are the single most effective marketing channel (31%), which is why we’re seeing an unparalleled growth in marketing led events. That being said, live events need effective digital branding strategies to push them forward.
5 Digital Branding Ideas for Live Events
The key is to not just concentrate on the event itself, but capitalize on crucial moments before, during, and after the event to build your digital footprint. Here are some useful digital branding ideas for live events for before, during, and after the event to help you grow your audience and gain more visibility and attendees:
Stay Consistent with Your Overall Brand
The key to branding your event or conference is to stay consistent with your original branding and messaging so that people can recognize that the conference is related to your brand. It doesn’t have to be an exact replica, it just needs to be relatable to show consumers that they can trust the event to bring the same quality that your brand brings to them.
Here are some examples of consistent digital branding tied to an event:
The idea is to create a seamless experience for someone, so they always feel like they know who the brand is and what they are striving for. Some ideas include:
- Encouraging speakers to use a branded slide deck for presentations
- Including seamless color and logo branding on all event banners and signs
- Some events even go as far as to serving event branded FOOD at the event (we’re looking at you Content Marketing World)
Content Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing World is the ultimate guide in event branding – everything from the marketing to the actual event sticks with the exhilarating orange-tinged theme that the company has claimed for their branding.
Always debrief after the event with staff to see if there were any missed digital branding opportunities throughout the event. More importantly, follow up with the attendees to see what you could do to serve them better – a huge step in aligning your digital brand with your customers.
It’s All About the Resources
You put so much work into planning the event, which is why it’s vital to engage attendees from the get-go. Create some content and resources for attendees to get them pumped about attending. Blogs, videos, and social posts that could be beneficial:
- What to expect when you show up to [YOUR EVENT]
- How to convince your boss that it’s important for you to attend [YOUR EVENT]
- Things to do in [CITY OF YOUR EVENT] after the conference is over
- The top 5 networking events the week of [YOUR EVENT]
- Tips and tricks for speakers to make the most out of their sessions
You can even turn your attendees into event ambassadors by encouraging them to refer friends to attend the event with them.
One of the best ways to keep attendees engaged throughout a live event is with a branded event app. An app that provides users with an excellent experience is a perfect opportunity to not only push branding but to build a trusting relationship with the attendees. Some things to consider adding to the event app:
- Full event agenda
- List of sessions the attendee signed up for
- A list of speakers and their bios
- List of exhibitors and sponsors
- A map of the venue to make it easier for people to get around
- Some kind of social aspect to encourage attendees to connect and use the app
- Survey to give you feedback on what the attendees thought of the event and speakers
Post-event you have an opportunity to share all the content with attendees. Create a repository on your website or within the conference app where attendees can find recordings of sessions, powerpoint presentations, and information about future events and conferences. It’s important to keep people engaged between conferences – consistent, remarkable content is a great way to do that.
Be Loud, Be Proud, Be Seen
Making people aware of your event and creating a visible and respected event brand is an integral piece of your event digital branding strategy. One of the first things you can do is create an event hashtag on Twitter so that you not only have a great way to generate conversations around your event, you have an effective and efficient marketing channel. Promote your event across channels, and encourage attendees to share and refer friends to amplify the conversation and keep the promotion going. You should also create an email drip campaign to inform all your customers of the event and how they will benefit from it.
Here’s where the fun comes in. During the event, you and your brand have a perfect opportunity to show some real-time action around how awesome your conference is and get the word out about your digital brand. You can live stream specific sessions or speakers and live tweet some of the best moments throughout the event.
All that effort you made to record and stream will pay off because you will have a ton of content that you can repurpose in the future. Integrate the evergreen pieces of content into your broader social strategy, and even some of the time-sensitive pieces of content can be used in a “TBT” style.
SEE ALSO: How to Cover an Event on Snapchat
Tend To People’s Egos Just a Little Bit
People love to see, hear, and read about themselves and will be much more likely to share content if you give them some love in return. Here are a few ways to do that:
Call out your sponsors, vendors, speakers, and maybe even highlight some random attendees on your social networks or the event website. They will be happy to get the attention and interaction, and then will help you amplify your posts by sharing across their networks.
Who doesn’t love a photo booth? Create a branded photo booth backdrop where people can take photos and subtly encourage them to share photos while using the hashtag.
People love to get free stuff, so why not get a few low-cost personal billboards going by strategically giving away some branded swag. Even better, create some enviable t-shirts for the staff to wear so that attendees take notice and wish they had some too.
Don’t Let It Be Over! (Even When It’s Over)
Tons of events happen daily, whether it’s networking events, conferences, meet-ups, trade shows, or performances. So much effort goes into putting it on, and what a shame if all that effort just dies once the event is over.
In addition to being important for customer and prospect interaction, events are an excellent source of year-long content for a brand, and that content can be repurposed easily and used over and over. You can take a conversation that began at the event and bring it to new mediums – your website, blog, social channels, email marketing… the opportunities are endless, and most importantly, it keeps your brand at the top of mind as the conversation continues.
As the popularity of live events rises, it will be even more critical for companies and organizations to invest time and energy into building effective digital branding for their events to best reach their audiences.
Do you have more great digital branding ideas for live events? I would love to read your comments below…