The same way companies or media platforms are known for their brand identity, events also rely on expanding their outreach through a well-defined brand personality. That's why planning and communicating an event isn't enough.
If you are aiming to create an event with a long-life span (multiple editions, for example), you must consider building a powerful brand. However, do not be fooled: Setting up a brand identity has nothing to do with finding a catchy name, choosing a color palette, or designing a cool logo. Although these tasks are somehow relevant in the context of a brand identity, they’re the last things you should worry about.
Creating a brand actually refers to defining the core identity of your event and the values you want to transmit. In these circumstances, your brand is the backbone that reflects your event’s philosophy. That’s why building a brand goes well beyond visuals or colors. It refers mostly to your event’s characteristics, including the core essence that makes the experience truly unique and authentic.
To help you start designing your event’s brand, we’ve put together a list of a few quick steps.
Step 1. Identify your WHY
Let’s put aside your event’s mission and values. Understanding your 'why' has nothing to do with these two extremely boring and overused concepts. The question here is much more passionate.
Why are you getting up each morning and working long hours to plan this awesome event? What’s your motivation? Do you think your event has the potential to change the professional lives of your attendees? Do you believe your event is a great platform for networking and people will be able to build meaningful relationships? What’s the great thing that your event stands for?
Although it may seem unnecessary, this step is incredibly important for defining the identity of your brand. If you don’t believe your events are important and life-changing, nobody else will. If you can’t convey any passion for what you’re doing, people will be able to tell.
Building a brand actually involves understanding the core essence of what you are doing. It may take some time for you to find your why, but this is one step you can’t skip.
Step 2. Decide on your stakeholders
Who are the people you’ll be collaborating with to plan the event? Who will your suppliers be? Who are your attendees or attendee personas? Define the people who will make your event possible. What kind of audience do you want to gather?
The answer to these questions will define the essence of your event’s brand. For example, if you are aiming to plan your event(s) for A-players or top performers, your brand must represent this vision.
Step 3. Set up a brand strategy
You can’t have an event brand without a well-defined strategy. What do you want to achieve by increasing the awareness of your brand? Do you want to build a community? Or transform your event into an industry reference?
Your brand strategy will depend greatly on your planning goals. However, don’t forget to think bigger and find ways in which you could take good advantage of building your brand.
Step 4. Highlight the differentiating aspects of your event
What makes your event different from others? What is your value proposition and why, when choosing from two similar offers, should people choose your event over another? Once you understand why your event is special and create a sense of authenticity that no other event has, you’ll be able to define the essence of your brand.
Step 5. Work on the core of your visual identity
Although the visual identity of your event won’t determine the substance of the brand itself, it’s still a strong element you can’t ignore. In this case, the recommendation is to work with a professional graphic designer who can encapsulate the personality you’ve built for the event into an attractive design.
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Because of the daily rush and need to be always on the go, you may have no time for reflection. That’s why building a brand for your event will usually be limited to creating a visual identity and designing a logo.
However, the brand concept also involves your event’s entire personality and identity. Building a strong, cohesive brand will not only make your event truly powerful and genuine, but it’ll distinguish your value proposition.