Running an event here and there can strengthen the image of your brand or attract prospects who can later become your customers. Most companies see events as a good marketing and communication tool.
However, very few truly understand the real potential of events and how to transform these events into real brands. Some examples of companies that created successful event brands are Red Bull’s adventure events or the world-shifting conferences held in Davos (World Economic Forum).
We can also mention the local events Airbnb holds on educating and instructing local hosts about new revenue possibilities and how to increase renters’ satisfaction levels. And we can’t forget the mind-shifting conferences from Mindvalley, a platform focused on spiritual education and growth. Last but not least, there’s the famous Burning Man festival, which has become a mecca for CEOs and innovators.
How did these events become standing brands? What makes them so appealing and interesting? What’s the value they add to their attendees? And, most importantly, can you repeat their success and build a strong event brand for yourself?
Even if you aren’t aiming very high, there are things you can do to transform your event into a memorable brand. Here are the elements you’ll want to consider:
Determine a consistency and frequency level for your event
You can’t build an event brand overnight. It takes lots of work and time to establish trust with your leads. This means having a long-term, consistent growth plan. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself why you want to build an event brand in the first place.
- What are your goals and mission?
- Why is the success of your brand crucial for you, your company, and your audience?
- How is this event complementary to your ongoing mission and efforts?
- What do you want to achieve?
Then, work on understanding what frequency works best for you, meaning how many times per year you want to run the event (annually, biannually, etc.) and the best dynamic.
Finally, decide what other additional actions may strengthen your event’s brand.
For example, you can decide to run a YouTube channel and publish valuable content that aligns with the topic of your event, or maybe launch a podcast and interview industry references who may even later speak at your event.
You have lots of options. The main thing to remember is that doing things consistently and frequently is crucial in building a strong event brand.
Choose the right niche and target
There’s no event without a clear audience. Here’s some questions you need to answer:
- Who are the people you want to serve?
- Why do you think they need your event?
- What will they get from your event?
Also, you may want to think about narrowing down your niche.
Let’s say you’re in the financial technology industry. This is a very broad market, so if you want to have a stronger impact, you’ll have to narrow down your event editions to a specific topic, such as cryptocurrency, security, loan platforms, or digital banks.
This will help you gather a well-defined audience with very specific interests.
Don’t overlook post-event actions
The power of your event brand relies heavily on what your attendees will experience before, during, and after the event. You don’t want to just run the event and then forget about it until it’s time to plan the next one.
Between editions, think about creating content, engaging your attendees and audiences, publishing interviews with thought leaders, running giveaways and contests, launching projects that will positively affect your community, and so on … that’s all part of your event brand.
This way, people won’t have time to forget you and will understand how serious you are about serving your audience and industry.
Have a driven executive team
A successful event that runs multiple editions usually has a board membership that consists of industry professionals and people who are interested in achieving specific goals. Building a strong brand requires allies, a team of professionals that can create a compelling vision and then make it reality.
Not sure how this can work? Take the example of startups, which usually have multiple co-founders, and in most cases, they all have different roles in the company, such as CEO, CTO, CFO, etc. The same will work for your event.
If you’re truly interested in building something long-lasting, you’ll want to associate yourself with like-minded people with whom you can set up the same structure.
You can have someone responsible for the financial aspect of your brand event, someone overseeing the logistics, someone handling the marketing efforts, and so on. A driven and motivated executive team will sustain the vision you’ve built and turn your event brand into a world reference.
Take an attendee-centered approach
If you want to build a strong and memorable event brand, then forget about the branding part and focus on your attendees.
- What are their needs?
- What’s the value you can create for them?
- What will they get by attending your event?
- What will you offer them?
- How can you improve their professional or personal lives?
- How can you make the logistics less stressful?
- What type of experiences should you design for them?
All these questions are essential when putting together the foundation of a strong event brand. If you want to succeed, put your attendees first. Discover what their needs and wants are, and then overdeliver.
Are you ready to run the marathon? Then stop preparing for it as if it’s a sprint. Building a memorable and beloved event brand takes time, resistance, and consistency. And although it’s always a matter of marketing and selling your event’s image, you can guarantee success if you’re focused on your attendees and really committed to provide value.