Don’t Just Brand Your Event, Brand the Experience

Event branding has taken a new turn recently. Event themes and directional signs are just the tip of the iceberg now. Today, event stakeholders want the venues to white label themselves, with the venue’s own brand receding into the background, while the event and company’s brand is emblazoned everywhere attendees turn. Whether venues are driving this trend as an additional revenue stream, or just hip to stakeholder’s desire to customize and personalize  space, turning it into a pop-up branded environment, it is a fascinating trend.

THE PAYOFF FOR EVENT STAKEHOLDERS

Substantial investment is required to brand an entire conference venue. From entryway flags, to building wraps, from elevator doors to etched glass looks, and from carpet graphics to projected graphics, the costs can quickly mount into the tens of thousands of dollars for a one-time use.

The payoff can have a lasting impact, that more and more companies believe is worth the cost. A branded event can have the same morale lift that seeing your company advertising has. Additionally, the psychology of being in a space customized to you remains one of the top most effective marketing approaches – personalization. It establishes bonds, loyalty, ownership and engagement that generic cannot come close to. The intangible effect of espirit decorps is immense.

Venues are hip to this. They’re eager to stay ahead of trends, and they know the struggle organizations face in finding creative – yet cost effective – ways to keep their stakeholders engaged. They’re aware of the trend toward branding the venue, and will probably be eager to talk about your options – most likely, they’ve got pricing, vendor recommendations, drawings of locations, and other details available for you already.

We recently worked with a client, Overhead Door, to brand the 2016 National Ribbon Distributor Meeting at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort and Spa. The Renaissance had options at the ready when the site was being booked, and together we created a look that brought the brand into nearly every corner of the venue – even the exteriors.

If you are considering this approach you need to consider two things:

  • Property size: pick a property with capacity only slightly larger than your attendance, so that you can, in fact, “own” the space without having to compete for space among other groups who will not permit your brand on their space.
  • Plan ahead: The logistics of comprehensive branding can be challenging. You’ll want to ensure the real estate for public branding is in your contract and in process well in advance.

How have you been branding your venues? Are there opportunities to go further? Have you been to been to an event that transported you inside the brand?