There are some brilliant and creative ways to activate your brand through events, even if you’re not an event planner. I’ve compiled five of my favourite ways to do just that!
Let's also look through some case studies of success stories, what they did right and what a few simple event planning skills can do for your brand.
Not every strategy will be applicable to you, but take this as inspiration and open yourself up to unexpected branding opportunities. Let's look at some bright ideas!
1- Host A Kick-Off Party Event
Start by looking for big events near you such as festivals, weekend-long outdoor events and tradeshows. Utilize an existing event to tag along with your brand to generate buzz within a willing crowd.
Seek out a large event in your city that is attracting your current target market, do a big BBQ promoting your services/products with free samples, food, drinks and a lounge area with music.
Do some networking and host an event with important speakers or artists with relevant connections to your brand.
Takeaway: Study what people find exciting about a large event then apply it to your event to generate curiosity and value. Look at what turns a dry corporate event into a fun experience.
More on this: Brilliant Ways to Use Events as Your Marketing Channel
2- Captivate All Five Senses
A brand isn’t just a set of words or colours or ads. A true brand feels like a person you know. At your event you want people to get a complete feel of who you are.
You can do this by activating all of their senses. Being a skilled event planner sometimes relies heavily on psychology. Add a relaxing sense to the event with a lounge area. Use textures, have people touch, handle and use your products.
Have food from your hometown or that reflects who you are as a brand. If it’s a large event, Vancouver has all manner of catering companies.
Music is a key mood setter whether it’s live or a stereo mix, it really gives the event a vibe.
Use eye-popping visuals, maybe a large ornament of an oversized product, something that draws people in. Smells create memories, so candles, a fire, food, drink, plants, flowers and other scents can all make your brand memorable.
Takeaway: All the senses can be used to connect with your audience. Do not underestimate them and use them to your advantage. You can leave a lasting impression at what would otherwise be just another corporate event. The senses create familiarity, connection and lasting memories which means people will want to come to more of your brand’s events.
More on this: 8 Tips To Get Attendees To Actually Come
3- Identify And Fulfil A Need At An Event
Say a hot, summer, outdoor event takes place every year, there is a need for sunscreen, cold drinks or a popsicle stand. You could also host water sport activities to keep people cool and engaged.
Fill a need that’s lacking and you automatically become a hero! Look out for anything that attendees might need and accommodate them with your brand and products.
Takeaway: Identify needs, accommodate them and leverage your brand as the one to save the day. This is a great mini PR move.
4- Corporate Events for Different Industries
Find out and learn what your target audience is all about. Where do they like to hang, listen to, watch, wear!
Attend or host an event that people wouldn't expect to see you at, just like Cheetos having their own high-end fashion show Cheetos’ House of Flamin’ Haute during New York Fashion Week. This was a clever move and had everyone talking about them.
Takeaway: Find out which popular events your competitors won’t think of joining but could still be a hub for your niche clientele. Attend and make a splash or host your own outside-the-box event.
5- Get Some Off-Site Visibility
You have probably seen a pop-up style brand-related structure at many events. For example, the big orange ball with the straw from Tropicana at various gatherings and their free juice campaign.
This creates photo opportunities and you can have brand ambassadors handing out promo materials and swag. Create an instant digital sign-up to win cool prizes as well to build your database and client lists.
Takeaway: In event planning, there are always opportunities to add value and that's where you come in with an additional mini experience.
Many Metro Vancouver events have naturally been cancelled in recent months, but summer is here, British Columbia is faring well and it’s never too soon to start planning an event for the future.