Branding your event can be expensive, there’s no doubt about that.
One of the sage pieces of advice I was given was to ‘remind them who’s giving the experience’ but to produce large format print items such as posters, banners and displays costs a lot of money. ‘Taking over’ a large hotel or conference centre will represent a huge investment. For some, that’s a worthwhile investment but, for most, it’s a disproportionate investment that can’t be justified.
That said, there are still plenty of cheap ways in which you brand your event and make sure no-one goes away with any doubts about who their hosts were. So here are a few tips on how to create an impression without breaking the bank.
Create a Theme
What’s the message of your conference or event? Try to encapsulate that in a line. If your delegates leave with nothing else, this tagline is the mantra that they share with their colleagues upon return to the office. Use the line throughout your event, create a logo and make sure that it is applied to all communication materials. Repetition creates recognition.
Many delegates seem to leave their common sense in the office when they arrive at events. Normally smart people seem incapable of finding their way to a bathroom without asking someone who looks vaguely like they work there for directions, so think about the customer journey.
A registration/help desk in reception is a must, along with clearly identifiable staff. If you only have a limited budget, then I would make sure that you invest in some pull up banners and distinctive staff uniforms as a minimum, so that delegates know where to go to for information.
It’s also worth investing in ‘reusable’ items such as flags and pop-up displays, which can be used at future events.
Detail, Detail, Detail
Think about all the touch points that the delegate has with your company and think about how you can incorporate your company logo and/or event theme. Branding on the transfer coach, the welcome letter, room key cards, menus, pens etc. are all opportunities to brand your event for little money or effort. Small touches that can make a difference and a good venue should be proactive in helping you put them in place, and perhaps offering some ‘out of the box’ ideas such as applying your logo to cakes, or as a pattern on top of a cappuccino.
The Take Away
Convention is to have some kind of gift for your delegates to take away with them. This is your chance to remind them of the experience and the message in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Whatever you choose, choose something useful and make sure it is branded. Even low value items such as pens, USB drives and notepads will be well used after the event and are a safer option than gimmicky gifts that could well end up stuffed away in a drawer.
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