Companies put a lot of time, effort, and money into hosting business meetings and events for partners, clients, employees, the press, and even the public. For this reason it is important to consider ways in which your investment might pay off down the road. And the best way to ensure that people remember your name in connection to a truly informative and innovative meeting or an incredible event is to brand it as your own. Of course, this entails more than just slapping your name on a banner and your logo on some cocktail napkins. You actually have to take the time to think about the image, aesthetic, and mood you want to portray at your event. What do you want attendees to take away from the experience? Do you want to endear them to your brand, impress them with your power and connections, or leave them in awe of your innovation? Your goal is likely more than mere entertainment. But the number one objective is to make your target market view your business in a positive light, so much so that guests become brand ambassadors, spreading your name as a trusted source. So here are a few ways to brand your business meetings and events in order to reach all of your business goals.
- Develop a theme. You no doubt have a mission statement for your company that espouses the goals and ideals that are the cornerstone of your business. Use this, in concert with the type of event you’re hosting, to develop a theme. If, for example, you’re planning an annual employee meeting and you want to let every team member know that they play an important role in keeping your company afloat, you might select a theme of “harmony” to tie together the many parts of your business. You could even incorporate musical elements, like a theme song that speaks to your corporate principles and the familial feeling you try to engender within your workforce. The point is to select a theme that integrates the building blocks of your brand as well as the purpose of your meeting or event.
- Make a point. If you’re hosting a meeting or event on behalf of your business there is probably a good reason for it. Perhaps you want to inform your business partners about the successes of the past year or you’d like to let the press and public know about upcoming product launches. Whatever the point of your gathering you need to make sure that it is highlighted in a way that is in keeping with your branding, whether that entails creating a promo video that features brand images or writing a speech that utilizes corporate keywords.
- Go green. If your eco-friendly sensibilities play a major role in your business operations as well as your brand image it’s not a bad idea to find ways to make your event green in keeping with your business ideals. You can choose a net-zero energy venue, hire caterers that use locally sourced and/or organic foods, and even go paperless (or used recycled paper products) for the meeting or event.
- Incorporate your logo. There are all kinds of ways to insinuate your logo into an event, through banners, napkins, express wristbands, and more. Of course, you can still find creative ways to work it in without being so obvious, like hiding it amongst graphic designs (subliminal messaging?) and going for unexpected uses, such as overhead lighting that projects your logo onto a conference table or dance floor.
- Provide favors. Many events, like weddings and birthday parties, provide favors for guests to take home. You can do the same with your meetings and events. The obvious giveaways for meeting revolve around office supplies, so pens, pads, and even mugs branded with your logo are a good way to go. As for events, your favors may center on the venue or type of event. If you rent out a club or cocktail bar for the evening, for example, you might offer branded martini or wine glasses, whereas an event where you book an A-list band could prompt you to print up concert-style tees (with the band on the back and your logo on the front pocket). This is one area where you can have some fun and get creative when it comes to promoting your brand.