by Liz O’Donnell
Beyond publishing, in real life events are a reflection, of a brand and need to be planned accordingly. Here are 5 ways to make sure your event is worthy of your brand.
- Decide on your story. You’re not surprised we start with the message, are you? The message should be the launching point for all of your marketing and branding activities. Events are no exception. Before you choose a date or a venue, decide what story you want to tell your guests.
- Engrave the invitation. Okay, not really, but do know your event, and therefore brand experience, begins with the invitation. Choose a look, a medium and a message that will set the tone for the entire experience. Paperless Post is an effective way to create excitement with an electronic invitation. Eventbrite is an excellent way to manage the attendee list and stay in contact with your guests.
- Go high tech. Does your event have a hashtag? You are missing a key opportunity if it does not. The face-to-face benefit of an event is key, but make sure you don’t ignore the online realm. Livestream from the event floor. Showcase tweets on a Tweet Wall at the event. Create a Storify after the fact. Events are about blending the online with the physical world,
- Give gifts. Tchotchkes matter. Make sure your event doesn’t end, just because it’s over. Offer attendees some physical manifestation of their experience. A well thought out promotional item can be a strong reminder of how people interacted with your brand. Buy the best quality you can and make sure the item carries a message.
- Follow up. Find a way to reach out to guests after the event. Send photos. Write a recap post. Send them a thank you for attending. Just make sure to keep the relationship alive after the last folding chair has been stacked and put away.
For more on this topic, catch me next week at the Executive Women in Publishing Conference in San Jose. I’ll be part of a panel on why publishing companies and newsrooms are embracing events as part of their audience engagement strategy and how to match your event to your branding goals.