Branded Events: How Event Branding Drives Attendee Engagement
Have we mentioned how much we enjoyed hosting our BizBash event in January 2022? We can’t stop thinking about all the different ways to incorporate our learnings into creating unforgettable event experiences. We’re referring to the discussion between Andrew Leighton, our Director of Sales at Accelevents, and Cory Travalena, Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Redtail Creative, entitled “How Event Branding Drives Engagement.” The terrific Ashton Pike moderates this session and asks some meaty questions throughout the dialogue.
How do you see event branding and design affect how attendees engage with a virtual event?
Cory immediately responds to this question with keen insight, saying, “The branding and design are really about the story. If your branding and design are off, then you’re not telling the story that the client wants to tell.” He continues this thought by providing a hypothetical example of an event where the badge and the welcome signs have great branding, but the speaker’s “PowerPoint slides look like a high schooler made them.” Andrew agrees, adding, “the attendees and the delegates want to interact with the brand and the organization; they don’t necessarily want to interact with the platform.”
Both references point to the critical fact that branding is a crucial touchpoint that organizers should weave throughout their respective events.
What critical areas at events should event planners be focusing that branding on?
Cory advises that email blasts are vital in establishing consistent branding. Being the first thing that your audience sees, the email blast must set the tone for your branding throughout the entire experience.
Moreover, Andrew advises that robust wording customization options within a platform are essential for cohesive branding. He explains that Accelevents offers the customization to change a word like ‘Agenda’ to ‘Program’ within their event settings if that is the jargon they are familiar with. It helps set the tone to guide attendees through an event experience seamlessly.
How can planners make these virtual events truly immersive using these strategic branding and design tactics to drive audience engagement?
Andrew leads this response by saying, “making sure that they’re working with a platform or a venue and with designers that understand what the platform can do, and then marrying that with what they can do and how to match their branding exactly.”
In addition, he remarked that the platform must be user-friendly so that organizers and designers can change design elements within the event’s settings on their own in real-time. Andrew demonstrates the value of post-event analytics that outline the engagement, and Cory highlights the importance of social media postings about the event’s success. Continued engagement post-event is very important!
With some of your larger clients, how do they address branding on a non-owned event platform?
Cory answers by stating that, for the most part, clients don’t want any hint of the hosting platform’s branding to be noticeable within their event. Andrew agrees, adding that Accelevents has a White Label Program that offers end-to-end branding customization so that no trace of Accelevents’ branding is evident on the site. This service makes it “their platform.”
What does true White Label Service mean to you when building out these immersive experiences?
Looking forward, what do you see coming down the pipeline that virtual event planners will be asking for?
In the future, Andrew touches on the desire of organizers to provide full translation options to create a more inclusive event experience. He ties it back to branding – that virtual events are for everyone, not just one group of people or one language.
The ability to do simple recurring events is also something that Andrew notes as an essential option. Cory raises the common issue related to standard latency with live streaming. Many platforms are moving toward lower latency, and Andrew notes that Accelevents is no exception.
What are your words of advice for branding and post-production within the hybrid event space?
The conversation wraps up with Andrew and Cory touching on the importance of ensuring that every event participant, both in-person and virtual, feels included in the event. Andrew recommends providing ‘goodies’ specific to each attendee category, which always offers an opportunity for extra branding exposure.