May 18, 2020 Michael Mayday
If there’s one ubiquitous feature of conferences, trade shows and summits, it’s excellent branding. And it’s easy to understand why: branding experiences, like booths, provide fun, engaging and informative experiences for attendees — not to mention the excellent swag. But with in-person events postponed, canceled or adjusted to a virtual environment, marketers need to re-think how they bring their brand to life online.
To find out how you can bring your brand online in a digital-first world, we sat down with Chris Finneral, CEO and Co-Founder of SketchDeck, to learn what marketers can do to bring their brand energy to virtual events from anywhere in the world. All it takes is a little planning and a little brand-muscle stretching. Oh, and these free console backgrounds and icons can help, too.
Use Design to Generate Excitement
How you generate excitement around an event depends on how large you’re planning for your event to be. Take a step back and assess what your goal is for your upcoming webinar. Will it be a smaller virtual experience like a stand-alone event or a part of a monthly series? Or will it be a part of a large digital experience, like a summit or virtual conference?
Large virtual events, like a summit or virtual conference, ought to have their own distinct branding distinct from your company’s umbrella brand. This way, attendees and customers will know the event is unique. This new design will need a virtual home as well, so incorporate it into a distinct event website. With the event website in place, your event’s brand will have a home you’ll have a centralized hub attendees and visitors can turn to for the latest event information.
Smaller events will still need the brand treatment to gin up excitement, but these events won’t necessarily need their own website. A simple asset page to register for the event will suffice and along with branded promotional assets — like email banners, social media posts and ads — in support of the event.
Be Consistent on Each Channel
A key element of modern webinar design is consistency. And that means providing a uniform design across every channel where your event may appear. In general, this means working with your designer or design team to assemble a range of assets, like social media images, email banners, blog images, ad banners and more, into an asset package for promotion across your preferred channels.
If you’re working with partners for an event — say, a summit, for example — an asset package is essential for a consistent event brand presence. Provide partners with asset packages that include typical assets plus material for any sessions they’re running or for any keynote speakers they’re providing — don’t forget to feature their logo in their asset package as well!
If you are running a summit or virtual event involving more than one presentation, don’t forget the smaller details. Provide your partners with branded slides and make sure each webinar console — down to the icons — are consistent with the event’s design. This will give your event a familiar feel for attendees and provide a professional touch to your events.
Incorporate Branding Into Each Touchpoint
Okay, so you have your event’s design built out for every channel, including, possibly, its own website. Now it’s time to take a step back and consider where your event’s brand will present itself to audiences before, during and after the event itself.
Sit down and consider every touchpoint your event will have with your audience and think about the opportunities where you can leave a lasting impression. For example, will your audience be able to download resources, like e-books and infographics? If so, are those assets branded with your event? On-demand events, too, ought to continue your event’s theme.
Finally, if you’re running a virtual summit or trade conference, consider sending attendees swag, either before or after the event, they can keep as a souvenir. While swag sends may be difficult to organize for a virtual event, they add that little extra zest and excitement attendees look for in events.