How to Elevate Your Brand with a Large Event
Events are a powerful tool for business development. When curated effectively, the experience of a great event can strategically elevate your brand and establish your credibility with new or prospective clients.
Designing a successful event requires a keen understanding of emerging trends and key players in your targeted industry, knowing your audience, high levels of organization, and being honest about your weaknesses.
Establish clear outcomes
What is the unique problem you are seeking to address or goal for your event? It is critical to establish a clear narrative that provides a valuable return on investment for guests. You need to solve a problem guests have or facilitate an opportunity they do not have the bandwidth to facilitate themselves. This requires a deep knowledge of current challenges and emerging trends within the industry you are targeting. Be honest with yourself. You may not know everything you need to know right now.
- Perform an extensive market review. Generate a Competing Events List to understand when your competitors are convening, the topics being discussed, and the speakers or products being showcased. Your Competing Events List will help you determine the best date for your own event as well as help you determine a feasible cost for registration. The list also allows you to create a database of established thought leaders and high profile newbies in your industry, including individuals and companies.
- Subscribe to key publications. Keep a pulse on what is being talked about each day in your industry. Companies and individuals cited in articles will help grow your prospective audience.
- Appoint an advisory group. Established professionals lend credibility to your brand and provide valuable insight into your targeted industry. For your advisory group, consider asking individuals you have an established relationship with or professional connections you have been seeking to leverage in a meaningful way. This is an opportunity for them to build their brand as well.
- Finalize your outcomes and target audience. Determine exactly who should be attending, why they need to be there, and what they will gain in their experience. Be clear and concise in your event description. Refer back to this information with every decision you make.
Expand your reach
Growing your brand is essential to increasing your revenue potential. The larger the reach, the more registrations you have the opportunity to secure. If you plan on approaching sponsors, they will also want to see high numbers of impressions for any dollars they contribute.
- Launch your event site. Research proves websites increase brand credibility with consumers. Credibility is critical to your success, so prioritize a website that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. Be sure to optimize content for any search engine returns related to your event content.
- Establish distribution partners. You need direct points of contact. Email addresses are what you should be seeking. Save time and effectively grow your reach by seeking out established industry players as well as those who might be looking to get involved in the space. Contract distribution agreements with these entities. A direct message from partners about your event will return higher open rates than a blind email from an unfamiliar entity.
- Target key influencers. Approach social influencers to ask if they are willing to support efforts around your event by posting about important announcements. This also provides an opportunity for them to engage their followers in a meaningful way.
- Prioritize speakers or products with a highly established brand. A big name draws big attention, and smaller companies are always seeking opportunities to sit alongside industry leaders. Focus on securing speakers from brands that everyone in the industry knows.
Create a project plan
Throughout your planning process you will encounter high levels of stress where several tasks will be simultaneously in motion. It is imperative that you have a plan and stick to it.
- Create a Gantt chart. List every activity related to planning your event and then map out the times in your planning process you will be focused on each activity. This will help you anticipate the periods of high demand and be prepared for them.
- Create a budget. Figure out how much you can spend on your efforts. Stick to your budget to avoid overspending on the event.
- Establish a hierarchy of decision makers. Determine who is able to make a final decision in every area of planning related to your event.
- Assemble a team with experience. Event planning is a skill that comes with experience. Be honest with the skills that you and your team currently lack. Find individuals with the talent you need to make your event a success. An event is only as successful as the team that curated the experience.
Origin Consulting is an experience design and brand strategy consulting studio that helps clients deliver products and services using customer-engagement, experience design strategy, and innovative ideas development and implementation. To work with Origin, give us a shout.
Follow us @DefineUrOrigin on Twitter