Understanding the importance of event themes and brand synergy when designing corporate events, and the role of marketing in every event experience, is critical to delivering events that deliver a true return on investment. Here’s our top tips for creating highly effective event themes.
Establishing a theme
Every staff conference needs a theme, whether it is a team event for 50 or an all employee event for 500. Google “conference themes” and the suitably awful “anything is possible” and “reach for the top” variations will appear at the top of your search. The conference theme should always be designed with the event’s objectives at the forefront of planning. It should reinforce your strategy and act as a key takeaway for employees.
Once you have decided on a theme, include it in everything you do. Walk yourself through the attendee journey and identify all the brand touch points. Their first brand engagement is likely to be the invitation and website, so brand them. Then they will walk through the hotel lobby, so brand it. When they sit in the conference plenary they will watch an opening video, brand that, too. Reinforcing the event brand is more than just printing a good logo. It immerses the attendees in the theme and reinforces the conference objectives and strategy.
Driving social engagement.
Social sharing and engagement with your employees increases brand awareness and provides another channel for conference ROI. Create a simple, easy-to-remember hashtag and then plaster all your communications with it. If there are 100 people being reached within your event, think of the additional thousands that can be touched by your brand when it is shared n social channels. Equally, whether you decide to engage with social or not, your employees certainly will, so get involved to guide the conversation and posts. And of course, measure success: How many new followers did you gain? Who are your social brand champions? What were people excited about? There is a lot of insight to be gained from monitoring employees social habits.
Being brand champions.
Members of the marketing team have to be brand champions: how else can one expect other employees to be immersed in the message? Marketing is responsible for not only creating and developing the brand but also living and breathing it. A good brand champion makes sure all employees understand exactly what the conference message is trying to translate in day-to-day business. Marketing should be wearing your brand (literally) and shouting about it whenever they can through a range of event and marketing channels.