by Elliott Waters
Events are back in a big way, with 2022 bringing a packed calendar of festivals, shows, ceremonies and launches for many venues and brands. And with the festive season around the corner, there's no let up in sight. So we've put together a few tips for creating the right experience.
Develop a flexible and targeted brand identity
Consider your target audience carefully. This is key to design and marketing, and getting the right look and feel. You want to pinpoint who’s coming to the event and where they are in market. This will help ensure the design is visually appealing to the target user and that budget for marketing is spent in the right places.
Keep the core logo and other branding assets creative, but simple, limiting the amount of elements to the brand. This makes it easier to translate the brand to assets of different ratios and formats. Use mainly vector based graphics, which are easy to scale. Your brand needs to be flexible enough to cater for every eventuality, whether it be a small logo on a wristband or pin badge, to large signage and stage backdrop.
Think like a user
When designing collateral and marketing materials for an event, make sure you have the user experience in mind. Whether it’s booking festival tickets via the website, or reading the menu at a corporate dinner, make the process as smooth and enjoyable as possible. There should be a healthy balance between creativity and functionality, promoting the personality of the brand and event, whilst providing information quickly and clearly where needed. All of your branded assets should be created with the aim of enhancing the overall experience.
Create consistency and brand everything!
Developing a consistent design across all assets breeds familiarity and recognition. A good, consistent design style helps to reinforce your brand and strengthen the event in peoples’ minds. Members of your target audience may only see marketing material for a couple of seconds, on a passing bus advert or at the ticket gates of a train station, for example, so the layouts need to be consistent so that they are instantly recognisable and memorable. Keep messaging consistent and clear too, so as not to confuse the audience.
Brand everything! Apply your brand to all touch points – signage, merchandise, social media, print, crew high-vis etc. This helps to build the brand and cement this in the minds of the audience. This particularly helps if an event is reoccurring and you’re looking to build a following around it.
Establish a hierarchy of information
There can be a lot of information to get across when it comes to events but you need to be very strict on which information is essential for any given piece of promotional material touch. For social media, keep the artwork light on copy, use key messaging and include additional information in the post text. Other touch points, such as out of home, may only be seen at a glance, so it’s all about the core information and brand awareness. In this instance, stick to key messaging, dates and location.
Information should draw the reader in and encourage them to take further action. Too much information will take longer to communicate and potentially confuse the reader. Try to place information within a consistent design layout or style. Ensure that there is a focal point to a design, such as the event logo and dates or the headline attraction. Other information should then be smaller, to create a hierarchy.
Put brand guidelines in place
An event can have many different partners involved, including videographers, streaming companies, third-party and in-house designers and production companies. Every supplier and partner will need clear direction on how to how to apply the brand, preserving the consistent look and feel of the marketing materials. Having a simple, easy to apply brand with clear guidance will help to ensure the brand is used correctly and consistently. If the event is reoccurring then these guidelines can be reused and evolved over time.
The brand was visually engaging and completely met our brief, while providing versatility and a robustness that worked on various touch-points.” — Mike Bromfield - Event Director
Utilise social media
Encourage attendees to be active on social media and post content relating to the event. User generated content is the best way to market an event, pre and post the day it takes place. Your event attendees will have created lots of content, such as photos, video and stories, that can be used to publicise the success of the event. This helps to create momentum around the brand and fuel the marketing of future events. Tapping into this is key to engaging the audience and can help keep content creation costs down. Your event attendees will also capture moments that official press and photographers wont.
The main goal of your social media design is to create visually appealing content that captures your audience’s attention and encourages them to engage. Make sure you adapt your designs to the platform and use the right dimensions to ensure it displays correctly. Use a variety of media and create a cohesive look and feel by using the brand consistently.