What’s in a brand? We can boil it down to a few factors.
Personality, for one – something that makes you different, and that people can respond to. Knowing your unique qualities and who should care about them is another. Lastly, there’s representation: everything from your website to your logo, colour themes and social channels.
Each of these elements should give visitors a good idea of your event before they even walk through the door. Then, of course, the event design itself should reflect this.
Branding is never easy to pull off. But here are some of our favourite examples of those that go beyond the norm, and can inspire your own event marketing…
If you live in Manchester, our Pride festival needs no introduction. We love seeing how crazed and distinctive their branding can be, year on year. It’s a riot of fashion shoots, rainbows, comic art, parades in widescreen and – crucially – pictures of joyous crowd members being themselves. Seriousness is reserved for their inclusion and quality charter and charity section of their website.
Billed as ‘the world’s biggest dance event’, Move It lets video footage take centre stage. Which isn’t surprising really – an event based on movement shouldn’t shy away from giving performers the limelight. In a similar way to Manchester Pride, careful wording ensures everyone’s welcome, from spectators to kids and wannabe professionals.
You’d hope that the business behind the most impactful branding conference in Europe has a few tips to share. And you’d be right: casual, dressed-down interviews are everywhere on their website and social feeds, including a podcast on SoundCloud. For their venue, SugarCity Events beam gigantic, colour-rich projections on their old-school warehouse space, making the art of branding a spectacle (which is, after all, the entire point of the conference).
Female empowerment is finally being given the credit it’s due. The difference here is that it’s the centrepiece of the agenda – Girlboss hits a bright, conversational tone that invites as many female entrepreneurs as possible to join them in its mission. The pink and pastel theme has feminine associations, but the site’s language is brash, outspoken and declarative. The brand’s Instagram reflects this, using and responding to quotes from their heroes.
We’re often told that the ‘experience’ matters more than the actual content of the event you’re hosting. Wanderlust festival is a good example of freely associative marketing; it’s tone of voice and aesthetic implies that you’ll only find out how valuable it is when you arrive. Online classes tee up the self-improvement angle, but elsewhere, there’s plenty of space between designs, photos and scant promo text; symbolising the void that travel can fill. Meanwhile, blogs give readers inspiration for health, spirituality and exercise.
Professionalism dominates the annual NR&B gathering, designed specifically for those that operate in the North’s vibrant hospitality sector. Video interviews pepper their website and social media, giving new visitors a chance to learn about and build on what has come before. They have a presenter for the awards section of their event too, which lends a more journalistic – and therefore impartial – feel.
Surreal, late-night forest raves. Parades drifting in and out of street corners. Disco balls in lakes, and light-up unicorns. Festival Number Six, in the toy-town village of Portmeirion, knows how to showcase its whimsical brand of escapism. Daytime and night-time activities have equal prominence. Again, it highlights specific people in the crowd, so the spectacle never takes over from individual moments.
Event architecture rarely gets more grandiose than it does here, at Dubai’s 173-day-long creative exhibition. Everywhere in the branding, we see excess and confidence – from the 192 country-specific districts to headers such as ‘inspiring tomorrow’s leaders’ and ‘welcome the world’. Expo 2020 Dubai places itself at the heart of not just one country’s cultural and social evolution, but the whole planet’s.
Festivals, on the whole, are perhaps less hedonistic than they used to be – or at least they have more philosophical points of view to share now. Body & Soul is a case in point. They have various ‘#soulanimal’ profiles, leading into a Twitter campaign that encourages self-awareness. Coupled with the bright, vivid stage displays; it’s a request for us to leave our conventions at the gate.
The ‘Olympics of networking’ is quite a claim to make. Yet this business festival, split over two arenas six months apart, gets close to earning it. Like OnBrand, a podcast has been launched to share information and encourage debate around professional concepts before they hit the main stage. We’re also given constant reminders of audience metrics and the event’s influence, which is reinforced with a dedicated newsletter.
How will your brand shape your events? Take these inspirations as your own, or dream up your own unique look and feel before the big day. Victoria Warehouse’s showcase industrial space is the very best setting for what’s to come.
Chat to our Sales Team and Project Coordinators to discuss anything you have in mind.