In the race to bring the client’s vision to life, event managers often forget that conferences and meetings held at your venue can be a big branding opportunity. Before the event even commences, you have the opportunity to brand as not only the headquarters of service, but uniquely you in a sea of choices.
1. Social media
This area of the event begins long before the doors open on the day of. Try to incorporate your brand into your client’s existing online presence. First, make sure you are recognized on their site as their host hotel. This is where you will list all of your features and discounts you are offering the group, in an effort to capture more of the conference’s attendees attention and room nights. If the client does not already have a hashtag they are using for the conference, you can create one to use on your social media posts. A good hashtag is relatively short, but will also include your brand alongside that of the conference. Lastly, make sure you are posting not just photos and videos from the event, but experiences. Don’t just upload hundreds of random shots from the event. Be sure to curate a small grouping of photos that display your brand in prominent and powerful ways. This could be done with signage, decoration, or even willing staff members being in shot.
2. Hotel design and event set up
Everyone is attracted to a great design. When designing in-house elements for conferences and events, keep in mind the branding message that you are putting forward. Often the brand or logo can be displayed on backdrops, entryways, in centerpieces, elevator and front desk graphics, welcome letters, and more. One way to stand out from the competition is to design a clever social media moment that can be shared over and over. This might take the shape of custom artwork, sculptural pieces, custom floor graphics, or even floral columns. The new generation of conference attendees will love being able to share a social media moment to their feed that is not just a generic shot of the event.
3. Create a welcome video
Showing a video or doing an in-person welcome at the start of a conference can really get an event off on the right foot. A well-designed video of your brand may already be available to you in a larger hotel group. If there is not one available to you, filming one can be a quick way to show off your brand at the start of every event at your facility. Take a quick video with your phone that is short and simple- this can even be uploaded to Typsy as custom content for your event staff to review. Make sure to include points like where accessible bathrooms are, where to direct questions or concerns, any features of the hotel you would like to highlight, anything that comes with their room complimentary, the wifi password, or even points about your city. Think of this video as your brand’s personal point of contact with every person in that meeting room. So show off your brand and the level of service that it represents.
4. City experience
Make sure that you are offering an experience, rather than just a meeting space, by highlighting what makes your city and your brand unique. This can be done by setting up partnerships with tours in town or setting up an optional experience in-house for attendees to take part in. This can be anything from a cooking class, a wine tasting, or even a yoga session- anything that is going to show off what your hotel and your city represent! When you give your guests more to participate in than just their event, they will strongly associate your brand with not just a great conference they went to, but an amazing experience to remember.
Several brands have done this really well, and some are still passing out the same pens and candy that have been event standards for decades. If the latter describes your brand, do some creative thinking around the giveaways you would like to represent your hotel. These can take many shapes- and unique is better! If brainstorming has stalled in this area for your brand, try including your audience in the process. You could start a social media poll asking what conference attendees would be interested in receiving to gain some insight into what your target audience is interested in. Anything that your logo or branding can be displayed on and is used over and over makes for a fun giveaway including: sunglasses, socks, laptop skins, headphones, or even toys like Rubik's cubes. Get creative!
In the long run, choosing your brand message and how you want to utilize it during events is something that starts long before the first attendee walks through your doors. By leveraging easy branding moments, you can be sure that you will shine in a sea of competition.
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|Olivia Shainin has an undergrad degree in Marketing as well as a master’s degree in International Hospitality, Event, and Tourism Management from Oxford Brookes University. She honed her craft working for a five-star hotel as the Director of Catering and Events. Currently specializes and advises in areas of social media, marketing management, and event management.|
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