Have you ever visited a local restaurant and felt like they didn’t quite have it all together? Perhaps they had menu items that didn’t fit the brand. Or perhaps it was the weird decor, colors or too much noise in a sit-down restaurant. The same things that make our experiences in a restaurant either wonderful or awful, are critically important to how we run events for our brand.
Looking ahead at the calendar this summer, chances are good that you have a few scheduled events coming up. Let’s see what we can do to make those better.
Brand Your Event.
Naming your event, though it is not always the first step businesses take, it is the most critical step to building a cohesive event for your brand. It may also help you focus your efforts, distilling your event to a short phrase. Consider making this tip your starting point for any planning schedule. It doesn’t stop there though. Build an opportunity for people to join in celebrating your brand while making memories at your event. This could include engaging them on social media during or after the event by using a unique hashtag where they can post their favorite pictures. By creating a hashtag for your event, you will be able to go back and look at everyones’ posts who used your hashtag. If you want to get even fancier and start planning early, create a “Geofilters” with Snapchat. This allows your audience and team who uses Snapchat to take photos and videos sharing to your geotag, you can then compile the content including your tag into one big Snapchat from your brands account. These strategies not only engage your audience, but they build the culture and internal content necessary in order to orchestrate a successful event, and also set the bar for future events.
Sell Your Culture.
Once you have built that internal culture by engaging your audience and team, it is time for you to promote the new-found atmosphere on your social media platforms. Whether you are promoting long-term investments, commercial loans, or a new checking account, “Your culture is your brand,” as Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos says. Find ways to show the interactions within your teams at public community events and demonstrate that there is a reason you chose to work where you do. Internal culture is everything. Save these moments; take photos that capture the essence of your brand; like aforementioned, link them to a unique hashtag, use them as #ThrowbackThursday posts if you need content for that day. Taking pictures of this kind of engagement with your team will not only demonstrate employee morale, but it will create a positive vibe for your brand. Energies are contagious.
If your business is going to be sponsoring an event that is sure to be a hit, don’t involve yourself financially and end it there. Sure, maybe you just donated to the local charity and they have more to gain from the event, but actively participating will allow you to meet them, interact, and perhaps gain a lot more details from the event. By doing this, you will also showcase your brand’s goodwill, which is beneficial in any situation. A brand that is actively involved in community events, charity events, or other fundraisers, is a brand that can be considered loyal. So be there. Be engaged with your donations and sponsorships of your choosing. A brand that is loyal, committed, and engaged, naturally performs better as a whole.
Managing the Details.
Let’s face it, not all of us are driven by lists and care whether the napkin is on the left or right, but if you want to run a great event, you need to have someone on your team that thinks this way. Sometimes the smallest details are the ones that stick out the most to attendees and you want to make sure your brand is memorable in a positive way. If you don’t have the means to have this specific person on your team, then it’s time to train the brains of your team members to handle this task. Whether it’s the napkins, the center pieces, the food, invitations, name cards, or the greeter at the door…it is all part of the event experience. Anything at your function has the potential to be used for marketing: a picture of the entire space, the table setting, the food station, it could all be used for content by your audience. The details fill in the cracks to your event, making it complete and cohesive.
Educate with Content.
Use content to show those who will be most excited about your brand what they can do to be a part of it. Prior to the event, you may need to reach out to influencers who can buy-in and help others to get excited about your event. Use all platforms to get them engaged; perhaps it’s a phone call, tweet, etc. to remind them. Part of having a successful event, is the marketing that happens before and after the event, not just during. Remembering that your content matters before the event too, allows you to prepare attendees for what is to come at the time of the occasion. It also enables them to interact with your team, creating a relationship with the business and your audience, so that when it comes time to mingle at the event, the rapport stage is short and your opportunity for a deeper connection is more likely. Along with engaging before and during the event, there is always the post-function content that is a great time to share the success of your brand.