A little thrilling and a lot nerve wracking, event marketing is like opening the wardrobe into Narnia. Behind those clunky wooden doors is a world of possibility for businesses who are looking for new and exciting ways to connect with their audience and reach out to potential buyers (sorry, you probably won’t find any lions here). Through branded events, businesses and business owners have the opportunity to create a little something extra that will set them apart from competitors who are solely relying on digital marketing to amplify their reach.
That being said, there are many (and we mean manyyyyyy) different types of branded events you can consider. And, better yet, many of these will fit in nicely when putting together a marketing strategy that gets people talking and customers buying.
But where can you start? And what kind of events can you start to consider? To that we say: grab a drink, sit back, and keep reading.
Here’s the low-down on 4 of our favorite types of branded events that you can implement into your marketing strategy.
Branded event #1: Hosting a guest speaker session
One of the most common types of branded events, hosting a guest speaker session is a great way to provide value for your audience without going way over budget or dealing with too much of a complicated set-up. Usually, brands invite an expert in their field to discuss a current hot topic, talk about their own success story, or shed some light on a specific subject.
Whatever you choose, make sure you also open up a space for conversation between the speaker and the audience. You can do this by:
- Asking people to send in their questions in advance
- Allocating time in the end for questions
- Hosting a smaller “after-event” on your social media channels where people can tune in to ask what they want to learn more about
These types of branded events can either be done for free, or you can charge a small fee for attendees to join – this is totally up to you.
The same goes for conferences, but at a much larger scale. Conferences usually feature a number of speakers – sometimes from different areas of expertise. This means your audience can learn about a wider variety of topics instead of simply focusing on one single thing.
When it comes to a conference, there are two options:
- You can have all the speakers pass through in the same room
- Or you can have multiple speakers on at the same time in different rooms
Choosing one or the other ultimately depends on your budget, the number of speakers, and the number of attendees.
Branded event #2: Organize a workshop or class
Another way to add value to your audience is by hosting a workshop or masterclass. This allows for a more “hands-on” approach where people can actually participate instead of simply listening in to someone’s story (or a conversation, in the case of larger panel discussions).
When it comes to this style of branded events, you have an even better chance to connect with your audience at a more personal level – especially if you’re the one who’s teaching the class. Workshops and masterclasses are also a wonderful way to build brand loyalty: people are usually so pumped after leaving that they’ll want to stay up to date with everything you’re doing (kind of like a first date, but with much less of an “IG stalking” vibe).
Again, you can either charge for this sort of event or you can let people join in for free. If you’re thinking of the latter but still want to get some revenue out of the experience, try offering a special discount on a product or service you provide.
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You can offer people a discount on:
- A more in-depth course that touches on the material they learned about today
- A 1:1 call to discuss further pain points people in the audience might have
- Reading material or checklists that might come in useful in the future
- The actual service you provide that might have been discussed in the class (for example, website copywriting, social media management, growth hacking, graphic design for social media, etc.)
Branded event #3: Create a pop-up experience
If you’re an experience-based business, you might want to consider putting together a little taste of what you can offer. This will give guests the opportunity to try your product or service for themselves.
Let’s face it: there are certain things you can’t just tell people about. Sometimes, they need to live through it in order to either purchase the full package or vouch for it.
Find a different kind of experience – something that steps away from the world of conferences and masterclasses – and invite potential big buyers to join in on the fun. From American Express’ “take out to dine in” pop-up restaurant to Salesforce’s indoor skydiving experience, find something quirky and out there and think of ways to tie it in with your business.
Branded event #4: Host a bangin’ party
The great thing about this type of branded event is that you add a little ✨dazzle ✨ to it and transform the whole ordeal into a VIP event that people will be clamoring to attend. Think Fyre Fest minus all the Lord of the Flies moments.
Connect with other industry leaders and work together towards a large-scale campaign that hits people from different angles. Work with influencers to let the public know that something BIG is happening.
Whether you want to tie this to a product launch, a milestone celebration, or just because, a party is a less formal way to connect with your audience and still have fun. Parties help raise brand awareness and, if done right, you’ll also win over a few customers while you’re at it.
Other types of branded events you can try
We’ve highlighted four of our favorite types of branded events, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Depending on your business, there are plenty of options you can choose from when it comes to organizing and hosting a branded event.
Some of these include:
- Trade shows: Whether you’re thinking about organizing one yourself or joining as a vendor, trade shows are the perfect place for potential customers to meet vendors and strike up a conversation. Plus, with trade shows being industry-specific, you can rest easy knowing that you’re targeting the right people and not just shooting darts with your eyes closed.
- Sponsorships: Sponsorships can be considered branded events if your role is much bigger than simply having your logo up on a few screens. It could be that you’re either selling a product there, providing guests with an additional experience, or you’re collecting people’s information. Red Bull does a really great job at putting on a show during sponsored events, so look to them for a little inspiration!
- Webinars: We’ve previously talked about the importance of including digital events in your marketing strategy, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it once again, right? Webinars are another form of a branded event and they work very similar to live events (with just as much planning involved, sometimes). From choosing a topic to inviting a speaker, finding the date, and marketing the event, they’re a good option for times like these when big gatherings aren’t allowed and people have to stay home.
To sum things up…
Branded events are a great way to raise brand awareness and brand loyalty.
Three of the main reasons you should consider organizing a branded event are:
01. Creating a connection with your audience
02. Adding value to your audience’s day
03. Bringing something new – and sometimes exclusive – to the table
Let’s expand, shall we?
01. Through connecting with your audience outside of the realm of social media and digital marketing, you can learn even more about their pain points and what you can do to fix them. Plus, you’ll go from being an avatar to a real person – that’s special.
02. By adding value to their day, you become even more of a reputable source and someone they’re willing to trust. If they know you’re willing to give them valuable information, they’ll start coming to you with questions, concerns, and a need to work with your company.
03. And, lastly, by bringing something new to the table, they see you as an innovator who’s not afraid to try something new and have fun at the same time.
According to a report by Bizzabo, 80% of marketers believe that branded events are critical to a business’ success.
Basically, what we’re saying is this: big or small, expensive or affordable, just host that event.
Four of our favorite types of branded events are:
01. A guest speaker session
02. A workshop or class
03. A pop-up experience
04. A one of a kind party
Do you have any experience hosting branded events? Let us know below what you like the most about them!
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