Guide to Event Branding

Team GTRTeam GTR June 13, 2022

You’ll know a good brand when you see it, but you’ll know a better brand when you experience it. The best brands don’t have just a recognizable logo, but a whole world of elements that bring it to life. The smartest brands out there usually start by defining their mission, their values, and their target audience. These then inform the creation of the “visual identity” and all other marketing tactics.

Event branding is no different than branding for a product or service. We’ve got three basic must-haves when it comes to building your brand:

  1. Connect with your target audience.

  2. Convey what you’re event is all about.

  3. Live consistently across all marketing channels.

How to Create a Brand for Your Event

Whether you’re creating your event’s brand yourself or engaging a marketing company to do the heavy lifting, you’ll need to start with these steps.

  • Define your audience. Who are you trying to attract? Is your event for senior-level professionals? Creatives of all ages? Are attendees all from a particular industry? Will it be formal or casual? Why will they want to attend your event over another? Once you define your audience, you can make sure the brand appeals to those people.

  • Create a toolbox of brand elements. With your audience in mind, create your brand!

event branding toolbox
  • You’ll need to think through the following brand elements:

    • Logo: Keep in mind how your event logo looks in a variety of sizes. It may be featured as small as an app button, or as large as a banner in a ballroom. When in doubt, keep your logo simple and legible. You can add pizzazz to your brand using color, imagery, and tone of voice.

    • Color: Use color thoughtfully to appeal to your target audience, and get inspired browsing endless palettes on Adobe Color. Think about how you use color to organize your event too – do all attendees in a certain track get a specific colored name badge? Should they look for a particular color banner when on-site?

    • Typography: Typography should never detract from the clarity of your message. But in small doses, a “display font” can add character to your message where needed. Browse hundreds of free fonts on Google Fonts.

    • Imagery: Sure, you’ll want to include imagery in your event’s marketing. But how you treat that imagery can change the tone of it! Serious, formal event? Choose quiet imagery and try monochromatic tones. Playful, energetic event? Use high saturation colors and images with a lot of movement.

    • Voice: If your event was a person, how would they talk? The tone of voice your event messaging takes must speak uniquely to your attendees. Will your event be formal? Exclusive? Inspirational? Comedic?

  • Keep it all consistent. It is said that it takes an average of 7 interactions with a brand for a person to remember it. Ensure your audience will recognize your brand across different channels by using the same visual cues and tone of voice. Keep graphics and messaging consistent from your registration website to social media channels to printed collateral, before during, and after your event.

Implementing Your Event’s Branding

Once your brand is built, there are endless ways it can come to life:

  • Marketing: Be sure to deploy a consistent brand feel across your registration site, marketing emails, social media, print ads, and any promotional materials.

  • On-site branding: Start with the large elements: think about how your brand feel is communicated on-stage, in large wayfinding signs, and in any animated graphics on-screen. As you get smaller, you can bring your brand to life on badges, SWAG, and handout materials.

  • Digital branding: If you are using an event app, be sure it has a healthy dose of your logo, color scheme, and chosen fonts.

Did you know our event pros spend on average 50 hours per event helping planners like you leverage your event’s brand? Since 1995, GTR has provided the conference and tradeshow industry with innovative technologies designed to improve and simplify event planning, powering more than 12,000 events around the world. Get in touch if you’re looking for on-site or behind-the-scenes help.

Happy event planning,
Team GTR™ 👋