The Ultimate Guide to Branding Your Event
At Big Visual Group, our roots run deep in visually branding live events. You’ve likely seen our work rocking the stage of a Super Bowl halftime show or wrapping the tour buses that carry performers from city to city. Maybe you’ve noticed our products at local events, such as Bonnaroo Music Festival, CMA Fest, or at a Nashville Predators or Tennessee Titans game. Our event staff specializes in helping clients draw a crowd and generate excitement with unique visual branding, wayfinding signage, and event signage. We tirelessly work behind the scenes to ensure your event is expertly-branded from beginning to end. Regardless of event size, we customize a graphics package for every client, helping you meet your revenue goals, while also making a lasting impression.
Your event venue is a blank canvas waiting to be colored with visuals unique to your brand. This event branding guide will take you through the steps to create an event experience that best reflects your brand’s aesthetic, personality, and values. The hope is that you will finish reading this guide with a clearer sense of what you want and a better idea of how to move forward with your next event. As you’ll discover, we give you access to a wide array of visual products, which can be strategically placed to activate your brand and captivate your audience. So, let’s get started!
Step 1: Build an Experimental Event that Activates your Brand
Not every brand has the opportunity to engage its customers, audience, or fans in person for an extended period of time. Your experiential event is the perfect place to turn your captive audience into brand loyalists. Communicate your brand, festival, band, or team’s story in a way that will resonate in the minds of your event-goers, reinforcing your messaging and creating a reputation that becomes well-known and loved. You can do this by tapping into your consumers’ interests: What imagery will most likely resonate with them? What message will speak most directly to their needs and desires?
Get out a pen and paper or gather your team around the whiteboard. Brainstorm answers to these questions:
- Define the goals for your event. What do you want to achieve?
- Who is your audience? Paint a picture of your attendees.
- Define your message. What do you want to communicate?
- Determine your “why.” Why will this event matter to your audience? How will it shape them or change the way they think about and interact with your brand?
Step 2: Determine How to Tell the Story
Now that you know your message and how you want it to impact your audience, apply this strategically to your event:
- How can you add value to your audience’s day? What experience will communicate your message and be exciting for your audience?
- How can you create a visual story with a beginning, middle, and end that will truly stir your audience’s emotions?
- What do you want your audience to feel upon their first impression? How can you achieve this the minute they walk in the door?
- What can you do to help your audience navigate the space and get the most out of their experience? How do you get them from one piece of the story to the next?
- How can your event make a lasting impression? What’s the takeaway from the experience, and how do you follow up?
Step 2A: Don’t Forget Your Sponsors!
Once you’ve established your brand’s activation strategy for the event, another important piece of event marketing is offering opportunities for your top sponsors to activate their brands and make an impact on event-goers as well. By strategically installing sponsor-related signage, tent covers, and banners, you help further your sponsor’s investments and build credibility by association. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to visually promote your sponsors, allowing them to help tell the unique story of your event.
Even the most basic sponsorship package should help a sponsor stand out and make the event look stronger. Your designer or creative director should work with your sponsors to ensure their brand standards are upheld and goals are met, while simultaneously maintaining consistency with the rest of the event. Anything can be branded! Help your sponsors think outside the box by offering sponsorship packages that include vehicle wraps for golf carts or scooters, sidewalk decals, bicycle rack covers for barricades, stage scrims, or window graphics. Sponsors want to be visible to both attendees and home viewers. If the event will be broadcasted live, offer top sponsorship signage opportunities near the stage, rink, field, finish line, or main performances for maximum value.
Step 3: Find Your Sign and Graphic Vendors
Now that you have a vision of the event, you are going to need to help to pull it all together. Even if you’re an event designer or producer, you will benefit from bringing in vendors to enhance your vision with a graphics and display strategy that helps ensure brand consistency throughout the entire event. Ideally, they can help with every aspect of storytelling, creative design, logistics, production, installation, and teardown. The right team will be your strongest asset to find the right products that fit your budget, timeframe, and weather conditions.
Step 4: Discover Your Product Options
When working with Big Visual Group, you have a variety of visual branding products to choose from when it comes to enhancing your live event. We treat each product as an integral piece in a larger, multi-product visual puzzle, meant to help complete and actualize your overall brand activation plan.
Event Venue Decor
Lead your consumers to the main event with brand-centric banners, vinyl displays, directional signage, and more. Generate hype with graphic elements, strategically placed to move crowds and build anticipation for your event.
Building Banners, Wall Murals, Backlit Signs, Floor Decals, Pole Wraps, Dasher Boards, Court Graphics, Environmental Displays, Oversized Posters, Banners
Outdoor Signage and Graphics
Create event displays that withstand weather, stand out in poor lighting, and are hard to drive by without your audience noticing and taking an interest.
Exterior Building Graphics, Sidewalk Graphic, Pole Banners, Flags, Wind Dancers, Barricades, Tent Covers
Media, Booth, and Merchandising Signage
The immersion in the event experience should continue as your audience makes their way through the event space. Make use of the valuable real estate on media, booth, and merchandise signage as you continue leading your consumers to their ultimate destination. This can be done with strategically-placed backdrop displays, directional signage, and more.
Step & Repeat Backdrops, Table Covers, Pop-up Tents, Retractable Banners, Hang Tags, Danglers
Logistical products don’t have to stick out like a sore thumb. Make directional signage, barricades, and fences more fun with branded graphics and designs.
Wayfinding Directional Signs, Informational Kiosks, Digital Signage, Bicycle Rack Covers, Mesh Fence Banners
From small shows to big festivals, branded stage décor sets the tone for your music event with our products.
Stage Scrims, Fabric Backdrops, Mesh Banners, Speaker Banners, Vinyl Banners, Instrument Wraps
Give your consumers something they can remember your event by with beautifully-branded materials like:
Tickets, Backstage & VIP Passes, Programs, Brochures
Step 5: Customize Your Event Branding Products
Whether you’re hosting a festival, music event, or sporting event, every product is customizable to the space and nature of the event. Our visual branding support team will work alongside you to choose, customize, and create materials that fit the needs of your live event.
No matter how enticing your music lineup or sports teams are, you can enhance your event-goers’ experience by building consistent, captivating branding and messaging that resonates with your audience. Set the tone from the moment they walk in the door with impressive visual signs, graphics, and displays that turn each moment of your event into an interactive experience. Each event provides a fresh opportunity to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. Take time to think through the messaging that will best resonate with your event-goers, the expectations you’ll need to exceed, and the experiences you want to create, guiding them through your interactive experience with clear and colorful visual elements.
Above are just a few of the products we produced for the 2015 CMA Music Festival. This outdoor/indoor festival draws thousands from around the nation to Nashville to enjoy this visually (and musically) spectacular event.
We frequently work with national labels and artists to facilitate all their branding needs. Below you can see a few of the products we produced for Sidewalk Prophets, including wrapped guitars, tour buses, vans, trailers, and LED signs.
Step 6: Let Us Help You
Feeling overwhelmed? You don’t have to tackle your event’s visual branding alone. By finding a partner who can literally help you with any aspect of visual branding, from strategy to tear down, you can breathe easy knowing that your event will make a big visual impact!
Big Visual Group is committed to providing you with custom visual solutions to make your next event unforgettable. Are you ready to activate your brand and make a lasting impression? Contact us for a free consultation or quote.
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