Today’s consumers are notoriously fickle, flitting from one brand to another in search of an authentic customer experience with a brand they deem worthy of their trust. But if your events aren’t unmistakably aligned with your brand promise, you’re unwittingly conveying the sentiment that your brand is unpredictable at best, and untrustworthy at worst.

More often than not, the root of a discordant event lies in inferior Event Relationship Management (ERM™) – and this dissonance comes at a cost.

By harnessing the power of ERM™, you can plan, organise and run events that are an unmistakable extension of your brand. And the benefits thereof are manifold:

It’s easier to earn the trust of your guests

As the old adage goes, ‘Trust is earned’, and by ensuring that every single aspect of your event delivers on your brand promise, you’re actively earning and strengthening the trust of your guests. From email invitations with superior UX to a streamlined check-in processes and relevant, engaging speaker line-ups, you’re conveying a sense that your brand is consistent, reliable, and therefore, trustworthy.

You spread the right kind of brand awareness

Spending time and money crafting an ingenious marketing campaign and jaw-dropping creative is only an investment if your guests’ experience is just as impressive. Making use of an ERM platform ensures that the message you’re sending is consistent, professional and on-brand – prior, during and after your event.

You spark a conversation about your brand

Events that are managed via an ERM platform aren’t only perfectly parallel to your brand promise, they’re also an effective way to get people talking about your brand. Whether through an event app that enables guests to partake in discussions with fellow attendees and speakers, or via social media mentions after an out-of-this-world event, a streamlined, perfectly-on-point event experience equates to positive word of mouth (the most powerful marketing method out there).

You can continuously learn more about your guests

One of the biggest benefits of managing an event with ERM software is the fact that you can gather nuggets of invaluable information about your guests. There are numerous ways to do so: customised form fields in your online invitations, in-app surveys, post-event surveys and more.

Your event team can concentrate on the small – but important – details

Thanks to the multi-functionality of ERM software, you no longer have to spend hours combing through guest lists or itineraries. You also don’t have to deal with the nightmare scenario of a laborious and lengthy registration process. By automating these tasks, you and your team are able to dedicate your attention to your guests: from organising an emergency shuttle for guests who’ve missed their lift at the airport, to ensuring that your VIPs have everything they need.

An event consists of multiple layers, each requiring attention – some all at once. ERMsoftware ensures that all your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, so you can deliver an event experience that does your brand – and guests – justice.

Learn more about our ERM software, and how it can help you to plan and manage extraordinary events by downloading our brochure below.


corporate-event-trends.jpgCorporate branding involves the communication and promotion of an organisation’s values, vision and culture – it’s ‘vibe’ – to inspire brand loyalty in their customers, employees, and stakeholders. Loyal brand ambassadors are ones who feel that a company’s ethos and culture aligns with theirs’.

In many ways, the public relate to and engage with a company’s brand as if it’s an actual personality. This is why the recent Volkswagen (VW) emissions scandal was so bad for business: VW was meant to be trustworthy, and the fact that the organisation (knowingly or unwittingly) deceived its customers was more scandalous than the flawed product itself. VW let its people down.

Positive sentiment towards an organisation’s brand ultimately drives sales, profit margins and a business’ overall success

This is why effective corporate branding strategies are so important. Marketing managers are responsible for developing an organisation’s corporate branding and, whether they like it or not, corporate events form part of this marketing strategy.

So, how do marketing managers plan and execute events so that these experiences strongly resonate with attendees and have a positive spin-off for their organisation’s corporate identity and brand?

1.Start at the beginning – it’s a good place to start

An interesting research article by Professor Simon Knox and David Bickerton suggests that getting back to the basics may just be part of the answer. Management (both in marketing and senior leadership) first needs to make sure that the company’s vision, culture and image are aligned so that they can correctly position the organisation’s brand. As management develops a better understanding of their organisation’s unique brand identity and image, they can then more effectively communicate this across the organisation – and beyond – through their brand management activities.

When it comes to running corporate events, a company’s corporate branding must be intentionally communicated through the type of event experiences that the business organises. An organisation’s core vision, culture, values and image need to be well represented at every point of engagement with event guests.

2.Work on articulating brand statements and ensuring brand consistency

When (re)constructing a brand, Knox and Bickerton recommend that a set of brand statements be developed to describe the organisation’s corporate branding position. This will help to develop a unified corporate language for an organisation’s formal and informal communications.

According to the Knox and Bickerton, consistency in communications is also key for effective corporate branding. Communication for corporate events needs to align with the company’s brand statements and style guide, and remain consistent in style and tone, to help build on (and not break down) what guests already know about the organisation’s brand identity.

In many ways, email invitation software is ideal for ensuring consistency in corporate branding communications: To find out more, download our Event Marketing Guide.

Image Credit: www.google.co.za

 


corporate branding It’s out with the old and in with the new as corporate branding continues to evolve. Brands are eschewing traditional methods, as the focus shifts to that of the end experience of their customers. ‘Experience’ is the word du jour – with everything from social media campaigns, web design, video and events being tailored to provide customers with one that’s personal, enjoyable and convenient. We’ve rounded up the corporate branding trends to keep on your radar in 2016 – as predicted by marketing, corporate event and branding experts.

Authentic acts of kindness that put consumers first will rise in popularity

A strong undercurrent of the current zeitgeist – gratitude – is influencing the way corporate branding approaches their markets. As with any other marketing endeavour, authenticity wins hands down. As Lynn Gordon, writing for Marklives.com puts it: “Grateful brands appreciate loyalty and brand engagement”. In an age where consumers make the final call, this is a priceless corporate branding strategy. One of the first instances of corporate branding that used gratitude as its focus was Interflora UK’s ‘Twitter-ppreciation’campaign launched in 2010 – by sending flowers to followers who were having a bad day. MarkLives also reported that Airbnb’s 2015 #OneLessStranger campaign saw the company giving away $ 1 million in $10 increments, with recipients being encouraged to spend the money on reaching out to a friend or to forge new connections. 2016 will see more brands follow suit; SA telecoms giant Vodacom recently rolled out their ‘Give a happy’ campaign that gifted customers with airtime and data.

An increased focus on the psychology behind why we buy what we buy

In an effort to truly understand their customers, brands will delve deeper into the psychology of their consumers’ behaviour. After all, the more you understand your market, the better equipped you are to create something that garners their support. In particular, two major points of focus will be: reciprocity – the concept that “speaks to the human need (and tendency) to want to give something back when something is received” – as defined in this blog from SENSEI marketing, and social proof, defined by marketing automation software provider Hubspot as the “theory that people will adopt the beliefs or actions of a group of people they like or trust.” These two major psychological influences on buying behaviour will be incorporated into corporate branding strategies in order to assist companies in amplifying their brand presence, acknowledgment and advocacy.

Investing in events over traditional corporate branding efforts

According to business.com, “brands that host events are 43% more likely to build new relationships with target customers than those that chose not to do so.” As corporate branding continues its shift to smaller, more intimate experiences (as opposed to one-size-fits all mass campaigns), events will continue to be used as a powerful way to engage your market, gift them with an enjoyable experience, and deliver value. In addition, corporate events will become more streamlined and efficient for attendees – as brands scramble to reduce any pain points traditionally associated with attending a conference, expo or launch. We’ll see more and more events incorporate event technology like event management software that enables them to do this. Events as a means of corporate branding owe their power to the fact that they incorporate all major marketing trends of today: that of exceptional UX (user experience), authenticity and reciprocity.

Make sure your corporate branding and events are ahead of the pack. Download our Guide to Turning your Events into Marketing Gold to find out how.

Image Credit: cdn.designbeep.com


Your event is your brand personified. It’s the perfect chance for your brand to develop from a collection of images and associated adjectives in the minds of your attendees to a three-dimensional, dynamic entity that’ll create a lasting relationship with them. Meeting a person face-to-face has far more meaning and impact than simply chatting over email. The same applies to corporate branding. But getting corporate branding right requires intricate attention to detail, knowing what your guests are all about and having a clear idea of your brand’s marketing objectives.

Each and every touch point at your event matters for your corporate branding

Your event’s touch points are every juncture at which your guests interact with your brand – offline andonline. The first contact they might have with your brand is through your Facebook page; the next might be the invitation that gets sent to them by email. It also includes the welcome desk at your event, signage, entertainment, the conversations your guests have with your staff and even the thank you note you send out to them once the event is over. You must identify all touch points and make sure you design them in a way that matches your corporate branding, as well as the way you want your guests to feel about your brand.

Give your guests an unforgettable experience that money can’t buy

So you’ve identified and designed the touch points of your event. Next, consider the overall experience: do your touch points work well together as a whole to create an experience that’s going to be memorable and in alignment with your corporate branding? That’s not to say you need a massive budget for extravagant entertainment and the most expensive wine. Even the smallest touch like photo booths, phone charging stations and a competition create chances for people to interact with and get to know your brand. Remember, the emotional aspect of your event is one of the most effective ways to create brand loyalty.

Experience is nothing without efficiency

The experience you provide your guests might be one of the most important aspects of corporate branding at events, but none of this can come together without efficiency: think, short queue times, clearly signposted areas, an information hub and programmed events starting at the time they’re scheduled for. Without efficiency, the experience of the event will be disrupted. Not only that, but it will make your attendees think your brand is inefficient and unprofessional too.

Events are now all about the guests and less about the brand

The only way you’ll create an event that resonates emotionally with your guests is by getting to know what makes them tick. Without this information, you’re essentially planning your event blind and leaving this important process down to guesswork. This is where technology has facilitated the creation of events that are personalised and offer guests an experience they would never have had, had it not been for the event planner using Event Management Software. The power balance between marketer and customer has shifted from it being all about the brand, to it now being all about the customer. The same mindset must be applied to your event.

Make sure you integrate all social media platforms with your event and branding

Getting your guests to feel a certain way about your brand starts and continues on social media platforms. These platforms have made it possible for brands to be in constant contact with their customers – even whilst they’re at the event. It’s therefore vital that you made sure these platforms are integrated, that the right brand messages are sent out across each channel and that none of these messages are conflicting. Creating an event-specific hashtag for Twitter and Facebook is a great way to pool together the conversation around your event.

Event Management Software helps you plan an event that will successfully convey your corporate branding and marketing messages. Download our Practical Guide to Professional RSVP for more insights on planning an event that genuinely resonates with your guests.

Image Credit: bmodetrading.com