Communicating Your Mission Through Branding at Events

Communicating Your Mission Through Branding at Events

When planning a conference or other large event for your association, determining how to engage attendees from start to finish is essential for success. At the same time, you want to make sure your event comes across as professional and represents what your organization stands for. After all, your main goal is to keep members coming back and taking advantage of all the professional opportunities your association has to offer!

Consistently branding your event helps address all of these factors. Your organization’s brand reinforces its mission and values while emphasizing the professional aspect of your association. Using your brand strategically will draw attendees into your event, allowing them to have a memorable experience that leaves a positive impression of your organization.

In this quick guide, we’ll look at three areas of association events where you can use branding to communicate your mission:

  • Registration Forms
  • Promotional Materials
  • The Event Venue

Before you dive into branding your event, Loop recommends compiling your association’s brand guidelines into a single document. This brand guide will then serve as a reference for anyone who works on your event branding to ensure every aspect is cohesive.

Registration Forms

Registration marks the beginning of the event experience for attendees. Create a good first impression by making your association’s branding pop on your registration website and form!

In particular, ensure these aspects of your branding are front and center as members sign up:

  • Logo. Your logo is the visual representation of what your association stands for, so it serves as a “seal of approval” that connects your event materials back to your organization. Place it in the top corner of your registration form so attendees see it right away.
  • Fonts. Choose fonts that look professional and are easy to read on a screen—sans serif tends to work best. Use different typefaces for headers and body text to add visual variety, but avoid having more than two distinct fonts on the form so it doesn’t look cluttered.
  • Colors. As you incorporate your brand colors into the form, make sure there’s enough contrast between the text and background colors so it’s easy to read. Let’s say your association’s colors are red, black, and light gray. You could use black text on a light gray background or vice versa and then include red as an accent color to make the form more visually interesting.
  • Messaging. Branding extends beyond visual communication. It also applies to how your association presents itself in writing—like the informational content on your registration form. Keep your written tone, word choice, and mechanics consistent so your members can be confident they’re registering for your event.

To provide the best possible sign-up experience, your registration form’s branding should be consistent with the rest of your organization’s website. This cohesion allows for a seamless transition between the informational page about the event and the form, as well as other parts of your site where first-time attendees might look to learn more about your association.

Promotional Materials

In addition to your association’s website, feature the above branding elements in all of your other event promotional materials, including:

  • Email marketing. Create a branded letterhead for email blasts about your event that includes your logo, fonts, and colors, and reference your messaging guidelines as you write the copy. Additionally, when association staff members respond to questions about the event, have them put your logo in their email signatures to instill trust that the responses are from real people at your organization.
  • Social media. Ensure your association’s visuals and messaging shine on every social media platform. According to Getting Attention, Facebook is the top ROI-generating social media site as of 2023, with Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok all tied for second place. Advertise across all of these platforms for the widest possible reach—along with LinkedIn, since its users are probably looking for professional development opportunities like your event!
  • Direct mail. Although many organizations focus on digital marketing, direct mail isn’t dead. Rather, it’s a great way to make your brand more tangible for event attendees! Use your brand fonts and messaging guidelines to communicate what benefits members will receive if they attend your event, and incorporate color into your invitation letters wherever possible to catch their attention.

If you promote your event through co-marketing opportunities, ensure your partners or sponsors include your association’s logo alongside theirs and add direct quotes from your organization that capture the essence of your mission-driven messaging. Not only will you make your association’s brand recognizable to your sponsors’ audience, but you’ll also communicate even more about your mission by showcasing your partnerships with organizations whose values align with yours.

The Event Venue

Branding a space looks different depending on whether your event takes place in person or virtually. We’ll cover each of these options in the following sections.

In-Person Events

Some of the best places to feature your brand colors, fonts, and logo at in-person events include:

  • Signage and banners at the venue
  • Your event app and other interactive tools
  • Name badges for attendees, speakers, staff, and volunteers
  • Event swag like notepads, pens, water bottles, and phone wallets

Incorporating your brand in these ways makes your venue look cohesive and professional, in addition to showcasing your association everywhere at the event.

Virtual Events

For virtual events, you’ll primarily brand the technology associated with your event, including your:

  • Online event agendas
  • Hosting platform’s waiting rooms
  • Livestreams and pre-recorded videos
  • Presentation slides

Additionally, your association may already send member and donor gifts through the mail, so why not mail out swag packs to virtual event attendees as well? That way, they’ll have a tangible reminder of your event (and your mission) in addition to seeing your branding throughout the virtual experience!

Communicating your association’s mission through branding doesn’t end when your event is over. Incorporate your brand into thank-you messages and other follow-ups to keep it top of mind even after attendees leave. Also, include a couple of questions in your post-event survey about brand recognition and your association’s mission to determine how much your efforts resonated with your audience.

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