Tips & TricksApril 18, 2019

Branding the Venue to Create Experiential Spaces

Several years ago, a growing home décor and housewares company hosted a small public-facing event on the evening prior to a private event with its local sales team. An elaborate and impressive product display across multiple tables was assembled in the pre-function space. The products featured were displayed to show everyday living as well as entertaining for life’s big events. Handmade baskets (with food safe plastic liners), American-made pottery plates and serving dishes were stacked high with sliced veggies dwarfed by mountains of cubed cheese. A big banner with the name of the company hung off the front edge of the tables, branded welcome signs flanking each side. To those setting it up, it looked perfect, approaching spiritual, and was sure to make a positive impression about their home products on anyone entering the space. As the event was about to begin, a couple walking by noticed the display. The woman read the company’s name out loud and asked, “What’s that?” To which the man replied, “Never heard of it. Must be a cheese company.”

Conferences, events and gatherings of all sorts provide unique opportunities to bring a brand to life, to immerse the audience in the brand, to make it a living, breathing entity to see, feel and experience. We provide a full-range of creative, graphic and scenic design, production, fabrication, install/strike and venue coordination services to support branding efforts at events. When it comes to branding, the venue is a blank canvas. Here are some of our tried-and-true tips to help make it your masterpiece:

  • Event branding is typically a mix of company/organization brand and the brand for that specific event. They should work well together visually. Which one is dominant over the other may vary slightly depending on the intended audience and purpose.
  • Define the objectives and desired outcomes of the branding efforts. How do you want attendees to feel as a result of interacting with the brand? What do you want them to learn or do? You may have slightly different needs for different segments of the audience, but all elements should have consistent look and feel at the core.
  • When planning, see the event from the attendee’s point of view. Walk the space just as they will. Anticipate the flow of traffic and plan to have the biggest impacts where the most eyes will see them. Alternatives to sings on easels, flown banners, “tall boy” self-standing vertical banners, or floor clings on less traveled paths show attendees the way to the main event. Also look for opportunities presented by the unique character of the venue. Columns and pillars can be wrapped with graphics. Banners can be hung from balconies. Gobos can be focused on empty walls. And there’s almost no end to the branding fun that can be had with clings for stairs, escalators and windows.
  • If one of the branding objectives is to create public awareness or improve name/product recognition, consider branding outside of the venue as well as public-facing opportunities within the venue. Sidewalk clings, street banners, electronic signs/billboards, window clings and vehicle graphics make the public aware of your presence.
  • Hotels, resorts, convention centers, arenas and stadiums are large spaces. It’s important to plan for scale and impact. Generally, whether it’s a banner, a cling, oversized products or anything else, design to fill the space as much possible. Also think about sight lines in crowded foyers and other spaces. When feasible, keep essential signage and branding above the heads.
  • Branding can be more than banners, signage or physical structures such as selfie stations. It can also be electronic signs, video or graphics monitors, LED walls, gobos/lighting, Augmented Reality or projection/architectural mapping. The experience is more than visual. Carefully-curated music selections played through a great sounding system creates the feel. Check out our portfolio to see examples of electronic branding, Augmented Reality, and projection mapping.

Make no mistake: Every event is a branding event. Unless you are a cheese company, you don’t want to be mistaken for one. Events provide opportunities to define, express and experience brands in ways other mediums can’t. Event branding is something we believe we do exceptionally well. Our clients agree. Let us help you design an immersive experience that advances your brand and surpasses the expectations of your audience.