Planning an event can be a challenge, especially when you are charged with creating a memorable, intoxicating experience for the attendees that is infused with value and content. What can you do to ensure of a positive experience for the attendees? How do you even get them there? And once you get them there, how do they actually experience what you intend them to?
One way to avoid a capricious event experience for attendees is to simply build a profile of the ideal event attendee, and walk through the event day step by step, envisioning the experience moment by moment. Every step of the way you can outline every possible outcome where something little could create a major impression if timed correctly, or how to avoid potential pitfalls. This is the difference between successful and unsuccessful event planners. Imagination and focus on the individual’s event attendees experience.
The Pre-Event Experience
Chicago is the windy city where the McCormick Center draws thousands of events each year. People come from all over the world to attend the events held there. The event begins long before the day. Event promotion to get the targeted audience in the know about the event has to happen months before hand. Sponsors have to be solicited, social media sites setup, mailers designed, website launched, mini-events, co-partnerships, e-mail marketing, list sharing, and the list goes on and on.
Let’s say your target audience is a 30 year old, middle class, Caucasian, Nurse. Let’s name her Jane. The day before the event, she is flying in from San Diego to Chicago. She is staying at the Westin Hotel a few blocks from the Convention Center, which was recommended by you, the event organizer, and received a group discount for staying with them. It is a hectic day in airports and by the time she gets to her hotel room, all she wants to do is watch TV and phase out. How nice would it be to have a welcome basket waiting for her on the bed? And a decal on the mirror welcoming her to the event?
The Event Experience
The next morning she gets up late because she was so tired from the night before and is rushing out of her hotel room and forgets the print-outs from the event so she is not sure what the conference schedule is. She enters the elevator to see on the back of the elevator door a decal outlining the entire schedule of events so she knows exactly where she is going when she gets there, which relieves her stress as she exits the hotel.
A hotel shuttle fully wrapped head to toe in the conference’s event graphics pulls up to pick her up. Wow! She didn’t realize how impressive this event was going to be. Her excitement for the event rises, and her pride to be a part of such a prestigious event swells.
She pulls up to the event, she receives a text message welcoming her to the event and a link to the schedule of events/speakers for her to look at in the shuttle.
The huge 30′ span of windows in front of the convention center are covered with vibrant graphics showcasing images of health-care professionals, key sponsor logos, and the event logo. Again, she is taken aback on how well put together this event seems to be!
When she walks in there are huge fabric banners adorning the walls, and hanging from the ceiling, creating quite an ambiance. She registers, gets her badge with ease and receives a bag with information about the sponsors, vendors, and speakers and heads over to the first session.
She looks down and sees carpet decals showcasing the different speakers photos, room numbers they are speaking in, and their sponsor logo. Each are color coded, and have decals off shooting leading Jane right to the room she needs to be in.
After the session, she is at lunch and 15 minutes before the next speaker she gets another text message reminding her that her next session starts soon, and when and where to be.
Event Graphics and Branding Create Powerful Experiences
With new graphics materials on the market, just about any surface can be “wrapped” or branded with graphics that are fully removable without causing damage. These new materials are creating powerful event experiences by using:
Building Wraps and Banners on Parking Garages, and Event Venues
Concrete Wall Murals
Shuttle Bus Graphic Wraps
Urinal and Porta John Graphics
Giant Fabric Banner Backdrops
Tradeshow and Expo Pop-up Displays
Biodegradable event signs
When you showcase your event logos, and sponsor logos you are showing attendees how professional and put together you are. The more of a leader you showcase yourself as, the more sponsors will want to support you, and the more attendees will want to participate. The first impression of the event can either be a hit or a total let-down. Event graphics can make all the difference to enhance and showcase the speakers you worked so hard to land, the educational sessions that can be invaluable to the attendees. Create an experience that will be unforgettable year after year by using the right combination of graphics throughout the event.
What to Brand at the Event Venue
Because there are so many surfaces at an event venue that can be wrapped, what do you choose to wrap, and how? You want to choose a few large spaces that are located centrally to where people enter and gather regularly at the event to wow them quickly.
A mural over the registration area, a few large columns wrapped as they walk in, or a large window mural outside when they pull up in the shuttle. Support these major wow moments with supporting locations like
wrapping the doors of the elevators, or placing a major logo on the staircase leading up to the main conference hall. If the event has desks where people sit, consider some small decals for the desks, with graphics integrating text messaging technology to get them registered for a drawing, or to send them information on membership, or whatever is relevant to them.
Schedule a tour of the event facility and bring your camera and a measuring tape. Snap pictures of areas you are interested in putting graphics on, or hanging signs from. Take some general measurements of the areas for quoting purposes as well. Send the pictures and measurements into a professional graphics company that specializes in Event Surface Graphics and Branding. They should then be able to:
Send the Event Venue Property Manager material samples if necessary
Provide a quote for you
Produce the graphics for the event
Install and remove the graphics on site
Working with a professional graphics company will reduce headaches and create a turn-key event branding experience for you, so you can concentrate on making the event a success in other ways.
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