Making your event stand out and being memorable is no easy feat. But there are ways to make a lasting impression on guests, sponsors and speakers alike to generate buzz—maximizing engagement and creating ROI from your event. Use these examples as inspiration to boost your company or organization.
Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa has turned one of its greatest assets—the beach—into a prime branding spot for events. Emily Orsini, senior sales executive at the resort, sees the beachfront as an opportunity to surprise clients upon arrival with a personal welcome, but also to help attract sponsors. “Particularly in the association world, it’s also a fantastic sponsorship opportunity,” she says. “It helps groups capture incredible sponsors to help fun their meetings. A personalized logo is the perfect backdrop for a great group photo opportunity, which really helps leave a lasting memory of a great conference at our resort,” says Orsini.
Ice sculptures are a popular way to do something different with branding but that also makes a statement that transcends the event. World Elephant Day made a big impact when South African liqueur company Amarula and WildlifeDIRECT sponsored a giant ice sculpture shaped like an elephant. As part of the fundraising campaign, "Don't Let Them Disappear,” ice sculptor Shintaro Okamoto carved an elephant from 85 blocks of ice overnight. The next day, the ice elephant slowly melted away in the day's 79-degree heat, symbolizing Africa's disappearing elephants. The event also generated scores of media and press for Amarula, which donated $1 of every bottle sold to WidlifeDIRECT to help save Africa's elephants.
Look to the Skies
Hiring a skywriter can stir an awe-struck reaction from guests and brand a memorable event. Saul Colt, founder and creative director of The Idea Integration Co., launched a skywriting campaign for Xero that launched during a targeted conference for TechCrunch in San Francisco. The end result was getting in front of thousands of event attendees that fit Xero’s demographic. Event planners can use a similar approach to skywrite their own logo, pitch creative ways to work with their sponsors or honor keynote speakers by writing their name or business name in the sky.
Event planners looking to invoke a human element to their branding can create a video series and let their guests do the talking. When Lisa Alfaro served as the communications director for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she branded an anniversary gala "40 Reasons Why" featuring 40 chambers of business members sharing their reasons behind joining. The top 40 theme continued with articles for the blog including a look at "40 Ways to Maximize Your Business Exposure on Twitter." The theme shed light on the personal side of the chamber of commerce and how it positively impacts members.