This Year’s Top Event Branding Trends
It’s no secret it’s hard to stand out as a brand in today’s fast-paced, oversaturated world. Once highly-return strategies such as television, radio, print ads, and billboards are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and even social media posts are fleeting and less impactful. There is only so much traditional marketing strategies can do to cut through all the viral competition that’s constantly vying for attention.
What can a brand do to actually stand out? This kind of challenge requires a creative marketing solution, and at Cassis Productions, we know the secret: event branding. In-person events are the perfect juxtaposition to all of this digital noise.
Making the most of event branding isn’t just about hosting an event — it’s about planning an incredible event with strategic touch points your guests will remember for years. When you hire Cassis Productions, our expertise enables you to capitalize on the impactful strategies that are currently gaining attention.
Here, we explore six event branding trends to incorporate into your next event for a topical, impactful experience.
Trend #1: Micro/Targeted Events
Initially, ‘micro events’ referred to experiences prepared for a specific, small audience—usually within the influencer space. Examples of traditional micro events include small gatherings, speeches or other opportunities where a select group of people share their experiences, perspectives and/or advice. While micro-events remain intimate, they have expanded beyond the influencer audience to become an event branding trend.
Targeted events channel the spirit of micro-events in person. There’s a significant emphasis on connecting with your target demographic by creating a unique experience catered to their interests while highlighting (or creating exposure opportunities for) your brand.
One way to accomplish this goal is to get insight from data about the intended attendees to guide the planning process. Data analysis can let you know which values and causes are most important to your target demographic, and the event can be structured around that information.
For example, a wellness company might find its customers value sustainability and an eco-friendly lifestyle. A targeted event would keep this in mind, perhaps offering a plant-based menu, providing guests with samples of the company’s latest sustainable products or limiting single-use products offered to attendees.
Trend #2: Experiential Events Remain the Most Impactful
In 2023, experiential events will continue their reign as the most impactful type of brand experience This event branding trend involves creating an interactive experience for your guests. Events where guests simply show up, observe and leave with a keychain or pen emblazoned with the company’s name are quickly falling by the wayside.
Guests should be active participants in the event rather than passive attendees.
With these events, it’s all about quality over quantity. Instead of aiming for the highest number of attendees possible, event planners want to create the most impactful and engaging brand experience for the people who matter most to your brand.
There is a high degree of individuality in experiential events. Planning the perfect experiential event for your brand means designing a creative experience your target demographic would enjoy.
As an example, a tech company might create an immersive virtual reality scavenger hunt for event attendees, gifting a pair of VR goggles for the first person to finish the quest. A cupcake company might invite some of its most devoted fans to a focused baking class where they could sample new cupcake flavors, try decorating, and take a box of sweets home with them.
Trend #3: ROI is Changing
When your brand invests in an event, it’s only natural to expect to see some benefits from it. Traditionally, methods for measuring ROI were primarily data-driven, tracking factors like product sales, customer acquisition and the number of leads generated. The focus of event ROI is now shifting. It’s less about how many units are sold, and more about creating a feeling that inspires and links attendees’ positive associations to your brand, creating longer-term loyalty and connection.
Factors that can’t be directly tied to data points — like emotion and experience — are the true modern drivers of successful interactions between consumers and brands. Rather than thinking through the lens of ROI, some event marketers are discussing the high-value impact of ROE: return on emotion.
ROE delivers a larger ROI in the long run. This is especially true for the younger generation. Research has found that Gen Z is more likely to shop from brands that mirror their beliefs, values and personalities.
Successful event branding is about creating connections between your target demographic and your company through personalized brand experiences highlighting the most important causes.
These kinds of thoughtful events have the potential to position your brand as a reputable organization with a social agenda that’s compatible with that of your target demographic — which will, in turn, foster brand loyalty and deeper connections, supporting lifelong customers.
Trend #4: Doing More with Less
Another event branding trend for 2023 is the practice of doing more with less. Efficiently planned events can make a lasting impression on attendees without breaking the bank. You want your event planner to make the most of your budget and truly get you the most impact possible for your investment.
One strategy for making this trend work for your brand is to select a few focal points for your event. These are the elements that your event planning team will strategize so they can stand out and make an impression on your guests. It’s essential to prioritize pieces most likely to foster longer engagement amongst attendees.
For example, instead of devoting a significant portion of the budget to entryway decor that attendees will only see for less than a minute, you could allocate it to a statement piece like a photobooth or other interactive backdrops.
Guests will use this throughout the party to take photos and likely post them on social media, tagging your brand. This functional decor plays a part in curating the brand experience while providing a lasting impact through social media mentions and digital engagement.
Trend #5: Sustainability is Key
Sustainability isn’t just for events hosted by brands directly in the environmentally-conscious or sustainable space. It’s becoming an essential part of planning any event. Sustainability starts with choosing an eco-friendly venue when possible, finding a location that has adopted green initiatives like recycling, smart temperature and energy policies and low or zero single-plastic use.
Other solutions for creating sustainable events include partnering with environmentally-conscious vendors, partnering with caterers who use locally grown ingredients and prioritizing reused or recyclable materials when selecting decor items.
Another part of this trend is the decline in the popularity of giving out freebies to attendees, like branded plastic water bottles or plastic bags. Experiential events should leave guests with an experience they’ll never forget, rather than a grab bag that will end up in a landfill.
Trend #6: Lean in to Exclusivity
Exclusivity is a very attractive draw to potential attendees and can have a serious impact even after the event has finished. To make the most of this event branding trend, it’s essential to plan an event that will offer guests a brand experience unique to the event’s place and time. Anyone not in attendance is guaranteed to miss out on an engaging, one-of-a-kind event.
Exclusivity can take many forms. For example, it might involve giving guests early access to a product or service not yet released. A beauty brand might allow guests to sample a new eyeshadow palette a month before it hits shelves. Attendees will feel special because they get to try this new product before everyone else and are the first ones with that connection to the brand.
Alternatively, exclusivity can mean curating an event that is highly specialized and provides an experience that doesn’t happen everyday. This could mean allowing guests to meet with the founder of a brand for a Q&A session or inviting select customers to a small gathering where they can meet and interact with brand ambassadors or influencers who have partnered with the company.
These brand experiences are unique to the event’s day and are sure to be memorable and impactful for attendees.
Plan an Engaging, Impactful Event with Cassis Productions
Finding an excellent event production team is the best way to ensure your brand’s event will accomplish everything you want. The right event planner will produce a new and modern event without tacking on trends just because they’re making headlines.
As an experienced event marketing agency, Cassis Productions will select the event branding strategies that fit your brand’s needs and goals.
Reach out today to learn more about how we can help your brand plan engaging, impactful events.