What Is Event Branding? + 5 Examples to Inspire You

The Ultimate Guide to Event Branding in 2024
Is your upcoming event lacking that certain je ne sais quoi? The secret ingredient you‘re missing could be a strong event brand. Event branding is all about crafting a unique identity for your event that sets it apart and gets people excited to attend. A well-developed event brand will be memorable, engaging, and reflective of your company‘s or organization‘s values.
In this ultimate guide, we‘ll dive into exactly what event branding entails, why it matters, and how you can develop an incredible brand for your next event. Learn the essential elements of event branding, get expert tips for designing logos and marketing materials, and see examples of events that totally nailed their branding. Whether you‘re hosting a conference, webinar, product launch, or networking mixer, you‘ll discover how to take your event to the next level with branding.

What is event branding?
Event branding refers to the process of creating a distinct identity for your event using elements like logos, graphics, colors, fonts, tone of voice, and imagery. Think of it like your event‘s personality. The branding should communicate what your event is all about and what kind of experience attendees can expect.
A strong event brand is:

  • Unique: It stands out from other events in your space
  • Consistent: Branding is cohesive across all touchpoints
  • Memorable: It makes a lasting impression on attendees
  • Authentic: It aligns with your company‘s brand and values
  • Engaging: It sparks emotion and enthusiasm in your target audience

Why is event branding important?
Effective branding can take your event from bland to buzz-worthy. Here‘s why it‘s worth investing time into event branding:

  • Attracts the right attendees: Branding communicates who your event is for so you draw in your target audience
  • Builds hype and excitement: Eye-catching branding gets people talking about your event
  • Makes your event memorable: A cohesive brand experience makes your event stick in attendees‘ minds
  • Sets expectations: Branding gives people a taste of the event experience
  • Creates an emotional connection: On-brand visuals, messaging, and experiences forge a bond between attendees and your brand

How to develop an event brand
Ready to start building your event brand? Follow these key steps.

  1. Define your event‘s purpose and personality
    What are the goals and key messages of your event? Who is your target audience? What do you want your event to be known for? Clarify your event‘s mission, vision, and unique selling proposition.
    Then, define your event‘s personality. Is it fun and playful or serious and professional? Luxurious or accessible? Establish traits and a tone of voice for your event brand.

  2. Create your event‘s visual identity
    Your visual branding will usually include:

  • Logo
  • Color palette
  • Fonts
  • Design motifs and graphic elements
  • Photography/illustration style
    Aim to create visuals that stand out, look professional, and communicate your event‘s personality. Avoid generic imagery. A distinctive visual identity will make your event instantly recognizable.
  1. Apply branding across touchpoints
    Your branding should be visible and consistent across all event touchpoints, such as:
  • Event website
  • Mobile event app
  • Email marketing
  • Social media posts and ads
  • Online or printed agenda
  • Posters and signage
  • Tickets and name tags
  • Swag and giveaways
  • Presentations and videos
    Consistent branding creates a seamless experience for attendees.
  1. Integrate branding into the attendee experience
    Bring your branding to life at the event with:
  • Branded spaces: Stage design, check-in area, lounges, exhibit hall, etc.
  • Decor: Centerpieces, table settings, backdrops, etc. that feature brand colors and motifs
  • Photo ops: A step-and-repeat or branded photo backdrop
  • Swag and gifts: Tote bags, t-shirts, water bottles, notebooks, etc.
  • Food and drink: Incorporate brand colors or themed cocktails/desserts
  • Extras: Live music, entertainment, or activities that fit your brand‘s vibe
    Immerse attendees in your event brand for a truly memorable experience.

10 Event Branding Examples to Inspire You in 2024

  1. SXSW: This massive conference‘s branding is colorful, energetic, and a little edgy, just like the event itself. The logo features a star and arrows pointing in all directions, signaling that it‘s the center of what‘s next in culture and innovation.

  2. Adobe MAX: Adobe‘s annual creativity conference has branding that‘s bold, vibrant, and artistic to appeal to its audience of creatives. The kinetic logo animations and futuristic 3D graphics showcase Adobe‘s cutting-edge visual capabilities.

  3. SaaStr Annual: This event for SaaS founders and VCs has a crisp, modern visual identity featuring the logo on a bright teal background. Branding is high-energy and confident to match the ambitious audience.

  4. MozCon: SEO software company Moz‘s conference branding revolves around a playful robot character named Roger. The charming illustrations and friendly vibe make the event welcoming for marketers of all levels.

  5. Dreamforce: Salesforce‘s huge conference has larger-than-life branding with giant inflatable characters, blue-colored everything, and a "Trailblazer" theme that makes attendees feel like heroes.

  6. Siggraph: This computer graphics conference has an iconic "teapot" logo that looks pixelated and futuristic. The branding signals that it‘s a celebration of all things digital and a glimpse into the future.

  7. HubSpot INBOUND: HubSpot‘s annual event branding focuses on a different inspiring "spotlight" theme each year with bright gradients and fun illustrations. The visuals are welcoming and optimistic.

  8. TED Conference: The prestigious event‘s branding is simple and iconic—just the red "TED" letters on a white or black background. It keeps the focus on the "ideas worth spreading."

  9. Summit: This invite-only event series for entrepreneurs has sophisticated, minimalist branding with a mountain logo that evokes exclusivity and aspiration.

  10. Pause Fest: Australia‘s creative, tech and business festival has eye-popping branding full of vivid colors, mind-bending graphics, and trendy design elements that scream innovation.

The Secrets to Standout Event Branding
Here are a few final tips to keep in mind as you develop your event brand:

  • Be true to your brand. Your event branding should feel like an authentic extension of your overall company or organization brand. Don‘t stray too far from your established identity.

  • Prioritize emotion. The best event brands make people feel something, whether that‘s excitement, curiosity, belonging, or even FOMO. Consider how you want attendees to feel and let that guide your branding.

  • Keep it simple. Event branding doesn‘t need to be complicated to be effective. Often a bold and straightforward visual identity is the most impactful. Limit yourself to 1-2 core fonts and colors.

  • Think beyond visuals. Event branding is more than just your logo and graphics. The words you use in your event communications, the music you play, the speakers you select, and the food you serve all contribute to your brand.

  • Learn from the best. Draw inspiration from the branding of events you admire, both inside and outside your industry. Put your own unique spin on proven branding tactics.

There you have it—everything you need to know to develop a stand-out event brand in 2024 and beyond! Prioritizing event branding is one of the best ways to make your gathering a must-attend experience. See you at your next spectacularly branded event!