Event branding is key to unlocking a one-of-a-kind party
Event planningGuest Columnist

Event branding is key to unlocking a one-of-a-kind party

Branding an event is what will help to make it distinct and memorable for years to come.

Shari Zatman
A branded dance floor was inspired by the couple’s wedding invitation. (Photo by Rhaina Taylor Photography)
A branded dance floor was inspired by the couple’s wedding invitation. (Photo by Rhaina Taylor Photography)

As a professional event producer, people often seek my support to help their special day stand out. My approach to designing a personalized and custom event is through what I call “event branding.”

While many people associate branding with corporate marketing, it’s a strategy that can be applied to social events as well.

Branding is all about creating a visual identity and experience that’s a reflection of a person or organization’s interests and values. When it comes to events, it’s a way to represent who an event is for and add deeper meaning and purpose. An event’s brand also can inform a range of planning choices, including venue, design and decor style.

Here are some ways to incorporate event branding.

Finding inspiration: Developing an event brand requires thoughtful consideration. Start by thinking about what feels personal, attractive and engaging. If you need additional ideas, think about experiences and visuals that may stand out to you from traveling, dining or shopping. Browsing magazines, newspapers or websites also can spark creativity.

Opting for a theme: A tried-and-true way I personalize events like mitzvah celebrations is with a theme, which can be inspired by someone’s interests, hobbies or favorite things. This allows for more flexibility than just a single activity or point of intrigue. A theme also can be carried out through visual references woven into the event experience in several ways. For example, a baseball theme can incorporate a custom photo booth or selfie station with a graphic of the interior of the team locker room or ball field. A snow ski theme can have an après ski bar with assorted hot beverages.

Referencing social media: Using social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest can be helpful tools for visual references while curating a vision for your event, especially when working with a professional event producer. For some people, striving to explain their ideas can be challenging, so showing pictures of what they have in mind, their likes and dislikes can make the process easier. I encourage my clients to select and share with me images that I can use as references. Remember, though: Just because you see something on social media doesn’t necessarily mean it will work the same way for every venue or event scenario. Figuring out how to adapt and bring to life something spotted on social media can be quite involved and often requires the support of a professional.

Putting it all together: Once a vision for the event has been determined, there are many things to consider when figuring out what will be best for your event. Branding is, quite literally, a way to make your mark on your event. For example, inspirations found online or in real life can be used as the basis for picking color palettes, a custom logo and graphics — all of which can be sprinkled throughout an event and show up on bars, the dance floor, printed materials, gift bags and more.
Linens, balloons, flowers and furniture in colors and textures that align with the theme are more ways to brand the event. For example, a great custom addition to a lounge area can include throw pillows printed with the event logo.

Distinguishing fantasy from reality: Before moving full-steam ahead, pause to make sure the event branding plan is possible. For instance, will it work for the desired venue? If the vision is to hang something from the ceiling, is that permitted in the space? Do you know a professional who can help make sure there are rigging points or identify a structure from where items can be safely hung overhead? Is the theme functional? Sometimes, what’s posted online is from styled photo shoots, meaning that a perfect-looking party on Pinterest may have been set up purely for a photograph. Also, what will all the different elements to brand an event cost? A professional event planner and designer can help break down and explain the expenses involved with branding an event to make sure all of the elements stay within the budget.

While it may seem intimidating at first, branding an event is what will help to make it distinct and memorable for years to come and will leave a lasting impression on guests — long after the last dance or Champagne toast. PJC

Shari Zatman is a professional event planner, designer and consultant with close to 25 years of event industry experience. Perfectly Planned by Shari focuses on luxury events such as parties, mitzvahs, weddings, corporate and nonprofit events. perfectlyplannedbyshari.com

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