5 Tips to Building Your Event’s Brand Online
The creation of your event’s brand has been a process that has taken years, if not decades! As with any new brand, there was a period of trial and error to fine-tune what it means to be associated with your event as you found your identity.
For some of you it means supporting youth livestock scholarships. For others it means staying on the cutting edge of the fried-food craze, while others are focused on creating the ultimate concert lineup. Whatever it may be, there is an immediate thought that comes to mind when someone hears your event’s name.
Over the years, we have found that many events are sure of who they are, but just aren’t quite sure how to translate their brand to the web. Check out these 5 tips to help you enhance your online marketing to truly reflect who you are as an organization.
1. Make your website the online front gate to your event.
The moment people arrive at your website, they should feel like they have stepped onto your event grounds. If there is a specific theme or color associated with your event, make sure that plays a part in the look and feel of your site. People may only visit your grounds once a year, but visiting your website is an experience they can have daily, so make sure you make it memorable! Honestly, I can’t be on the Rodeo Austin website for very long before I can “taste of the dirt” of the rodeo.
2. Strut your stuff!
Your event is unique and has a personality all its own, so don’t be afraid to show it. The Tulsa State Fair has fun to spare on their website! Their mascot, Dizzy the goat, pops in and out showing off different aspects of the fair. From food to livestock, they highlight different aspects of their event with a twist. They also incorporate their colors in a great way by creating a bright, eye-catching design.
3. Don’t lose sight of what you’re all about.
Make sure you feature the mission of your organization. For example, the American Royal Association highlights right on their homepage that they give over $1 million annually to support youth and education. While lots of people visit their site to learn about events like the rodeo or World Series of Barbecue, they want to make sure that you know right from the start the heart of who they are and the difference that want to make in Kansas City.
4. Create a community of fans and supporters.
You hear us harp all the time on the importance of social media, but an event that seems to really “get it” is the Florida Strawberry Festival. They have over 36,000 Facebook fans and over 5,000 Twitter followers. The often run contests and post pictures to spark conversation among their followers, which are great ways to create a sense of community.
5. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
I think we can all agree that fairs, festivals and rodeos aren’t always the first to jump on board with new online trends. For example Pinterest is the fastest growing website in history, but only a few fairs, like the Kansas State Fair, have actually created accounts! If you’re late to trends, you are missing out on free, primetime marketing! We encourage you to pay attention to the “buzz” you might hear about new online marketing tools, and don’t be afraid to take the plunge. What have you got to lose?