10 Tips to Help Event Professionals Elevate Their Brand

October 11, 2023

Tony Sclafani

Tony Sclafani is a Managing Director at Mercury, a global public affairs firm. For nearly 10 years, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at the Javits Center in New York City. Tony can be reached at tsclafani@mercuryllc.com.

Building a brand requires a comprehensive look at your organization’s past, present and future. A significant amount of time, resources and discipline are necessary in order to implement a branding strategy that exemplifies the spirit of your mission and communicates that to your employees, your clients and the world beyond the show floor. The result will be a stronger organization, inside and out, that boosts staff morale, drives new business opportunities and spurs new innovations and partnerships for years to come. 

Here’s a blueprint to start elevating your brand today – for tomorrow’s success. 

1.     Select Milestones. Take a look at the next 12 to 36 months and identify potential milestones that can serve as newsworthy items and be celebrated in a public fashion, such as a redesigned event or new destination venue. Preparing written announcements will better inform internal and external audiences.  

2.     Identify Leaders. From show directors to marketing managers, select a diverse group of rising stars and veteran employees who can serve as passionate representatives of your organization and speak authoritatively about operations. Media training may be needed, but the investment will translate into better media coverage. 

3.     Establish Metrics. Any solid communications plan centers around a core set of metrics that can be tracked over time and demonstrate operational growth. From economic impact to attendance increases, these metrics serve as the basis for news stories, corporate reports, media kits, social media posts and marketing materials. 

4.     Create Guidelines. Establish a set of brand guidelines that employees can rely on as they conduct operations, develop new assets and seek new business. They will help to formulate an organization’s identity and strengthen its position in the marketplace. Examples include a set of corporate values, a standard color palette, print and digital signage and approved talking points.  

5.     Strengthen Internal Communications. Create an internal communications structure that ensures key information flows from the top of the organization to the bottom and from the bottom to the top. News about operational successes — from sustainability efforts to product launches — does not always reach all levels of management, and therefore, information oversharing is important. Examples include a company newsletter, cross-training sessions and an employee recognition process. 

6.     Document Success. Recording milestones is key to charting progress and elevating your brand. Corporate reports, website updates, email blasts and social media networks are some ways to connect with existing audiences and reach new ones, including elected officials, local businesses and community leaders. Creating graphic, photograph and video libraries will provide the necessary visual assets. 

7.     Be Unconventional. Some of the world’s most successful brands transcend their core products and services in order to celebrate noble ideals that inspire us all. Foster goodwill by demonstrating how your work positively impacts the surrounding community, including non-profit donations, waste diversion and job creation.  

8.     Establish Media Relationships. To raise awareness, working regularly with mainstream and trade media outlets is critical. Establishing long-standing relationships with reporters, editors and producers will help to communicate your organization’s successes and generate new opportunities. 

9.     Partner with Advocates. From audio-visual production teams to catering providers, work in concert with business partners who can promote your collaborative efforts across all platforms and help you reach new audiences unaware of your efforts. 

10.  Tell Your Story. The most effective way to elevate your brand is to speak up. No one is going to tell your story better than you, and you must be willing to dedicate some time and resources to communicate your mission and message. 

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