Carol Loo
Mar 30, 2011

Five things you need to know about hosting branded events

Carol Loo, account director at Rapp China, offers five tips for hosting an event as an accurate reflection of the values and message of your brand.

Carol Loo, account director at Rapp China
Carol Loo, account director at Rapp China

1. Unconventional and off-the-beaten-path event spaces. Venue is one of the first things your guests will see – either on the invitation or when they arrive at the event. Finding an unconventional space to host the event will go a long way towards impressing guests and making the event memorable.

Think outside the box of restaurants and hotel ballrooms. Unsold homes, empty condos, cathedrals, warehouses and iconic landmarks can become cool, off-the-beaten-path event spaces.  However, make sure that the venue you choose is an accurate reflection of the values and message of your brand. In 2007, Fendi hosted a fashion show on the Great Wall of China. Honestly, did anyone even remember the outfits?

2. Great décor set up. Once you have the perfect venue, the décor becomes the second most important thing. Décor reflects the event’s identity, ambience and determines how you want your guests to feel. It’s also a way to convey something about your brand’s values and culture.

A good example is Continental Tire’s recent party in China to celebrate their sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup 2010. The Millennium Hotel’s garden was transformed into a football field complete with carpet grass, goal posts, flags and score boards, bringing the World Cup games in South Africa live to Shanghai.

3. Interactive experiences. Putting in place interactive elements can turn the most boring corporate meetings into a fresh and interesting event. Whether it’s games or performances, it’s all about finding a way to deliver your message in the most interesting way and reaching out to interact and excite the attendees.

Remember, events are a great way to collect valuable data from your guests, so whether it’s getting them to fill out information to play a game or enter their mobile numbers to have their photo sent via MMS to them, take advantage of the opportunity.

4. Leave an impression. Aside from leaving an emotional impression, sending your guests home with physical takeaways, including souvenirs, door gifts, branded keepsakes, will give them a memento by which to remember the event or brand. Often giveaways can even drive up attendance. 

If you don’t have the budget for expensive gifts, consider providing a photo service. Its always a huge hit with event attendees, especially in China. Forget the old static stamp and repeat backdrop, photos can now be taken anywhere and digitally manipulated to insert any background. As an added bonus, attendees can customise photos, which means more time spent on your data collection programme.

5. Smooth logistics planning. Don’t underestimate the importance of logistics planning and having an experienced, cohesive team during both the planning and execution stages that can quickly respond to any unforeseen situations.

No event is too small or detail too insignificant, including training the people who greet guests at the door to providing hangover medication for the after party.

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