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Scroll-Stopping Branding for Your Next Event
You may have heard that cohesive branding is important to the success of your event (I talk about it all of the time, pretty much), but if you have limited elements to play with when promoting your event, people might start to dismiss repetitive images, thinking they’ve seen them already.
The best way to combat this is by having an event branding strategy that is robust and flexible. If you can switch it up but still make the invitation, poster, promotional images, and ads feel related to each other, you’ll build up the trust and recognition without accidentally turning all your hard work into white noise.
The easiest way to accomplish variety in your promotional materials is by having a great palette of colors for the event and swapping them whenever you can. Rotate background colors for social media graphics or switch the color of a headline block.
Remember to keep things high-contrast so they’re still very legible (don’t set cherry red text against royal blue if both of those are in your branding palette) and remember you can incorporate whites, blacks, and greys if you need a little help stretching your palette.
This trick alone can help the viewer reset and pause on your graphic, but as they take it in, they’ll see all of the other branding elements that make it fit with what they’ve already seen. Varied AND cohesive, high five!
Switch up layout
It’s easy to create a template and just update the text as you want to push new information for the event. If you’re relying solely on a template, you may fall into a rut that makes it easy to skim right past that sponsor spotlight.
Try swapping a headline from the right side of the graphic to the left. You can even move it to the bottom if you’re using enough text weight to create the hierarchy you need to make the information legible. Switch the position of blocks of text, images and other visual elements. Again, you just want to make your audience’s brains recognize that it’s a new image.
Expand your stock
I get it, I buy assets for client events a lot and sometimes there’s a stock image that just jumps out and speaks to the tone you want to set. And stock images can be expensive, so purchasing two or even more feels unnecessary.
However, sometimes you’re just setting yourself up for promotion fatigue because despite your tricks with color and layout, that repeating image IS going to lodge in your viewer’s brains and it’s going to be so much harder to overcome. (And if they’re design savvy and exposed to tons of your promotional push, they’re going to notice what you’re doing, sorry.)
How do you mix it up? You can buy a few complementary images (often stock sites will have related images and the contributing photographer might work in that style a lot or have multiple images from the same shoot uploaded), but that can add up.
If you don’t have the budget for multiple stock images, try applying color filters or other treatments, cropping to different parts of the image, or simply doing some of your promotional graphics without the image. You can also use images of speakers or sponsors to promote your event for variety (make sure you’re getting official assets from them so you’re not deploying a 5-year-old headshot and messing up THEIR public branding). If you have photography from a previous event that would work, try some of that as well!
Try not to fall in love with a perfect stock image and over-use it. Build up event branding that has enough other elements that you aren’t stuck relying on the same picture over and over.
Patterns and design elements
Depending on your branding, there may be pieces of it you can pull out. If you have an illustration for your main invitation or poster, maybe promotional graphics can feature a single character or object from it. Combine them in surprising ways or use clusters of shapes in different positions to draw the eye around and engage viewers anew.
Create patterns that work with your branding and use swatches of them in the background, to highlight a single item in your graphic or create a border. You can also reapply your color palette to patterns or illustrations for even more variety.
Stay out of the rut
The biggest takeaway here is that you want your event branding to be just as flexible as your corporate or organization branding.
Being able to use color, typography, layout, visual elements, and images in different combinations will draw your audience’s attention better as they see multiple graphics promoting your event. Keep your elements consistent, but don’t fall into the trap of creating one social media template and feeling that is achieving your goals.
What are some of the best examples of event promotion you’ve seen? Let me know!