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How to improve your brand perception through an event

Posted on February 5th, 2019 in Event News, Industry Insight, Leadership, Speaker Interview

There are many reasons that brands get involved with events – whether they’re sponsoring them, exhibiting at them or activating their own– but one of the key benefits is the ability to shape and improve the perception of a brand.

We spoke to Aaron Langer, the Creative Director of Hook and Arrows, about how companies can master brand expression ahead of his talk at the upcoming The Business of Events conference.

Why an event?

There are many reasons a business gets involved with an event, but the underlying reason for many is that it gives them a chance to build exposure and improve brand reputation, no matter what their other objectives. One of the key ways it does this is by giving a business a chance to show off their values which can be hard to do in other settings.

Asked how much of an effect an event has on brand perception, Aaron said, “100%. It’s got everything to do with brand perception. It’s how a brand exposes itself to the public in the truest sense. Whether it’s a retail, consumer or a business brand, there’s not a lot of opportunity to show its authentic personality. In the event space, it really is an opportunity to impact consumers. It can really shift that perception 180°.”

Create clear objectives

Everything you do as a business should have a purpose and events are no different. There’s no one right answer to this question as what you want to achieve can vary significantly from event to event, from audience to audience and from year to year.

Common goals include getting a certain number of leads, showcasing a new product, getting feedback on your work, increasing exposure and showing off your company’s values. Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, it’s a lot easier to make your plans for how you’re going to achieve it.

Aaron said, “You’ve got to have a deep understanding of what you’re trying to achieve. Are you looking to achieve lead generation? Is the perception in the marketplace skewed? Are you looking to build awareness?”

“There’s lots of different types of events and activations for brands, it all comes down to what the brand’s ultimate objectives are.”

Measuring your work

One common problem that marketers involved in events have is providing feedback to management about how successful an event has been. Often, the cause of the problem is what they’re trying to measure. Traditionally, all marketing spend is tracked in terms of a return on investment – we spent $X and we got $Y in sales.

This is notoriously difficult with events for many reasons such as the long lifespan of an event. Instead of looking at ROI, Aaron prefers to look at ROO, a return on objectives, which is why it’s so important to have clear objectives mapped out.

He said, “In the events space, it’s really, really difficult to capture ROI in terms of the spend on an event and how that translates into direct income. I do think there’s something you can look at in terms of return on investment, it’s something I call return on objective.”

“That’s basically working with the marketing team and ensuring that the objectives are met for the event. Did we get the numbers we were intending to move through the space? Were people engaged? How is that engagement measured?”

“You can really get some great returns on objectives, but in terms of translating that into return on investment and how that translates into sales is a trickier process. I don’t think anyone’s quite got a fix on that. I do see that return on objective is quantifiable.”

Find out more about what Aaron Langer has to say about making a good event a great one by booking a ticket to this year’s Business of Events, 7-8 February 2019 at Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park.

*Photo Credit Aaron Langer, Nintendo Splatoon Game Launch Santa Monica Pier 2013

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