The Five Senses of Your Brand: Sight

For years, Marketers and Event Planners have worked hand in hand (sometimes begrudgingly) to produce events for internal and external audiences, and use those events to celebrate milestones within the company and with guests and clients. In our increasingly digital world, companies are looking for a marriage between these two departments more than ever, and aiming to create experiences that have attendees sharing - online and IRL (In Real Life). Events are more than a budget, a timeline , food and beverage - we are called to create unique, immersive experiences that speak to the overall brand(s) we represent, thereby creating “Brand Love,” a loyalty that cannot be bought with advertisements, digital or otherwise. But where to start? In this blog series, I’ll dive in to what makes your brand memorable, and how to add those elements to a guest experience and create that love, IRL.

But, where does one begin? Typically, I have clients do a deep dive into their brand pillars. Knowing what your brand stands for, and who you are, helps confirm the types of experiences you should create for your customers. After doing a thorough examination of your brand (and tweaking where necessary) it’s time to dive into your brand’s 5 senses.

The easiest for event planers especially is typically sight - the visuals, colors and themes that best represent your brand. Many times, the colors are decided in the logo and fonts that were chosen ages ago (or sometimes, within a recent rebrand). Aside from the expected, what can you do to add an element of surprise? 

Deviating from the typical cotton linens is one way to go about it. From pintuck to chantung, satin and layers, there are endless ways to create depth within a room. Caterers often use linens to showcase their food items on a buffet, adding different sized risers for a more dramatic effect.

Decor (florals, installations, lighting) is another way to add drama to a room. Event designers will often switch up the traditional florals for something a bit more personal, whether that be flowers made from recycled paper for a company that is eco-friendly, to stacks of books or personal photos, it’s not just about the flowers anymore.

Beyond what your guests see on the tables and the decor, what can you do to make your mark at an event visually—to truly stand out, and beg your guests to take out their phones, snap and share photos, and, most importantly, interact with one another. 

A local example of this was SPiN Philadelphia’s VIP Media Preview Party at the One Liberty Observation Deck, where they had local street artist Alloyius McIlwaine live “tag” a ping pong table, which he completed during the event. The table was then donated to a local Boys & Girls Club (hello, community tie-in!)

A phenomenal national example of this (that, if you know me, you have heard before) is Refinery 29’s 29Rooms installation. They work not only with artists, but with brands, to create a completely immersive experience using every single one of the five senses. From inspirational phrases on the walls to life-sized typewriters that guests can walk on, the entire experience begs you to create room in your memories.

Sight comes into play in a whole new fashion if you are considering attendees who may be audio-impaired. How are you making sure that these guests have the same experience? It could be something as simple as making the audible elements visual as well, or something more complex, depending on your product and the goals of the event.

What is your favorite visual from a brand event or marketing campaign? What, for you, brings your favorite brands to life? Leave a comment below!