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January 6, 2015
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South East Europe: How to Brand Your Event


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I do not know any research on how important the EIBTM and IMEX brands are for the convention tourism of Barcelona and Frankfurt. I am convinced, however, that there is reciprocity and a logical business model in which they are investing substantial resources.

By Gorazd Čad 

Personally I am a deep believer in the branding of events, which are a kind of genetic record of it and which largely defines its personality and character. I view events as specific personalities that have their more or less wild character defined at birth. Conventa was conceived as a sophisticated, elegant town lady, dressed in the latest fashion and kindly inviting you to a cup of coffee and ensuring that guests' expectations are not just met, but exceeded.

To develop and grow each personality needs a certain time. In my experience it takes at least a good five years for such a lady to mature beyond the phase of learning her best habits. Shortcuts are rare and can require a significant marketing financial investment. When a young girl or a boy does mature, it usually turns into something quite different from what the founding fathers have envisaged it would be at the outset.

There are a number of attributes that make an event brand stable and desirable to buyers:

• The quality of execution must be clear and at the highest level. In the foreground is the user experience based on perfectionism and innovation.

• The event must represent a professional platform for creating business opportunities or the exchange of professional experiences in a fun way.

• The organiser must know the market thoroughly and must know the buyers’ habits and the thinking of their business partners. This requires a complete, exhaustive and effective business analytics.

• Brands, like magnets, pull other brands towards them.

• A good brand will be successful internationally and far beyond the borders of its region or city.

Good branding reaches very deep, because the experience connects the entire community. There is no ‘coincidence’, as contacts with partners are very carefully constructed and controlled. This is where the very power of branding can be seen, making the biggest challenge how to maintain it, control it and deliver its promise. Conversations with customers and stakeholders give very direct and simple answers to this question.

If we as organisers have done our homework in the field of branding, then the way for a positive co-branding is open. Think of a case example paradigm: if you are not at the EIBTM trade show, then for a certain segment of the market you do not exist. However, if the case is done right, there is a positive co-marketing happening in the sense that the positive associations of one brand are transferred to the other. Although this may sound a little like heresy in the extremely competitive environment of the meetings industry, think about it again; co-branding reinforces the reputation of both brands, the financial returns and reach of an appearance at an event are greatly improved, the costs of appearing in terms of the specific target group are lower and the access to sales channels is mutual. Examples of good practice in this area are innumerable. Remember: THE FIRST IMPRESSION COUNTS!

Added value on the case of Conventa trade show:

FACT: Conventa has in the past five years become a reputable brand that enjoys a high reputation and level of credibility among hosted buyers and exhibitors. By participating at the trade show you will become a part of the best congress companies in the region.

RESULT: We are trusted by the global trade shows IMEX, EIBTM, the UK Meetings Show; associations ICCA, MPI and SITE; and all of the major convention bureaus in the region. In addition, all the largest congress players of the region have been with us from the beginning.

IMPACT: The degree of loyalty is extremely high, because from the beginning we have been trusted by 98 percent of exhibitors who are joined each year by new ones.


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About the Author: Kongres



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