With the 2015 Chicago Auto Show quickly approaching, I recently reflected on our work with one of the booths at last year's show. Looking over pictures from the event, I was reminded of how important branding and strong design is at any event.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to your organization's event, a strong design concept can speak on behalf of your mission, while generating impact and engaging your audience. Below are six tips to make sure you are making the most of your branding using creative strategy.
1. Integration - Design should not come at the end of the planning process, but instead should be incorporated from start to finish. The signage at the show booth was planned from the beginning, making it an integrated piece of the booth. We debated the sign size, shape and images throughout our planning.
2. Focus - Your design should have a particular focus and should stay true to that. No design can speak to everyone or of everything, so make sure it conveys exactly what it is intended to convey. Last year's theme for this client was "Let's Go Off Road." It may not speak to everyone at the auto show, but it rang true to this client's goals and intentions.
3. Continuity - Each design at the event should be cohesive and have a consistent look and feel. If this is an event series, tie all the series designs in together. Make sure your branding matches the feel of the signage. Use the same design person or company if possible to keep the feel consistent. The audience should be able to interact with this client at this event and again at another event and feel consistency.
4. Size and Positioning - Design appropriately-sized pieces and place them where they are easy to see. Notice that, while the design in the show booth is not necessarily the main part photographed at the booth, at 10' high and 80' wide, the sign was consistently present in the background. Almost any photos taken of the booth also captured the design, which provides consistent brand publicity and messaging.
5. Connection - Design to grab your audience's attention immediately and connect them with the mission of the event. For this client, the purpose of the booth was to attract an audience who are interested in exploring by going off road. Those interested in this would connect with the booth right away and would want to take a closer look at the offerings.
6. Uniqueness - Stand out from the crowd. Uniqueness shouldn't trump the other five tips, but your design should still be created to stick out from the masses. Your audience sees hundreds of types of branding every day; make sure whatever it is you design is catchy.