Having a strong visual identity isn’t just about aesthetics; it's about creating an environment that fosters connection, communication, and lasting memories for your attendees, while also reinforcing a brand’s key messaging and values.
Just like choosing your event’s name should be a careful process rooted in strategy, it’s important to create a cohesive brand when it comes to an event’s visuals—including colors, shapes, and other design elements. These visual elements can appear over and over across your entire event, from digital assets to custom-build scenic solutions to smaller touchpoints like table decor.
Here at SEQ, we think consistent branding and design is crucial, particularly for large conferences. For each event we work on, we create an exhaustive Event Deck, a comprehensive book showcasing all event design touchpoints to ensure every single space is created with intention.
But first: Why is having a strong visual identity so important?
- It creates an immersive experience that supports the event theme.
Every conference has a unique theme or message it’s seeking to convey—and the visual identity can play a critical role in amplifying this message. It’s not just about gorgeous design; it’s about using that design to support the event’s strategic goals.
- It enhances brand recognition.
At SEQ, we’re adamant that events should be carefully interwoven with our customers’ overall marketing strategies. So for corporate events in particular, a strong visual identity can be synonymous with brand reinforcement. When corporate colors, textures, and logos are consistently displayed, it strengthens brand recognition and loyalty among attendees.
- It can help shape the attendee experience.
Good design can make navigation easier, information more accessible, and presentations more engaging. It’s about creating an environment that is both visually pleasing and functionally efficient.
- It ensures professionalism and cohesion.
A well-thought-out visual theme portrays a high level of professionalism. It shows that every detail was considered—and shows the audience that the brand, product, or service is also professional and polished, leading to an overall improved perception of the company.
- It facilitates emotional connection and lasting memories.
Colors and shapes can evoke emotions—just look at the extensive research into how colors can impact moods, feelings, and behaviors. By choosing the right elements, you can set the desired mood and connect with attendees on an emotional level, making the event more impactful.
So how do we approach this process? SEQ’s design team likes to carefully study our customers’ brands—including logos, go-to colors, textures, and other graphic elements—and create a robust set of assets to be used throughout the event. In our view, every touchpoint is an opportunity for branding, especially if it’s done in subtle, stylish, and intentional ways that reinforce messaging—often without guests even realizing it.
Here are some of the key areas to think about:
- Invitations and Marketing Materials: The journey begins here. Incorporate your visual identity into invitations, registration pages, in digital marketing, and other pre-event materials to create excitement and anticipation.
- Entrances and Reception Areas: First impressions count! An event entrance should clearly feature your theme and visual identity, offering a taste of what's to come. It can also be a great place for wayfinding signage and “wow” moments that welcome guests and set the scene—which can tie in imagery, colors, and texture while also helping guests find their way.
- Stage Design and Backdrops: This is often the focal point of the event, where visual elements should be prominently displayed. Remember: This area is likely to show up in professional and guest photographs, so it’s a key spot to be super intentional about the colors, logo displays, and other visual elements to ensure they reinforce your brand’s goals!
- Print Collateral and Signage: Whether it’s printed programs or nametags, wayfinding elements, “built-in” signage like window decals or floor vinyls, or custom-built signage like archways, these areas should also reinforce your event’s visual identity.
- Digital Displays: Digital screens can also be a great place to tap into the same design language. As an added bonus, content and design can be updated and changed throughout the day, offering space for even more creativity.
- Decor, Props, and Table Settings: Event design elements throughout the space—like table centerpieces or bar decor for networking receptions—can also tie into the visual theme. One of our go-to moves? Adding sleek product messaging or sponsor branding to tabletops alongside more traditional elements like flowers. Messaging like this can easily be swapped out throughout the course of the event to serve different purposes.
- Merchandise and Giveaways: These items should also carry your event’s visual identity, as they’re tangible reminders of the experience. Offering useful and reusable items isn’t just more sustainable—it’s something your attendees will actually want to use year-round, ensuring your company’s visuals stay in their minds long after the event has wrapped.
- Social Media and Digital Platforms: Extend your visual identity to the digital realm, creating a seamless experience for those engaging online.