How to make your event visually stronger?
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
“Newsworthy events, involving people, usually do not happen by accident. They are planned deliberately to accomplish a purpose, to influence our ideas and actions.” – one of the pioneers of Public Relations, Edward Bernays once said1. We all know a lot of effort and resources are put daily into orchestrated events with the purpose to support the communication’s agenda of organizations, institutions, causes. Once you have decided that you will go through the effort of event organization – there are couple of visual weapons you might consider using to make it stronger, punchier, more memorable and at the end of the day supporting of your goals. Here are some of them.
· Catchy invitations to maximize turnout
People look for patterns in their environment to make sense of their surroundings, to help make choices, to understand concepts and to achieve knowledge. Remember, the consumer has an abundance of choice; thus, products and services need to differentiate themselves to stand out in a sea of choices. “Great brands are like friends — you encounter a huge number of them, but you only remember the ones you love.” – this is a famous quote from Luc Speisser, Managing Director, Landor Paris & Geneva2 but you would be right to guess that applies to events and invitations too. Only the ones that touch your heart and spark your curiosity will end up in your calendar. So be brave – use powerful visuals, craft the visual identity of your event. Use the eyes of your guests to gain some space in their brains. Be creative.
· Infographics to increase pre-event publicity
Want to attract more people at your event? Draw trends, put some of them (not all!) in an infographic and distribute to the media. Explain that the rest of the trend sand more details will be revealed by the speakers at the venue and there you go – multiplying your attendees. Yes, we have done that and yes – it works. No, you don’t have to pay for the coverage if it is really trend-setting, well-crafted and newsworthy – just roll up your sleeves and do your homework.
· Press conference data and materials
You know you’ve done it right when the people in the audience raise their phones to take pictures instead of staring at them. Instead of “death by Power Point” you can choose to be truly informative to your audience and media through eye candy presentations which are also nicely sharable and look good on social media. Media can use parts of your visual presentation as illustrations to their articles if you have managed to make a strong point. We were invited to make an animated presentation for a Nestle press conference showing how much water the company has saved through its new production technology. This format of animated presentation is budget friendly and fast to produce and is recommended for smaller one-off events such as press conferences and briefings. Motiongraphics require more resources and are useful for major events or for multiple use purpose. Images are also more likely to get shared on social media platforms so you can easily break the press conference visuals into social media images and sharable materials.
· Motiongraphics to tell a compelling story at anniversaries
“In addition to the initial communication goals that the events are planned for today, their distinctive feature is the desire to provide the opportunity for immediate and free communication, to provoke positive experiences and instill lasting and unique memories.”3 writes Svetoslava Kovacheva and turns our attention to the emotional role of events and the part they deserve in our hearts not only calendars. This emotional part is nicely and uniquely achieved through motiongraphic videos. We at InfoGraffiti have done a motiongraphic video for Heineken which was at the center of the event commemorating its 20th anniversary in the country since the privatization of the brewery. The emotional response from the audience was touching. People were looking at the big screen with smiles, pointing fingers, even tears in their eyes at particular moments.
Another occasion InfoGraffiti have created infographics for is the 25th anniversary of the Nova Brazilia coffee brand. The video was used not only at events but also online and on media occasions. The budget for it returned its investment at least sevenfold and was a great asset according to the marketing team of the brand.
· Visual messages to support events with cause
In her book “Events’ communications – from Bernays to Facebook” Svetoslava Kovacheva points that an event may have a cause at the core of its purpose. The contemporary practice is full of examples for specially organized events dedicated to any cause, either it is social, cultural, as counter-reactions to actions, problems or other. These planned events often involve the leaders of opinions.
· Visually captivating team-buildings and new-year celebrations
“I love the annual presentations at the parties” said no one ever … Let’s be honest these are boring. That is why we at InfoGraffiti jazzed them up and put music and turned them into fun and cheerful pieces of information which is easy and pleasant to digest.
· Visual metaphors for stronger issues management campaign
This one is easier shown than told. Just look at the infographic – it will only take you seconds to grasp how we managed to show the alcohol producers are the good guys. You will immediately understand how through the power of visual communication we managed to convince all their stakeholders that actually alcohol producers are the good guys and the real villain is the black market. And more importantly we conveyed the message that whatever the government of Romania had been doing over the last years – it had been fueling the black market. Now that was a game-changer. The excise duty in the country was reduced by 30%.
1. Bernays, Edward (1969). The engineering of consent. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
2. Wheeler, Alina (2018). Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team. Hoboken, New Jersey
3. Ковачева, Светослава (2017). Събитийни комуникации от Бернайс до Фейсбук, София