A marketing event is your chance to showcase how put-together your brand is. The signage, food choices, invitations and even the music can have an impact on the impression that’s made.

Brightworks Interactive Marketing held its eleventh annual summer party at Toronto’s waterfront on Thursday, July 21, and showed that everything — even napkins can be branded.

napkinsThaomy Lam is Brightworks’ marketing manager who coordinates the annual summer party; she says that the brand uses the event as a reminder to clients and as a reward to the team. This year’s event, held on a large boat called dubbed The Northern Spirit, featured a nautical theme. More than 700 guests were invited to wear temporary anchor tattoos and dress for a cruise.

She shared three tips on how to brand your next marketing event.

1. Build toward your goal

A marketing event without a defined goal is difficult to drive success from. How many people do you want to attend, what is the audience, what is success?

“It is really our chance to remind the market that we’re still here,” said Lam. “This is typically a slower period for the brand so this is a great way to start the second half of the year.”

From Lam’s vantage point, every moment that clients are on the cruise, she has an opportunity to showcase an example of how their brand could be portrayed.

2. Begin with a theme and stick to it

pillowsEven if it is just your branded colours, maintaining a look and feel through an event and the lead up to it builds cohesion.

“It starts with invitations, and ends the last thing attendees see when they leave the event,” said Lam. “You can connect your brand to the positive experiences attendees have while making it look amazing at the same time.”

For Brightworks’ that meant sourcing pillows from IKEA and paying a thirty party supplier to brand them with the party’s theme and the Brightworks logo.

3. Don’t forget about mail and printed paper

Brightworks’ annual party is not open to the public but by sending personalized printed invitation opposed to emails, Lam says she sees incredibly attendance rates at these events.

“It is a direct mail campaign and it works,” said Lam. “We want our customers to feel special from the moment they get the invite – that’s why you don’t see a Facebook event for our party.”


First impressions are important, on your next invite consider using paper-mail.

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

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