Event Branding Microsites and Landing Experiences

Event branding microsites demand a slightly different approach and strategy from some of the other applications. In short, you need an owned-media digital landing experience that builds engagement, conveys the theme in an visually distinctive way and drives registration, attendance, and conversion—generally on a very tightly scheduled timeline with plenty of moving parts. I’ll use the example of a recent themed gala celebration we developed for Astra Women’s Business Alliance, but the same principles would apply to a corporate initiative kick-off or an industry trade show.

So, a bit of background: Astra holds an annual awards, workshop, and networking event for certified women-owned businesses. As in past years, the process began with creating a unique event brand. The components needing to be addressed included the event name and tagline, a typographic logo design, a branded email news masthead, a print postcard, on- and offline graphic elements, and an integrated landing page experience.

Organization leaders decided the 2-day event was to kick off with a networking event held at a San Francisco Giants baseball game. The second day included workshops with names, descriptions, and content that would support a sports theme and relevant business initiatives. In light of that, the client chose “Game Changers—Play. Grow. Win.” as the tagline and branding theme.

Based on client and past attendee input, there were three important criteria that the overall initiative needed to meet:

  • If you’ll forgive the pun, the landing page needed to cover “all the bases”: visually impactful, developed and coded in a “responsive design” format—enabling viewing and complete functionality on multiple phone and tablet devices.
  • Driving registration was an important key performance indicator (KPI) of the landing page experience. Integrating Eventbrite signup components made purchasing tickets seamless and easy.
  • Two steps were taken to reinforce the conference messaging: A) Post-event video was incorporated in a branded, customized window with a feed from YouTube; and B) a Google photo gallery was created, with a clean design using the event brand components to support the visual integrity of the look and feel. Note that these elements also provide a head start for next year’s event, as a social proof of positive attendee experiences.

Social media platforms, email and off-line marketing tools drove traffic to the owned media landing page—which increased participation by 35% over the previous year’s event. The cohesive approach to the event brand, marketing, and communications worked together to enhance the viewer experience, resulting in a well-attended and successful event.

In the comments: Do your online branding initiatives always incorporate “responsive design” for mobile platforms in the process?

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