By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie
Event branding and graphics play an important role in your marketing and promotion so we spoke to Catherine Howarth of The Ruby Gateway who is a soul-fueled Business Mentor and Creative Coach about why they are key and how you can use them with your own events!
Let’s start at the beginning – what are the benefits of having great graphics as part of your event promotion?
Social media graphics are a great way to quickly communicate information about your event in two ways:
1. Event details: sharing the basics of who, what, where and when, and
2. Event inspiration: sharing the event purpose, themes, key messages and learnings
I believe that inspirational graphics in particular, are a great way to create interest in the content of your event and build buy-in with your community. With inspirational graphics you are creating an emotional connection and attracting the perfect attendees to your event.
By consistently posting a variety of branded graphics, you are creating visual recognition of your event and reinforcing the event topic and messages, helping to build momentum, anticipation and excitement and keeping your event top of mind with your tribe.
When it comes to posting about your event on social media, it’s a good idea to follow the 80/20 rule; where 80% of your content is entertaining, educating or inspiring and 20% of your content is promoting and selling. With this rule in mind, you can see how graphics can be a great way to support your other event promotions such as Facebook event pages and the sharing of links to website landing pages and sales pages such as Eventbrite etc.
How do people organising their events ensure a clear message about the day is transferred to potential attendees through their promotional graphics?
You want your graphics to reflect the purpose of your event. Think about how you want to inspire your audience, how do you want them to feel, what messages and key learnings do you want them to take away? Then think about how you can share these visually as a graphic, using images and words.
Some ideas are; creating a series of tips that relate to the key learnings; inspirational quotes based on the event messages and themes; key words that relate to the topics; testimonials from past attendees… You can then use the graphic as a visual prompt to expand upon in the comment you write when posting.
For example, I had a client who’s event was a ‘Self Love’ Goddess Workshop, with themes around self-love, self-care and self-worth, and feeling empowered. So beyond the graphics outlining the event details, some additional graphics could have been inspirational quotes on self-love, self-care and self-worth, a series of tips on the three themes, or even having individual graphics with these words and asking her tribe what these words meant to them, or how they incorporated them into their daily practices etc. as ways to create engagement and interest in the purpose of her event.
Graphics are a great way of inspiring your tribe about your event, giving them snippets of information that piques their interest and has them signing up to learn more about how you can help them at your event.
Does it help to keep the same consistent image leading up to your event or are you better to use a number of different images to grab different reader attention?
Given that there’s going to be several weeks of promotion in the lead up to your event, I believe it’s a good idea to mix up the graphics you use. As long as you are creating a consistent design style, using fonts, colours and images to ensure your event has cohesive branding, then a range of graphics will keep your promotions feeling fresh and interesting.
With the graphics that are promoting the event details, you may want to consider using a signature image; whether it’s a photo of you as the speaker; an image that relates to the topic; or an image that relates to the feeling you want to invoke in your attendees.
You could also have secondary support images; you may have additional speakers; images that relate to the type of attendee you want to attract; photos of past attendees with testimonials; as well as photos that relate to the venue, catering, goodie bags and general ambiance.
At a minimum, I would suggest having one signature graphic that relates to the event details, which is used throughout the promotion. This can be updated to reflect early bird and full prices, ticket sale updates (50% sold), days left to enroll etc. Your signature event graphic could then be supported with some inspirational graphics throughout your promotion, using the same fonts, colours or image style.
Apart from social media, where else can event organisers use their graphics to promote their events?
Here’s some ideas on repurposing your graphics:
Promotional: your website; your emails and newsletters; flyers; advertising in magazines (online and off); affiliate marketing; networking events
At your event: venue signage; welcome board; welcome table; banners; backdrop; AV presentation; event schedule; workbooks covers; worksheets headers
Your inspirational graphics could be used within workbooks; in frames on tables; within notebooks; as a set of postcards.
If your planning on repeating your event, you can simply update the details and reuse.
For those who are not confident in designing their own images, what are their options in getting professional looking images created for them?
A graphic designer is going to be the best person to create your promotional images. They can create a suite of graphics that work with your current branding style, or create a secondary style for your event that compliments your business brand.
You could talk to your designer about the possibility of creating design templates for you to update using online editing programs like Picmonkey or Canva.
For example, I created a series of branded templates for one of my clients to use for her inspirational quotes. Set up in Canva using a range of coloured backgrounds and images, my client simply updated the quote copy to easily create a suite of professional looking graphics.
Depending on your skill levels, this may work for you too, or you may want to stick within your zone of genius and leave the creativity to your designer.
Catherine Howarth of The Ruby Gateway is a soul-fueled Business Mentor and Creative Coach who works with women who want to make a difference in the world through their coaching, consulting. She draws on her graphic design background of 20+ years to guide clients on how to confidently create their own visual content that beautifully reflects your purpose, your message and your brand. Learn how to create your own social media graphics or check out Catherine's services HERE.
All images courtesy of Catherine Howarth