Brand Storytelling at Events

Good stories get read, maybe archived or used again once, but more than likely they get deleted.

Great stories last a lifetime. Think about it – what stories come to mind from this year alone when you scroll through your brain index of the mass social, digital and mobile news articles you have encountered?

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I’m sure there are several celebrity stories, political, comedic, and not so comedic stories that come to mind right away. One recent example most of us may relate to is the ever so popular Serial podcast that is taking the Internet by storm.

One person’s story, turned into a viral sensation, turned into the world’s office water cooler chatter or happy hour topic of conversation come Thursday evenings and Friday mornings is a great example if storytelling done well.

“The greatest story commandment? Make me care.” – Andrew Stanton, Pixar Filmmaker

So, what makes a good story? When attending events, how do you ensure your brand is telling the most compelling story it can – and the right story?

Start with the basics and map out the goals you want your story to tell. Who is your target audience you’re trying to reach at a particular event – keep in mind audiences change from event to event, so your story should as well. Once you have your goals set, then sketch out a storyboard of your top five ideas you want to relate to the audience. Make sure they are exciting, and hone in on the exact key points you are trying to relate in a fun, and engaging way.

The user experience should be personal – make the viewer care about the brand story or else it will not matter.

Socially Enticing Stories

The best brand stories have compelling elements. They make us think, feel, react, and remember why we chose to fall in love with a particular brand in the first place.

Thanks to social media, marketers have a platform to express their brand stories in fun, unique and engaging ways at events. Through social, companies can put together short video segments to share at events that are displayed to entice attendees to stop by their booth to learn more about the brand. Video is a great way to capture a brand story in less than a minute without boring the viewer, and getting to the point.

Be sure to stay on track, focus on the story, and engage with the viewer when creating the video.

“Consumers believe stories. Without this belief, there is no marketing.” Seth Godwin, All Marketers Are Liars

Remember, attendees will ignore confusing stories. Stay true to your brand when creating the story you want to tell at any event. A great way to show attendees how your story can relate to them is to give examples of how other companies may be using your product or solution.

Use cases and real life stories are a great way to show how your brand changed people’s lives for the better – attendees like to see how brands can not only help them, but relate to them. How can you combine into a partnership? Tradeshows are a great catalyst for brands to stand out from their competition and share stories of how they have helped customers grow.

Every Single Touch

Stories are in everything you do, and everything a brand does can become a story. Increase your visibility at tradeshows with the ability to present your brand story as a video, white paper, brochure, or fun giveaway.

These are all small touches that create the larger picture of your brand story. The actual content pieces are not the only parts to your story attendees will see, but the design plays a big part of your brad story as well.

The format, style, look and feel, are all key elements that play a big role in the overall experience that will be your brand story.

In Conclusion

The goal of storytelling at events is to take attendees on a journey. There should be a clear beginning, middle and end to every story a brand tells.

Whether you tell it via video, social, content marketing, guerilla marketing or choose one of the numerous other tools available to marketers today, relating stories at events is a great strategy to personalize and engage with attendees to help them see eye to eye with what you are trying to sell, say, do and market.

About The Author
Holly Barker
Holly Barker is a Digital Native with a passion to help shape events and brands through storytelling, creativity and digital magic. She has over 10 years of experience consisting of social media marketing, events and promotional management, digital marketing, and brand development. Follow Holly at @holsk.

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