Let’s be honest… it takes a lot of time, attention, and energy to plan and execute an event. The last thing you want is to waste your resources on an event that falls flat. After planning and executing dozens of events for clients over the years, we’ve learned some of the most important best practices for creating an effective and unforgettable event. Harnessing the power of storytelling is one of the foundational pillars of effective event marketing.
Building your event around a compelling story is beneficial for several reasons. It makes promoting your event easier by creating a more intriguing hook for guests or media outlets. It unlocks creative ideas and opportunities to engage attendees. It is easier to promote, and it creates a more memorable experience for attendees. Ultimately, it enables you to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
How to Harness the Power of Storytelling in Event Marketing
Here are some specific tips and ideas that marketers can use to harness the power of storytelling in event marketing:
Start with a Strong Story
The first step is to come up with a strong story that will resonate with your audience. You need to decide on the core idea behind your event. The “story” of your event should be relevant to your brand, your values, and your overall blueprint for your brand story.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- What is the overall purpose of the event? What messages or emotions do you want to convey to the attendees?
- What are the core themes or ideas associated with your brand or organization?
- Are there any key moments or events in your company’s history that could be used to tell a story?
Make it Personal for Your Audience
Helping your audience see themselves in the story is an important factor. The events that resonate the most are ones that allow you to connect with the audience on an emotional level. When your attendees can see themselves in the story, they’re more likely to remember and enjoy the event.
Creating an event that resonates with your audience can be challenging because so much of your attention is focused on your marketing goals. Taking time to ask these questions can help create an event that personally resonates with attendees:
- What is the target audience for the event? What are their interests and pain points?
- What could make it a must-attend experience for your target audience?
- How can you improve their experience or their life through the event.
Engage All the Senses
Visuals can be a powerful way to tell a story, but it’s equally important to think beyond visuals and incorporate elements that appeal to sight, sound, touch, taste, and even smell. In the iconic words of Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message.” The way you deliver your story determines its impact on your participants, so have fun with it!
Here are a few ways you can create an “immersive experience” that supports the story you want to tell:
- What emotions do you want attendees to feel during the event?
- How can you evoke these emotions using sound and lighting design or visual elements?
Real-World Examples of Storytelling in Event Marketing
Over the past few months, we’ve been able to design and implement several event marketing strategies for our Green Apple clients. Here are some examples of how storytelling has been used in their event marketing plans:
After months of renovation, The Factory at Franklin wanted to create an opportunity for guests to explore the reimagined space and celebrate the grand opening of The Skylight—the new bar at The Factory at Franklin. We designed an event called Sip & Sample that highlighted The Skylight’s narrative of being a space for the community. We brought together new and current vendors of The Factory and invited the community to join us for this exclusive grand opening event.
Known for building relationships and structures that last a lifetime, Crain Construction wanted to celebrate their 90th anniversary alongside team members, former employees, customers, and industry partners who supported their growth over the years. By hosting the event at Prancing Horse of Nashville Ferrari Dealership—one of their most recent projects—we were able to create an immersive experience that celebrated the past while generating excitement for the company’s future.
United Communications is a local internet company making tremendous strides in providing high-speed internet access to rural communities across Middle Tennessee. They came to Green Apple Strategy looking for a way to celebrate a state-funded grant for their Project UNITE initiative. Every aspect of the event, including the location, speaker list, and food choices, was designed to demonstrate the company’s commitment as a local provider.
Let Green Apple Plan Your Next Event
Special events are a powerful tool that can be used to enhance your marketing goals. If you’re ready to develop a compelling story or theme for your upcoming event, ensuring a memorable and impactful experience for your attendees, we’d love to talk. Reach out to us for a consultation.