I’ve attended many conferences, fundraisers, trade shows and other public events in the past decade while working as a communication designer and corporate photographer. I’ve had the opportunity to create a cohesive look-and-feel for many such functions, helping businesses and organizations communicate thematic messages to attendees and onlookers. In addition, doing event photography has helped me see the importance of event branding from another perspective – to ensure that the event looks professional, distinct and that the most important visual and verbal messages are in the forefront.
Here are some photos from the 2014 Walk for Truth – Asbestos Kills, an awareness event put on by the AREA Fund in Powell River. My company is a services & support sponsor, providing event branding and design as well as event photography for this grassroots non-profit organization that helps victims of this deadly occupational hazard.
We developed a colour palette for everything from event signage to invitations. After the event, some of the photos of the speakers get published in magazines, so having signage at the lectern serves both to contextualize the photographs as well as advertise the event and organization.
At events where tickets are sold or given as thank you gifts to donors or sponsors, having an attractive invitation sets the tone for the entire event and conveys value. However, charitable organizations have to walk a fine line since if it looks as though they spent too much on printing, it can seem like their funds are being allocated away from their mission.
At events that are held in public, especially outdoors, having something participants wear, such as a pin, t-shirt, hat, bib or something they carry, such as a sign, helps event photographers and onlookers distinguish who is actually a participant. Re-use of these items after an event is further advertising for the cause and helps participants connect with each other.
Signage, both printed and digital, is also a vital component. It can help communicate the event theme, recognize sponsors, direct participants and it also shows up in photos. The social networks of your participants may see images of your event and become curious about the host organization. When designing event signage, I aim to create pieces that can be easily re-used at future events.
I once photographed a sports-related event and the image that was chosen by the newspaper had more signage that recognized individual teams than the overall branding of the host organization showing. Properly brandied events can have extensive reach and the clear message is well worth the time and investment.
Here’s another example of event branding here: