Four brand events dancing to a different tune

Businesses that are re-imagining their events to truly express their brand

Remember this? When Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz danced down the aisle they tore up years of tradition and spawned a craze that would ruffle the dog collars of vicars everywhere.

Weddings are just one example from the spectrum of live experiences that have been re-imagined in recent years: festivals, immersive theatre, art exhibitions – even cinema, which has been sprung from the multiplex to rooftops and secret locations.

It’s fair to say that businesses have been slower to re-imagine their employee and client events; tried and trusted formats being preferred to risky experiments. But the profile of events is growing as they demonstrate their ability to generate content and discussion that extends across digital platforms. With events moving to the heart of many organisation’s internal and external communication planning there’s increased attention on whether they’re really reflecting the wider brand. If innovation or customer insight or market disruption is at the core of your brand can the same be said of your flagship event?

That said, here are five examples of events that do an amazing job of expressing the essence of their organisations:

1) Adobe Max

Last year’s user conference saw 6,000 creatives descend on LA for an incredible immersive visual display. Revolving screens, programmed using algorithmic software, moved in sync with wonderful visual content. From the vital role of entertainment to the use of groundbreaking live graphics this feels like an event perfectly in-sync with the Adobe brand and it’s audience.

2) Superdry Global Annual Conference

How to bring the Superdry brand to life for 300 store managers? Other brands might have come up with a festival theme and decided simply to astroturf the venue’s lobby, not Superdry. This two-day event was held under canvass: accommodation was in tee-pees, workshops took place in circus tents and people danced the night away in their wellies. What a powerful brand experience this must have been for store managers travelling from all around the world to the event in Somerset.

3) Sapphire Now

For SAP whose vision is to use data to help the world run better, pioneering new delegate experiences at their user events is a must. The 20,000 customers and partners attending this year’s Sapphire Now experience in Orlando navigated the expo with the help of 1,000 iBeacons. The data this provided will help SAP continue to personalize the delegate experience year-on-year.

4) Punk AGM

AGMs are usually the least likely event in the corporate calendar to be shaken up. But then BrewDog aren’t your usual corporate. The 6,000 equity partners who attended the UK’s largest AGM were treated to live music, great food from local producers, table tennis competitions and of course lots of beer. And the BrewDog comms team uses their now famous AGM to their full advantage across social media.

Your brand might not be keen on turning its AGM into a hoedown, but a new generation of experience rich customers and employees expect more from your events. The good news is that there’s never been more inspiration to draw on. And, with many sectors being slow to innovate their events, there are real opportunities for businesses to develop event properties that build the brand and the bottom line.