If you think like someone in marketing, you know that every piece of communication should reinforce your brand. This is as true for websites and collateral as it is for the events you throw for employees, customers, and prospects. Properly branded catered events reinforce your brand, keeping it front and center, and should fit your company’s personality. From subtle touches like colors to comprehensive brand showcasing, integrating your brand with every element of your catered event is key to making it (and you) more memorable.
It All Starts with Your Venue Choice
The venue you choose for your catered event should help tell your brand’s story. If you are an aviation services company or military contractor, having your catered New Orleans event at a venue like Messina’s at the Terminal, located at the beautifully restored Art Deco New Orleans Lakefront Airport, makes perfect sense. If you’re a software company with a hip brand and lots of young engineers and up-and-coming companies to entertain, a venue like Batture Bistro + Bar is a trendy location with a chic vibe in the French Quarter. The venue should reflect your corporate personality, whether you operate from a high-rise downtown or have a pool of remote workers.
Create a Great Photo Op
Everyone attending your event has probably repeatedly seen your average photo booths and green screen experiences at corporate and social events. Why not give attendees a photo op experience that is not just fun and exciting but promotes your brand with the use of branded or event-themed props? Guests will surely enjoy the immediate sharing capabilities of a digital selfie station, complete with a frame or overlay including your logo or event name.
You can also incorporate social media. Chances are, guests will interact on social media during your event, so why not make it a part of the day? Create a memorable custom hashtag to use to promote brand awareness. To encourage the use of the hashtag and posting photos of your event, consider implementing a hashtag wall to display posts in real-time, so attendees can see their posts just minutes after they’re shared. You’ll need a social media aggregator, like Curator, to gather all the posts using your hashtag.
Have Dinner Featuring Your Brand or Logo
At Messina’s Catering & Events, we have suppliers who can print your logo or tagline on anything from plates and napkins to glassware. An imprinted glass or coffee mug is a nice take-home present for attendees but think beyond the obvious. For instance, offer a coffee bar where your logo floats in the frothy cream on a latte’s steamy surface. Likewise, a light confectioners’ sugar powdering of your logo on top of crème brulee or lava cake is also a nice touch. The icing on cookies and cupcakes is also a natural place to display corporate colors and your logo.
The Color Scheme Should Be Your Brand Colors
If your logo is grey and blue, consider the same hues in your tablecloths and napkins, as well as in centerpieces, floral arrangements, and even in the colors of the food and drinks you choose. Giving your catering crew polo or button-down shirts with your logo on them is an easy way to reinforce your brand. If your event is more casual, like brews and barbecue, consider fun t-shirts catering staff can wear, and guests can take home at the end of the night.
If any of your guests will be traveling to your event, a branded goodie bag is a welcome gift. You can fill it with branded bottles of water, gum, custom-baked cookies with your logo on them, homemade chocolates, and breath mints. The goodie bag itself can also feature your logo and brand color palette.
Don’t Forget to Add Signage to Your Décor
If you have a staircase leading up to your venue, that’s the perfect spot for a banner and some corporate messaging. Make sure restrooms and the event room are easy to find with lots of directional signage, offering another branding opportunity. Hanging a neon sign of your logo in the hall or in spotlights that shine on the wall is another way to add some branded highlights to your event.
Your Caterer Can Even Brand the Way Your Food is Served
If you’re hosting a buffet at your event, the food trays and appetizer platters can be arranged in the shape of your logo. Logo ice sculptures aren’t anything new, but they always impress. At Messina’s, we’ve used ice sculptures to accent everything from oyster bars and shrimp stations to champagne displays.
Provide Activities That Fit Your Brand
Consider hiring flair bartenders who put on a show with every drink they serve. Traditional wine pairings are often a good fit for a more traditional corporate culture. Likewise, the entertainment should reflect your image. Classic rock would be a great choice if you’re hosting a group of motorcycle dealerships. If your clientele consists of art enthusiasts, live painting demonstrations and performance art always impress. Keep in mind the average age of attendees and how much interactivity you’ll think they want to participate in.
Don’t Overlook the Little Conveniences and Special Experiences
A charging table is especially important at a corporate catered event. Attendees are more likely to be using their devices and draining their batteries, which helps ensure productivity doesn’t come to a grinding halt by the end of the event. Likewise, a VIP area can add exclusivity to any event and might be restricted to just current customers and not prospects. This area can be full of signage, experiences, and products available to a select few.
Trust an Experienced New Orleans Caterer to Help Brand Your Next Corporate Event
At Messina’s Catering and Events, we can help offer creative ideas that elevate your event and brand and leave your guests with a wonderful impression of who you are and what you offer. As a member of the National Association for Catering and Events, we take pride in being the full-service food and beverage provider to some of New Orleans’ most prestigious event spaces and managing some of the area’s largest food and beverage festivals. Messina’s will remain focused on all the details embodied in your brand to ensure your next corporate event is spectacular. To learn more, visit MessinasCatering.com.