Deliberate event branding can transform a “Zoom gloom” experience into something attendees are actually excited to attend. Design can give your event a distinct identity and breathe life into what might otherwise be perceived as stale sessions.
From high-energy pre-event buffer videos to a platform that looks and feels like your brand (and not the tech provider’s), these small details can impact the overall experience. But how can marketing and design teams work together to bring event branding to life?
We sat down with Cassandra King, Head of Content & Community at Superside. She spilled all the details on resolving bottlenecks in the design process, overcoming design challenges, and providing constructive feedback.
Be sure to check out Cassandra’s session on-demand, and read on for the key takeaways below. ⤵️
The current collaboration model between most marketing and design teams is designed to fail.
The first problem is the design bottleneck. Marketers would rather have good content now versus great content later. Plus, marketing has tons of design needs. So, at any given moment, the design team has too much to do while not having enough time and resources to get it done.
Design gets treated like a drive-through–it’s just design briefs coming in and assets going out. Being strapped for time consistently might mean compromising on creativity and quality, a lose/lose situation.
The second problem comes down to a lack of alignment on goals and objectives between both teams–there’s no common ground.
The solution to this problem is to integrate design into the marketing ecosystem. At Superside, the creative team is a part of marketing, which has led to better collaboration between those two squads.
Another way to mitigate the drive-through issue is to bring the design team into event planning early. This means working with design to develop shared goals and provide clarity on what success looks like. This way, designers will have more ownership over their work and are brought closer to the end goal.
There are a lot of touchpoints to consider when working on event branding. And the first step to providing a cohesive event experience is to write comprehensive design briefs.
A design brief should include the project scope, goals, stakeholders and task owners, target audience, project timeline and deadlines, specific deliverables, assets, and style guide.Including all event-related assets, such as speaker headshots and presentation slides, is super important.
The biggest piece of advice I can give here is to submit those briefs as early as possible and organize them in a way that works for you and your design and creative team. It's all about that collaboration.
Also, creative briefs don’t have to be in the weeds for everyone. You can condense them to just a page or two for busy stakeholders. It can just give a snapshot of what it includes, along with contact details of relevant stakeholders.
Implementing a standardized revision model and building trust with the team are key to creating a welcoming environment for feedback. Work with your creative team to decide what the model should look like.
The key to giving good feedback is to direct feedback at the design, not the designer. Also, asking questions instead of giving directions is a nice way to start the feedback dialogue.
If you really want something to be changed, Cassandra recommends using the feedback sandwich, where you start with a compliment, follow it up with clear feedback, and end with something nice.
Ultimately, it’s about creating an environment where even the most introverted designers feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas. You can organize workshops that help teams provide constructive feedback at each stage of the design and just work together better, in general.