An IdentityNORTH Case Study
Brand reputations are built on people’s beliefs or opinions around a brand. Any time someone interacts with a brand, it’s an opportunity to either shift their positive, neutral, or negative outlook they have associated with it.
Creating special moments that leave positive impressions on attendees can build up your organization’s reputation. Even without the in-person aspect, virtual events have the potential to delight attendees and leave a lasting impression. What, then, are the elements of a carefully and successfully curated event that can bolster your brand and reputation?
One successful project that our team led this Fall was the IdentityNORTH 2020 Virtual Fall Symposium. IdentityNORTH is Canada’s premier digital economy event, bringing together top Canadian and international leaders to share ideas and knowledge to drive Canada’s digital future. Our team was honoured to lead in the strategic planning and execution to bring IdentityNORTH’s vision to life on the virtual stage.
Despite its virtual setting, the Fall Symposium delivered opportunities for meaningful connections and impactful moments for all in attendance. Playing within the confines of a virtual stage presents unique opportunities that can still directly and positively impact brand reputation.
Growing the Audience
The ability to welcome more attendees and speakers than might have been possible in-person is a big benefit of virtual events. For brands, this means a big opportunity to grow your audience and your community through events that support and align to your work, values, and purpose.
This was evident at IdentityNORTH’s Fall Symposium, where four times the traditional number of attendees joined the event. Not needing to account for air fare, accommodations and time off of work are all notable factors that allowed the IdentityNORTH community to grow and include more members across a range of diverse backgrounds.
Our approach at Imperative Impact to building brand reputation through virtual gatherings centres around three key pillars: creating well-rounded attendee experiences, maintaining consistent community engagement, and focusing on having diverse and inclusive representation on stage.
A Well-Rounded Attendee Experience
Mapping out the attendee journey provides a clear picture of exactly what the attendee experience could be like. Thus, it’s crucial to take a step back and think about the event process from the perspective of an attendee to make sure your brand shows up well. Remember, the experience begins the first time someone hears about your event and continues through to the final follow-up message and wrap report. To create something that really resonates you need to infuse your brand purpose into every aspect of the experience.
Many questions can fall under an attendee’s virtual event experience. Some great questions to ask yourself from the attendee’s perspective are:
Engaging with a brand’s community about an event extends beyond the event days. Community engagement is an important component building your brand’s reputation and maintaining a positive relationship with your community.
Here are a couple of elements we designed for the Fall Symposium:
Even when physically apart, attendees at the Fall Symposium had the opportunity to collaborate and even present on the virtual stage. IdentityNORTH events are widely known for their unique ‘UnConference’ day, where attendees have the opportunity to build the agenda. Leading up to the event, attendees collaborated on an online platform to submit, vote and comment on agenda ideas. Leveraging social media, online community groups and our collaboration platform, our team generated pre-event buzz and engagement that put our attendees in the driver’s seat. Taking part in event content curation and the associated conversation allows attendees to feel more connected to your organization, and drives an engaged, satisfied community.
A thoughtful ‘wow moment’ idea for pre-event engagement is mailing out attendee kits. Providing attendees branded goodies is a great way to directly support brand loyalty and recognition. Attendees joining the fireside chats at IdentityNORTH could literally take their IdentityNORTH reusable tumbler and enjoy a coffee in their living room while tuning into a featured conversation.
Diversity and Inclusion on the Stage
At Imperative Impact, we believe that diversity and inclusion are powerful drivers behind the strength of any organization. Having different voices adds value and richness to the content presented, and profiling different experiences is an invaluable way to increase the number of unique perspectives.
Diversity does not happen by accident - it is a deliberate and ongoing commitment that requires real action.
Our team was thrilled to have over 62 per cent of the sessions at the Fall Symposium feature speakers who were black, indigenous, people of colour, and/or women. This was achieved by approaching each session with the question - “how can we ensure that we are featuring diverse speakers and different perspectives?”.
Leveraging Virtual Events to Build Your Reputation
The pandemic has changed how organizations connect with their communities. Virtual events have the capacity to help create new connections and to grow your reputation with a broader community.
Events that truly resonate with attendees are filled with impactful moments that go above and beyond expectations. With the opportunity to showcase your organization in a new light, events offer a new way of reputation building while being able to connect with your community.
At Imperative Impact we recognize that reputation and brand management is not a straightforward five step process, and requires ceaseless support. Looking for expert advice? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click the button below - we would love to connect.